Conditioning for Competition

Article

Conditioning the Competitive Trail Horse

August 01, 2005

Those of us who have trail ridden and packed into the mountains are very apt to proffer this advice to the beginner or novice who wants to do likewise: Don't take the mountains lightly, because they can be unforgiving. Know what you are doing an... Read More

Article

Eventing's Short and Long Formats Compared

June 01, 2005

Three-Day event horses performing the short format endurance portion of an event and horses completing the conventional long format experience a similar amount of stress, according to a recent study. The public has speculated on whether or not... Read More

Article

AAEP 2004: Vets Discuss Pre-Purchase Exams

December 06, 2004

The Dec. 5 open forum discussion of pre-purchase exams at sales covered several topics critical to consignors, buyers, and veterinarians at the 50th anniversary meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners in Denver, Colo. A task... Read More

Article

It's Not Greek to Them

July 01, 2004

When the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad begin with characteristic fanfare Aug. 13 in Athens--the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games--approximately 10,500 of the world's greatest athletes will convene to match skills and wits in 28 sports.... Read More

Article

Training Young Athletes

October 01, 2003

It sounds completely backwards, the idea that you might actually increase health risks by postponing training and competition until a horse is four or older. It goes against the ages-old and widely held belief that you cause damage by initiating... Read More

Article

10 Tips on Getting Ready for Spring

March 01, 2003

You can feel it. You can smell it. Spring is in the air. Oh, to be sure, we aren't finished with cold weather in many parts of the country, but it won't be long before we will be ready to head out trail riding or be off on the spring horse show... Read More

Article

Is His Heart In It?

December 01, 2002

Do you know why a Thoroughbred can deliver that great burst of speed to eat up a mile in 1 1/2 minutes, or how an endurance horse can maintain the strength and stamina to cover long distances at steady speeds? Of course you do: Conditioning.... Read More

Article

Is Your Horse Fit for the Task?

April 01, 2002

Regardless of whether your horse is used for high-level competition or weekend trail riding, it's important that he be fit for the task. "Fitness" is a rather vague expression, but in general terms it can be defined as the ability to complete th... Read More

Article

Priming Equine Energy Systems

March 01, 2002

 Last month, this column covered some of  the basics in developing a physical conditioning program (see "Getting Your Horse in Shape" in the February 2002 issue of The Horse, article Quick Find #3263 at www.TheHorse.com). The... Read More

Article

Getting Your Horse in Shape

February 01, 2002

As spring approaches, visions of green grass, budding trees, and active wildlife might seem just around the corner for some. But for many of us, spring is but a dream, for we must endure a few more weeks of cold, snow, and ice-covered terrain.... Read More

Article

Strategic Layoffs

January 01, 2002

Many equestrian sports are seasonal, with a competition season alternating with an off season. Even in sports that continue year-round, most trainers schedule a break from competition, which gives the horse a chance to recover mentally and... Read More

Article

Feeding the Endurance Horse

September 01, 2001

The nutritional needs of the endurance horse are somewhat unique compared to horses used for other athletic disciplines. The metabolic demands of endurance racing (including competitive trail riding and ride and tie events) are high, requiring... Read More

Article

Cross-Training For Horses

August 01, 2001

To add variety to conditioning programs, human athletes often undertake exercise sessions that are not specific to their athletic disciplines. For example, long-distance runners might cycle on a stationary bike once or twice a week, swim, or... Read More

Article

British Study Looks At Training and Injury

August 01, 2001

Racehorse owners might one day be able to handicap a horse's risk of injury. A new study in its early stages at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in the United Kingdom is monitoring a group of two-year-olds with the intention of using the data... Read More

Article

Dehydration Alert

July 01, 2001

When horses are working hard, especially in hot weather, they are particularly prone to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. The official term for one symptom of these problems is a mouthful: synchronous diaphragmatic flutter... Read More

Article

MSM Helps Sore Muscles

June 01, 2001

A recent study performed by Ron Riegel, DVM, on 30 racing Standardbreds confirms that the popular nutraceutical supplement MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) can have far-reaching effects on the ability of equine muscle tissue to rebound from exercise... Read More

Article

Shaping Up Your Overweight Horse

February 01, 2001

When preparing a horse for athletic events and sporting activities, whatever the discipline or level of difficulty, an important consideration is finding the horse's "ideal" body weight. This concept is well recognized in human athletics. For... Read More

Article

Fat Burning

November 01, 2000

For the most part, the word "fat" has bad connotations in our society today--fat often is used to describe an overweight or obese state. When we think of dietary fat and the proportion of calories in our diet that is derived from various sources... Read More

Article

Stress Testing

October 01, 2000

For a horse to perform well as an athlete, all body systems must be in good working order. When one or more system "breaks down," the horse is no longer able to perform to its potential, and the owner, rider, and trainer will notice a decline in... Read More

Article

What Causes Poor Exercise Performance?

September 01, 2000

A huge amount of time, effort, and money often are invested in the preparation of horses for various athletic events, including Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing, three-day eventing, steeplechasing, dressage, hunter-jumper events, reining,... Read More

Article

Performance Boosters

August 01, 2000

They purport to "Increase power." "Delay fatigue." "Increase stamina." "Build muscle." "Reduce recovery time." "Extensive research has proven..." Doubtless, most of you have seen and read advertisements for nutritional supplements in... Read More

Article

Pre-Exercise Feeding

May 01, 2000

When and what should I feed my horse before exercise? This question is very familiar to equine nutritionists, and generally sparks considerable debate about feeding management of horses prior to competition. While it generally is agreed that... Read More

Article

Fluids And Electrolytes

April 01, 2000

With the summer months approaching, it is time for a refresher on the impact of the warmer environmental conditions on your horse. Warmer temperatures and high relative humidity place added stress on horses during exercise because of their... Read More

Article

Peak Fitness

March 01, 2000

In the last issue we considered some of the adaptations that occur in horses during training. To recap, we know that improvements in cardiovascular and muscle function occur quite... Read More

Article

Spring Tuning (Athletic Conditioning)

February 01, 2000

Most will agree that thorough preparation of a horse is key to success in athletic competition. With spring hopefully just around the corner, this is an opportune time to discuss conditioning. Of course, the nature of a conditioning program will... Read More