Conditioning for Competition


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Reconditioning After Lay-Up

September 01, 1999

A small-animal orthopedic veterinarian once told me, "The athlete that heals slowly heals best." In other words, although some physical therapy might be recommended as the body heals, the body’s soft and hard tissues need to recover wholly from... Read More


Feeding Racehorses

August 01, 1999

On several occasions in the past year or two, we’ve discussed in this series the intricacies of feeding young horses for optimum growth. We’ve also walked you through the pertinent points of fueling the high-performance equine athlete, for... Read More


Cool Aid: Beating the Heat With Working Horses

July 01, 1999

Anyone who has worked or played in high heat knows how exhausting it can be.  High, fluid-sapping desert heat can drain you in no time as you sweat away volumes of fluids and electrolytes. Then there’s the suppressive, sweaty,... Read More


Bone Formation With Exercise

June 01, 1999

Strong bones are essential if a horse is to perform successfully and still remain sound. ... Read More


Exercise Equipment

March 01, 1999

Like busy professionals everywhere, horse people often find there just aren't enough hours in the day. What with stalls to be mucked, arenas to be harrowed, fields to be bush-hogged or mowed, fencing to be repaired, hay to be baled, tack repairs... Read More


Indoor Exercise In Winter

December 01, 1998

Training programs often are affected by cold, rainy weather or deep snow during the winter, but the primary concern when planning a wintertime workout is the footing that your horse will encounter. Although winter weather brings... Read More


Endurance Riding: A Humane Use of the Equine Athlete

November 01, 1998

The growing interest in endurance riding has encouraged participants with different levels of prior horse experience to become involved with the sport. However, if equine athletes are asked to perform over distances for which they have not been appro... Read More


Older Horses at Work

October 01, 1998

The aging process takes its toll on all working horses, but the rate of attrition can vary significantly. In this, horses are similar to humans. We all have met the person who is barely past middle age and because of mental, emotional, or physical... Read More


Feeding the High-Octane Horse

August 01, 1998

But because forages are not high-energy feeds, the athletic horse's diet needs to be supplemented in order to provide enough energy for him to perform at peak capacity. Traditionally, this is done by feeding grains, which are rich in carbohydrates... Read More


Determining Conditioning

July 01, 1998

Among the animals we call "livestock," horses are unique because they are the only ones we regard as athletes. Unlike other animals that are bred for better milk production or tastier flesh, horses are bred for athletic performance, each type... Read More


Electrolytes and Endurance Horses

November 01, 1997

Not all horses are alike in their needs for electrolyte replacement after strenuous exertion. Some deplete the... Read More


Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage

September 01, 1997

The debate goes on. That brief statement is about the most accurate way to open a discussion on exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in horses. The condition has been a concern for 300 years and, during that time, has been addressed,... Read More


Feeding Fat for Energy and Performance

July 01, 1997

If there was a nutritional buzzword that was started in the '90s, it was fat. We fitness-conscious (and frequently overweight) North Americans still might not fully understand the differences between "good" cholesterol and "bad" cholesterol... Read More


Understanding Fitness

July 01, 1996

A person who loves horses and spending a lot of time in the saddle can gain a great deal of satisfaction from competing in endurance races. It is a special feeling when you know you have partnered well with your horse and that the two of you hav... Read More


Olympic Soundness: For Peak Performance

July 01, 1996

Olympic champions excel due to talent and durability. Only a few earn the coveted medals, but horses of international quality prove they are true equine athletes. Like a classic race, the Olympics are a goal. A horse's owner and rider might... Read More


Footing that Forgives

April 01, 1996

Every horse appreciates sure footing, either on the track or the trail. For the equine athlete, sport-specific footing helps him achieve his best perform-ance. Every athlete, human or equine, must traverse through an environment. His body impact... Read More