Physiological responses of cutting horses to exercise testing and to training


Four mature Quarter Horse mares previously trained for cutting were used in a study to measure fitness in the cutting horse. Horses were conditioned aerobically for 8 weeks, then conditioned for a subsequent 6-week period utilizing both aerobic and simulated cutting workouts. Performance capacity was monitored using an exhaustive cutting performance test (CPT) following each training period. Heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR) and blood parameters were monitored during and throughout recovery from the CPTs to evaluate performance capacity. The cutting horses' capacity for performance was enhanced by training specifically for the work as indicated by reduced HR and blood lactate (LA) concentrations throughout recovery from the second CPT. Heart rate and LA values indicated that cutting-type work is strenuous and employs glycolytic pathways to produce sufficient energy for short duration, high-velocity exercise. © 1988, William E. Jones, All Rights Reserved. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Equine Veterinary Science