Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below

A scientific background for skeletal muscle conditioning in equine practice.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Muscular Biopathology, Department of Comparative Anatomy and Pathological Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Cordoba, Campus Rabanales, Crtra. Madrid-Cadiz km 396, 14014 Cordoba, Spain.


The main goal of any conditioning programme in athletic horses is to improve performance by inducing physiological changes within the animal's body. Equine skeletal muscles have a considerable potential to adapt during training and these adaptations have important physiological implications that influence stamina, strength and speed. Although there is an extensive specialized literature in this regard, scientific based muscle conditioning methods have not been introduced sufficiently in the equine sport practice. After a brief synopsis of both equine muscle exercise physiology and muscular adaptations to training, including their physiological significance, this review focuses on specific training programmes that induce muscular adaptations in athletic horses. The article addresses the following principal question: what kind of stimuli for what kind of muscular adaptations? The experimental data are discussed separately for racehorses (thoroughbreds, trotters and endurance horses) and sport horses (dressage, show jumpers and carriage). Finally, published results about the influence of relevant training parameters (such as intensity, duration and type of exercise) on muscular responses are discussed, as well as those concerning overtraining and detraining. The article closes with some concluding remarks on importance of their application in practice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center