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Equine Vet J Suppl. 2010 Nov;(38):665-70. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00229.x.

Differences in the metabolic properties of gluteus medius and superficial digital flexor muscles and the effect of water treadmill training in the horse.

Author information

1
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, USA. lisa_b50@yahoo.com

Abstract

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY:

Flexor tendon injury may be due to flexor muscle fatigue, contributing to fetlock joint hyperextension and tendon damage. A water treadmill provides resistance training on flexor tendon muscles, which might reduce the risk of tendon injury.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effect of water treadmill training on the properties of the gluteal and superficial digital flexor (SDF) muscles and on cardiocirculatory response to a standardised exercise test.

METHODS:

Five healthy unfit horses were trained on a water treadmill for 5 days/week for 4 weeks, starting with 5 min/day increasing to 20 min/day. Before and after the water treadmill training, an incremental SET was performed on a land treadmill to determine velocity at a heart rate 200 beats/min (V(200)) and resting gluteal and SDF muscle biopsies were obtained for biochemical analyses.

RESULTS:

There was no measurable difference in resting concentrations of gluteal or SDF muscle glycogen, lactate, ATP or glucose-6-phosphate (G6P), or activities of citrate synthase (CS), 3-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase (HAD) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) after training and no change in V(200), Lactate, glycogen, G6P and ATP concentrations were 50% lower and type 1 fibres 30% higher in SDF compared to gluteal muscles. CS and HAD activities were similar between SDF and gluteal, while LDH was lower in the SDF muscle.

CONCLUSIONS:

A more strenuous water treadmill conditioning protocol may be needed to induce a training effect in gluteal and SDF muscle and heart rate response. The low substrate concentrations and oxidative capacity of SDF may predispose this muscle to catastrophic fatigue during maximal exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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