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Am J Vet Res. 1990 Jun;51(6):914-20.

Standardized exercise test and daily heart rate responses of thoroughbreds undergoing conventional race training and detraining.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman 99164.


Ten healthy sedentary male Thoroughbreds with previous race training experience were studied for 14 weeks. Horses were trained for 9 weeks, using a program designed after those used commonly in the United States. Horses were trained conventionally by slow trotting (250 m/min) for 2 weeks and galloping (390 to 450 m/min) for 4 weeks, followed by 3 weeks of galloping (440 to 480 m/min) and intermittent sprinting exercises (breezes) at distances between 600 and 1,000 m (900 to 950 m/min). The horses were then pasture rested for 5 weeks. A standardized exercise test (SET) involving an 800-m gallop at 800 m/min was administered before and after the 9-week training period and after the 5-week detraining period. Heart rate (HR) was monitored during exercise and at standardized intervals after exercise for 60 minutes. Venous blood for determination of plasma lactate concentration was obtained at 5 minutes after exercise. Heart rate was monitored daily at rest, during exercise, and through the first 60 minutes of recovery. Venous plasma samples (for lactate determination) were obtained 5 minutes after the sprinting exercises. Horses were observed daily before exercise for signs of lameness and were not allowed to train if lame. Differences after 9 weeks' training were seen in the SET recovery HR at 0.5 through 5 minutes after exercise (P less than 0.05 to P less than 0.01). Differences after detraining were seen in the SET recovery HR at 40 and 60 minutes after exercise (P less than 0.05 to P less than 0.01). Neither training nor detraining resulted in differences in plasma lactate concentration after the SET gallop.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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