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Anim Sci J. 2017 Apr;88(4):669-677. doi: 10.1111/asj.12671. Epub 2016 Sep 4.

The effect of relaxing massage on heart rate and heart rate variability in purebred Arabian racehorses.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland.
2
Department of Horse Breeding and Use, Faculty of Animal Biology and Breeding, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland.
3
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Lublin, Poland.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of relaxing massage on the heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in young racehorses during their first racing season. In the study, 72 Purebred Arabian racehorses were included. The study was implemented during the full race season. The horses from control and experimental groups were included in regular race training 6 days a week. The horses from the experimental group were additionally subject to the relaxing massage 3 days a week during the whole study. HR and HRV were assumed as indicators of the emotional state of the horses. The measurements were taken six times, every 4-5 weeks. The HRV parameters were measured at rest, during grooming and saddling the horse and during warm-up walking under a rider. The changes of the parameters throughout the season suggest that the relaxing massage may be effectively used to make the racehorses more relaxed and calm. Moreover, the horses from the experimental group had better race performance records.

KEYWORDS:

heart rate; heart rate variability; massage; racehorse

PMID:
27594340
DOI:
10.1111/asj.12671
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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