Equine Exercise Physiology Fitness and Training

The pulse rates are highly depended on the level of stress experienced at a particular time. In this case, the heart pumps more than 1.5 litres of blood per beat. When responding to a race the horse increases its red blood cell count up to 65 per cent with more than half of it being stored in the spleen. These red blood cells lack nucleus and contains a component of haemoglobin protein that is responsible for transporting oxygen.
The combination of the respiratory and cardiovascular system encourage a sustainable oxygen consumption potential .Thus, the horse’s heart has the ability to control the thickness of the blood that is redirected from internal organs to muscles that keep it in motion.
The supply of oxygen to muscles facilitates the production of energy in the muscles. When running two or more furlongs, a horse derives more than half of its energy percentage anaerobically as it involves the heart rate of above 150 beats per minute. This involves volatile amounts of power characterized by very fast galloping, short sprints and acceleration. Anaerobic respiration in this case involves the breaking down of glycogen at the absence of oxygen (Hodgson, McKeever and McGowan 2013, p.20).
The muscle cells of an over worked horse would contain a variety of fast-twitch muscle fibre types depending on its speed, pace and duration of exercise. These muscles will include the Type II A or B fibres. Type II A allows the muscles to contract fast and contain glycolytic fibres that propel the horse to more speed and endurance. The second type B contains low fast contracting oxidative fibres. The biopsy of endurance horses would reveal slow-twitch fibres (Type I fibres) that have the ability to contract slowly as they maintain posture and exercise at low levels of fatigue resistant (Hodgson et al. 2013, p.12).
During endurance training, the heart rate of horses is maintained at 150 bpm, thus reducing the production of