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Polar heart rate zones for horses

The way you train your horse in different target heart rate zones has an impact on your horse's health. As is true with any form of sport, basic training is good for health and physical wellbeing. But when it comes to competitive sports, well-planned discipline-specific training and testing can lead to considerable results.

Studies show that when you are aiming to improve your horse’s performance, it’s the quality rather than quantity of training that matters most. This is where Polar heart rate zones for horses come in: you’ll be able to train your horse at the correct intensity levels to achieve the best possible results.

How to interpret Polar heart rate zones for horses

The tables below give you details about the benefits, training recommendations, heart rate and different ways of training on the Polar heart rate zones for horses (ref. Bitschnau et al. 2013).

 Polar heart rate zones for horses

 Polar heart rate zones for horses

Maximum heart rate

Maximum heart rate stands for the highest number of heart beats per minute (bpm) during maximal physical exercise. It's individual and depends on age, hereditary factors, breed, gender and fitness level. It can also vary discipline by discipline for the same individual.

The most accurate way to find out your horse’s maximum heart rate is measuring it clinically with a supervising veterinarian. Maximum heart rates vary between different breeds.

Maximum heart rate is the upper limit on heart rate zone 5. Polar heart rate zones for horses are calculated from the maximum heart rate.

Train your horse at right intensity

The first step towards better performance is to figure out the right intensity of training, and with horses that can be a challenge. However, with Polar heart rate zones for horses you can find out the most beneficial target heart rate zone for your horse and carry out training at an intensity that makes the horse stronger, healthier and fitter.

Heart rate monitors make measuring aerobic capacity easy and give information on the horse's current general condition and which heart rate zone it should train on. All this helps you create specifically tailored training plans of suitable intensity and duration.

Polar sport zones for horses white paper

This paper was written in order to clarify and to provide guidelines regarding training principles for different equestrian athletic disciplines and to give recommendations on the use of heart rate monitoring in training of horses in format of sport zones.

Full document (PDF)

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