Benefits of horse heart rate monitoring
Although competitive equestrian sports are closely monitored by veterinarians, traditionally it has been difficult to determine the health status of the horse during general exercise or competition. Until now. Recreational owners, competitive riders and trainers alike have begun using Polar Equine training systems to assist them with evaluating the health and performance of their horses.
Monitor vital signs for safety
Abnormal readings of your horse’s vital signs – namely resting, exercise and recovery heart rates – can alert you to immediate or impending problems such as injury, illness, or fatigue.
Evaluate stress response to travel or environmental change
When your horse is exposed to anything new – travel, different terrain, new equipment, different skills, or alternate riders – the horse’s heart rate may be abnormally high. Heart rate gives you a measure of how your horse is coping with change so that you can modify the horse’s activity accordingly.
Ensure proper warm-up and recovery
Monitoring heart rate ensures that your horse warms up properly before more strenuous exercise. And when he needs rest, you’ll know that, too. This is helpful information for a recreational rider whose horse may be in a stall all week with minimal activity.
Track fitness improvement
Improvements in your horse’s fitness can be detected by exercise and recovery heart rates. An increase in your horse’s fitness is associated with a reduction in heart rate at a given running speed and a more rapid decline in heart rate during recovery.
Measure training intensity
Intensity is the most important ingredient in any training program. Working too hard for too long invites injury and fatigue. Working too effortlessly provides little training benefit. By monitoring your horse’s heart rate, you can adjust each activity session accordingly.
Assess recovery during interval training
Many owners and trainers are now using interval training to improve their horse’s fitness, using short but intense training sessions separated by short recovery periods. If horse’s heart rate isn’t restored to the desired recovery target within the rest period, it helps the trainer know if the program is too hard or too long.
Gauge intensity during cross-training
Many owners and trainers now incorporate swimming in their horse’s exercise program to keep joints moving, muscles toned, and cardiovascular and respiratory systems in condition. Waterproof Polar transmitters let you know exactly how hard your horse is working during swimming sessions.