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[RC] DE Requirements at Different Speeds - April


Angie's question nudged me that I had seen some data somewhere on the DE
(digestible energy) requirements for horses worked at different speeds. So I
went looking and found an article in KER's (Kentucky Equine Research) online
library. Funnily enough, the article is "Feeding the Endurance Horse."
http://www.ker.com/library/archive/proceedings/sc95/FeedingEndHorse/index.ht
ml

There is a table in the article for the DE required at various speeds, but
for an example to test Angie's question, we'll just take the slow trot and
the fast trot.

Hypothesis:
It takes the same amount of energy for an 1000 pound horse (including tack
and rider) to go 50 miles in 4 hours 40 minutes (ride time) as it does for
the same horse to go 50 miles in 7 hours. (The times were chosen for
convenience sake.)

Calculations:
50 miles in 7 hours is a sustained 7.13 mph trot (slow trot as referenced in
the KER article).
DE needed for 1 hour = 1000 * 0.0065 = 6.5 Mcal
DE needed for 7 hours = 1000 * 0.0065 * 7 = 45.5 Mcal

50 miles in 4 hours 40 minutes is a sustained 10.7 mph fast trot or slow
canter.
DE needed for 1 hour = 1000 * 0.0137 = 13.7 Mcal
DE needed for 4.67 hours = 1000 * 0.0137 * 4.67 = 64 Mcal

Conclusion:
In this example, the horse referenced would require 18.5 more Mcal to go the
fast trot rather than the slow trot. According to this data, it takes more
calories for a horse to go faster over the same distance. So our hypothesis
is wrong.

I plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet using the KER data. The only time
the DE went down when the speed increased was going from a slow walk (2.1
mph) to a fast walk (3.4 mph). For all other increases in speed, the DE
requirement went up.

Disclaimer: There is not a date on this research. Could be old thinking or
new thinking or vary from researcher to researcher.

April
Nashville, TN


-----Angie Said:-----
I recently learned that at least with humans that 3 miles pretty much uses
the same amount of calories (energy) whether you run it in 20 minutes or I
walk it in 45...so does that mean the horses taking 12 hours are using just
as many calories as those doing it in 5?


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