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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."

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.

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.)

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
DE needed for 1 hour = 1000 * 0.0137 = 13.7 Mcal
DE needed for 4.67 hours = 1000 * 0.0137 * 4.67 = 64 Mcal

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.

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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