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Re: [RC] Resting HR on young horses/Stroke Volume/Bradycardia - Sisu West Ranch

"...The more important thing to look at is
how the baseline, unconditioned HR decreases with conditioning.
In humans, the recovery time to resting HR is a function of conditioning..."

This post made a lot of sense to me in relation to my experiences with the conditioning of horses. My experience directly relates to competing in CTR*. In CTR the pulse is taken a standardized time after a relatively standardized exercise. The goal is to have a pulse no higher than the value that results in no points deducted. The rules I competed under used 36 BPM as the magic number. Other organizations use other numbers, and the current post should not be construed as an opening to a discussion of the reasonableness of CTR rules.

Those who were purchasing an adult horse to "win" CTR, would (along with all of the usual things for a distance athlete) look for horses who, in an unconditioned state, had as low a RHR as possible.

The horses I purchased for distance riding (I did CTR on them for a couple of seasons, then Endurance) had 40 to 44 RHR's. About average for an adult horse, I was told by my vet. I found that their pulse at checks (10 minutes +/- from entry) would decrease with increasing condition and that after a year when I started some interval training would drop another 4 to 8 bpm. My score sheets show these horses with a 40-48 pulse on checks where the first few rides they were 44-52. bpm.

This would indicate to me that the true RHR (asleep and rested) was changed minimally, but the recovery to near this got faster with conditioning.

When I moved from CTR to Endurance, these horses would drop to 60 as soon as I got them cool. I have won races by deliberately enticing my competition to go into checks hot, knowing that a bucket or so of water would get my horse down before theirs.

*This post relates to UMECRA rules for CTR, which they call "competitive riding". The complete rules are found on:
Ed & Wendy Hauser
2994 Mittower Road
Victor, MT 59875

(406) 642-9640



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Re: [RC] Resting HR on young horses/Stroke Volume/Bradycardia, Beverley H. Kane, MD