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[RC] Question on odd heart rate on two TWH - Anderson, Kristie Lynn

Ok, so a friend rode one of my TWH boys to try his first 50 this past Feb and 
noticed something very odd with his HR. I've never ridden this horse in a 
monitor before. This horse (8y/o gelding) is able to perform a running walk, 
trot, pace, canter, and what I call his "lateral canter" under saddle. I prefer 
to condition him at a trot with some normal cantering. I don't permit him to 
perform the lateral gaits, as often they're associated with him misbehaving. At 
liberty, this horse trots nearly 90% of the time, and only tends to pace when 
he gets nervous. He's in reasonably good shape.

His rider noticed that on the HR monitor, he had a HR of about 170-180 at a 
trot. He was about the same when asked for a normal canter. The rider was very 
concerned, and got the horse to start pacing, and the HR dropped to 120-130 
range, and was similar at his lateral canter and running walk. He only performs 
the running walk at the start of the ride when he's excited. All the values 
were pretty consistent. Because of this, even though I wasn't keen on the idea 
(but a HR that high and that consistent is rather alarming), he pushed the 
horse to stay in a pace for the duration of the ride. He was pulled at 40 miles 
for a 16/18 CRI. Took a long time for the pulse to drop to criteria. No 
lameness, no obvious problems, just the inverted CRI. 

Three weeks later, I took him to another 50, which he completed. Did not have a 
monitor on him. His CRI at the first check was 13/12, at the second was 13/13. 
He looked great, no problems, and was drinking well (this horse is a poor 
eater, but was eating better than he normally does). We gaited the first 3ish 
miles, and trotted the rest of the time. Minimal pacing except for some tight 
single track. Very technical trail, more difficult than he's ever seen before, 
and a very tough first 50. Had lots of time on the last loop and could tell he 
was getting tired, so did about 30% trotting and the rest walking, having a 
nice chat with another rider through the loop. Had a CRI of 17/17 at the end 
but was given a completion as he looked fine. I'm not overly concerned about 
that since it was a tough trail and his first 50, and it wasn't inverted.

I've ridden him at home some with a different monitor and i'm finding similar 
readings as before. Doesn't matter which diagonal i'm on, and if i put him in a 
small circle, it doesn't matter what direction I go. I can't for the life of me 
convince him to pace at home, so I'll have to wait and see on that end of 
things. At the trot, he starts out at 120-130, then after several minutes 
begins a steady climb to 170-180 and hangs there. If i ask him to walk or to 
stop, he plummets right back down to 60 fairly quickly.

Any thoughts on this??

My second one is the opposite end of the spectrum. He had never been ridden in 
a monitor until this weekend, and now that i've got one, i decided i'd see 
where he was at. This one is also a TWH, a little younger at 6y/o, and in 
better shape, as he was mentally more prepared for rides a lot sooner. He did 
300+ LD miles last season (i think), and this season has done two 50s and one 
75, and I'm planing on trying a 100 on him at the end of the month. Unlike the 
other horse, he performs a flat walk, running walk, and rack as well as a 
canter. Didn't do any cantering on him, as it's pretty fast, and we were riding 
slow with a friend, but I discovered that his HR rarely (at least that day) 
goes above 100. At his normal speed he does rides, a 7ish mph running walk, he 
was sometimes as low as 72 bpm. Do any of you other gaited horse riders see 
this with your horses, or is mine just a freak? No wonder he pulses down faster 
than my Arab!

Kris

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