Training of Horses Used for Show Jumping and Its Effect onv4

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Abstract

The training of 19 show jumping horses was documented and related to the changes of v4 during an outdoor season (v4 = speed at which a blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol/L is achieved). Eleven of the horses were managed by a professional trainer (professional show jumpers) and the other horses by amateur riders (amateur show jumpers [ASJs]). All horses were submitted to three standardized exercise tests (SET) to calculate v4: April/May, June/July, and September: SET1, SET2, and SET3. The professional trainer recorded the training from 2 months before SET1 until SET3 and the amateur riders between SET1 and SET3. The duration of the specific exercises such as gymnastics, jumping, and others ranged between 30 and 60 minutes. Professional show jumpers were exercised less often, and the duration of each one of the specific exercises was lower than that for ASJs (P = .01). Considering all horses involved in the study, the v4 increased between SET1 and SET2 when the mean duration of all specific exercises together and of gymnastics only was longer, and the number of days on pasture was greater (P < .05). These relationships were not significant for the separated groups. The v4 of ASJs increased between SET2 and SET3 when horses were kept on pasture for more time (r2 = 0.64). These results give insight in the training of show jumping horses and its effect on v4 and might be useful to improve their training.

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