Can human training load quantification be applied to equine training?

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


    Optimal training requires understanding of exercise variables to achieve enhanced performance and progression. Rating of perceived exertion scales (RPE) are validated as proxy measures for physiological workload in human sport alongside Edwards’ training load. Edwards’ methodology is an algorithm using duration of time within defined heart rate (HR) zones. Both methods are validated to monitor Training load (TL) in human athletes. This study investigated if these methods could potentially offer a simple and repeatable measure of workload in equine training regimens. HR data (Polar V800) were obtained during one single exercise session from 32 horses across a range of equestrian disciplines with experienced riders and trainers, on different surfaces. Based on Edwards’ TL, duration (minutes) spent within five pre-defined training zones (1: <80; 2: 80-120; 3: 120-160; 4: 160-200; and 5: >200 bpm) were factored to obtain total TL (HRTL). Ratings (1:very,very easy-10:maximal) were collected from riders and trainers, reflecting horses’ RPE for entire sessions, then multiplied by exercise duration to determine internal TL (INHR). Spearman’s correlations (P<0.05) identified if relationships existed between HRTL and INHR. Statistically significant correlations between HR and INHR were found for both riders’ and trainers’ ratings of TL, riders: cohort: r=0.80, P=0.0001; sports-horses: r=0.81, P=0.0001; racehorses: r=0.72, P=0.002; and trainers: cohort: r=0.82, P=0.0001; sports-horses: r=0.89, P=0.0001; racehorses: r=0.94, P=0.0001. The results suggest HRTL and INHR can be used as inexpensive and easy tools to quantify TL and objectively assess progress in training. Exploration of optimal HR zone allocation for specific disciplines and breeds, alongside application of TL monitoring withinequestrianism is warranted
    Period12 Nov 2018
    Event title10th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology
    Event typeConference
    LocationLorne, Australia, VictoriaShow on map