Can human training load quantification be applied to equine training?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    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 within equestrianism is warranted
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology
    Number of pages1
    EditionSupplement 1
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2018
    Event10th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology - Lorne, Australia
    Duration: 12 Nov 201816 Nov 2018

    Publication series

    NameComparative Exercise Physiology
    PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
    ISSN (Print)1755-2540


    Conference10th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Can human training load quantification be applied to equine training?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this