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Racehorse Balance

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Shammy Davis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shammy Davis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Racehorse Balance
    Posted: 20 Sep 2013 at 7:51am
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Gay3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2013 at 9:20am
So true Shammy & something sorely missing in most training routines here too Smile

Sports are inherently damaging to athlete’s bodies. That is a fact. All sports involve repetitive movements resulting from maximum muscular contractions, which also cause dangerous imbalances from front to back, or left to right. It’s particularly dangerous for horses, as Kentucky based trainer Kenny McPeek alludes to in this fantastic interview:

http://grayson-jockeyclub.org/resources/Interview_McPeek.pdf

When asked what was the best thing a racetrack could do to help with keeping horses sound, McPeek mentioned the seemingly simple change to allow training the ‘wrong way’, or here in America – clockwise. He understands that going around only left-hand turns at high speeds for mile after mile is a bad thing – and greatly contributes to injury. Humans are allowed to address the muscular imbalances of their particular sports in the training process. For instance, most do weight room exercises for what is called the ‘posterior chain’: essentially all the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that are located on the back of the body. Sports involving repeated all out sprinting and jumping radically overly develop the frontal muscles of the body, so athletes are taught to condition the antagonistic muscles in between competitions.

Years ago I saw a study that I will attempt to paraphrase. When strength and/or flexibility differs on one side of the body from another by more than 10%, the chances of injury rise something like 600%. It really is that drastic. By training 3 days a week in one direction, and 3 days a week in the other you can greatly alleviate this problem. It’s NOT the same to jog the opposite direction of the track prior to completing the days’ gallop work, as many horsemen believe. One has to go at speed in both directions equally.


Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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GAJ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2013 at 6:37pm

Interesting read Shammy and Gay, I have to say is seems like common sense. I have a race mare at home at present keeping her going on our property, we are doing some slow collected work in a large arena each morning both ways beginning with the opposite to her racing direction, I feel she is enjoying the change and seems to want to go the different way more so than her race direction. She is also having hill work and beach walks, just trying to make life as a racehorse more enjoyable than the same old trackwork each day, makes for a happier horse IMO.

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Gay3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2013 at 6:53pm
I've been lucky enough to access a treadmill to use & can't get over how the horse just wants to run when on it. As soon as he's on, the pawing starts to get going, then spurts of jogging at walk speed for 6mins followed by mini canters at 13kph trot speed for another 6mins. Then as soon as my voice cues speeding up, he's into it LOL. I've read how most do like to gallop on it & he's certainly one of them. As you said, variety is a great tool & straight line, hill work is superb when they enjoy it.
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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GAJ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2013 at 9:13am
Have you had the treadmill long Gay? I have heard that it can create problems for some horses when they get into the barrier, start rocking etc? probably not for those that knew the barrier before the treadmill I imagine, but just thought I would ask.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2013 at 9:25am
Firstly, it's not mine LOL & I can't see any valid problem for it to create barrier fear/tension, if anything I'd've thought it a bit like floating i.e. desensitising to confined space. Obviously any who have a bad experience in similar situations will relate to them Wink
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Shammy Davis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shammy Davis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2014 at 12:31am
http://cvm.msu.edu/research/research-centers/mcphail-equine-performance-center/publications-1/usdf-connection/USDF_April05.pdf
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Geraldo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2015 at 11:13pm
Gai on difference between Britain and Australia.


The shape of the English horse’s hoof is another fundamental difference. Upon arriving in Australia, my English imports have a much longer toe, and this is quickly changed as to give them more heel and less toe, enabling them to have a quicker pick-up. I had my farrier Kane Simpson travel with Wandjina, and he had opportunity for discussion with leading Newmarket farrier Stephen Davies. This discussion highlighted many differences, but both men came away having learnt something new from the meeting.
TBV - where it is the Silly Season all year round.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Red Hare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2015 at 1:11am
Carlton have a gait lab at VISY Park - http://www.biomotion.com.au/BioMotion/Home.html

I wonder if this sort of tech could have an application in thoroughbreds... bit different with a jockey being able to speak for the horse, but an interesting concept.
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