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Training - Theory and Practice

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Geraldo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 9:34am
Why do horses run every fortnight, stepping up in distance?

Is it just because that is the way the racing programme is structured?

Does a horse's training regime get interrupted by coming down for a race, and then recovering afterwards, or does a horse become so much fitter from running fast in a race, that it makes up for it?

Say a horse is a miler, does it run 1200m, then 1400m then main objective 1600m, because it might pick up some place money on the way, instead of just training.

Would it be better for a horse to go 1200m, 1400m, 1600m, or to just spend that extra month training to run a mile?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bonfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 12:10pm
Originally posted by Geraldo Geraldo wrote:

Why do horses run every fortnight, stepping up in distance?
A fortnight gives the horse time to recover from a hard run and improve in fitness.  The step up in distance is because the horse is fitter for racing and then more able to handle further distance.  A horse has to be fitter to race over 1600m than 1200m.
Is it just because that is the way the racing programme is structured?
 
No
Does a horse's training regime get interrupted by coming down for a race, and then recovering afterwards, or does a horse become so much fitter from running fast in a race, that it makes up for it?
 
Unless a horse is already very fit, it will usually go backwards for a few days as it recovers from the race, and then recover, and then be more fit for the next race.  All horses are different though and very often things do not go ideally according to plan.

Say a horse is a miler, does it run 1200m, then 1400m then main objective 1600m, because it might pick up some place money on the way, instead of just training.
 
In Australia it mainly runs in the shorter races because this seems to be the best way to get the horse fit for 1600m.  If a race is won on the way that's a bonus.  But it depends on the horse.  Some milers are very capable first up over 1200m.

Would it be better for a horse to go 1200m, 1400m, 1600m, or to just spend that extra month training to run a mile?
 
Again, I assume we are talking abou Australian trainers.  All trainers are different as are horses and there is no hard and fast rule, but as a general rule of thumb, they are better having a couple of runs over shorter distances.  It can be argued that this is only necessary in Australia because our trainers are no good.  I'm not buying into that argument here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Browndog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 12:19pm
Fiorente went into his first Melb Cup and was placed, never having raced less than 2000m. 

The lady trainer then gave him a more "traditional Australian" Autumn and Spring prep to win the Cup off 2 barrier trials then a 1400m, 1600m, 2000m, 2040m prep.

Not sure what you deduce from that







Edited by Browndog - 10 Sep 2014 at 12:22pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bonfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 12:24pm
It is more common these days for a trainer to start a horse off at 1600m, 1800m or even 2000m, no doubt training the 'European way'.  I can't prove it with statistics, but my observations are that rarely have they been successful starting a prep that way.  The proven Aussie way is the start short and build up.  I guess if 'if it aint broke don't fix it'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Browndog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 12:27pm
Lloyd set up Mt Macedon to train horses on European preps, long undulating stamina building exercise, yet he trained Green Moon to a win through the traditional Memsie, Feehan, Turnbull, Cox Plate route off a one start Autumn
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bonfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 12:32pm
Yes, I'm only guessing, but his intention may have been to train his stayers the European way, but found with experience that he was better off the traditional Aussie way.  David Hayes dabbles a bit in the European way too, with limited success.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 1:10pm
Anyone deeply interested in the subject could google: horse physiological training article
Listed 1st is http://actavetscand.com/content/55/1/59      which has many separate studies including, for starters:

Background

Training of young Thoroughbred horses must balance development of cardiopulmonary function and aerobic capacity with loading of the musculoskeletal system that can potentially cause structural damage and/or lameness. High-speed equine treadmills are sometimes used to supplement exercise on a track in the training of young Thoroughbreds because the horse can run at high speeds but without the added weight of a rider. We tested the hypothesis that intermittent high-intensity exercise on a treadmill of young Thoroughbred horses entering training can enhance development of aerobic capacity (Vo2max) and running performance more than conventional training under saddle, and do so without causing lameness.

Results

Twelve yearling Thoroughbreds trained for 8 months with conventional riding (C) only, conventional riding plus a short (2 month, S) interval of once-per-week high-intensity treadmill exercise, or a long (8 month, L) interval of once-per-week high-intensity treadmill exercise. Three treadmill exercise tests evaluated Vo2max, oxygen transport and running performance variables in June of the yearling year (only for L), October of the yearling year and April of the 2-year-old year. No horses experienced lameness during the study. Aerobic capacity increased in all groups after training. In both October and April, Vo2max in L was higher than in C, but did not differ between L and S or S and C. Running speeds eliciting Vo2max also increased in all groups after training, with S (809 ± 3 m/s) and L (804 ± 9 m/s) higher than C (764 ± 27 m/s). Maximum heart rate decreased for all groups after training. Hematocrit and hemoglobin concentration increased for L throughout training.

Conclusions

Young Thoroughbred horses can increase aerobic capacity and running performance more than by strictly using track training under saddle with the addition of intermittent high-intensity treadmill exercise, and they can do so without experiencing lameness. This finding suggests that young racehorses might be able to achieve higher aerobic fitness during training without subjecting their musculoskeletal systems to increased loading and risk of developing lameness. The findings of this preliminary study do not indicate a specific protocol to best achieve this goal.


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Originally posted by Bonfield Bonfield wrote:

It is more common these days for a trainer to start a horse off at 1600m, 1800m or even 2000m, no doubt training the 'European way'.  I can't prove it with statistics, but my observations are that rarely have they been successful starting a prep that way.  The proven Aussie way is the start short and build up.  I guess if 'if it aint broke don't fix it'.

The problem is it is broke.

Our trainers are simply not developing stayers in this country, You could even say they are not developing consistently high grade milers.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 1:36pm
This is a comprehensive & easily understood article explaining the various stages of fitness development & approx time taken to reach them. The reason for trained 2yos racing careers outlasting the older started horses is also covered.

Equine Exercise Physiology - understanding basic terminology and concepts

By Robert Keck

Equine exercise physiology is defined as the study of the horse’s body systems in response to exercise. A relatively new scientific field, equine exercise physiology provides an incredible amount of information that can be used to maximize performance, and extend the health and longevity of the athletic horse.

Understanding basic terminology and concepts that researchers commonly use in measuring equine performance, the modern trainer can design a training program that enables the horse to reach the limits of its genetic potential.


The study of equine exercise physiology can be divided into several broad categories including:
• the cardiovascular and respiratory systems
• the muscular system and energenics
• biomechanics and gait analysis
• Thermoregulation
• hematology
• nutrition


The Heart and Lungs


 
The horse’s heart weights between 4-5 kg., or about 1% of their body mass. At rest the horse heart beats 30-40 beats per minute. At full speed however, the maximal heart rate (HR max) in a 2-3 year old racehorse can reach 240-250 beats per minute. The heart pumps .8-1.2 liters in each beat. Cardiac output is calculated by multiplying heart rate (HR) x stroke volume (SV). At rest the heart cardiac output is approximately 25 liters per minute and increases to an amazing 300 liters per minute in elite athletes during exercise. Therefore, a horse’s heart is capable of pumping a 55 gallon barrel of blood per minute!


A horse’s total blood volume is approximately 40 liters, and accounts for 10% of a horse’s body weight. At rest 35% of the horse’s total blood volume is red blood cells, however they can amazingly increase their red blood cell count, on demand, to 65% of their blood volume during a race, with up to 50% of the horse’s total red blood cells stored in the spleen. The red blood cells are void of a nucleus and have the large protein hemoglobin that transports oxygen. The horse’s heart is able to handle the increased viscosity of the blood. During exercise blood is diverted away from internal organs such as the intestines and kidney to working muscles used in motion.


The combination of the horse’s powerful respiratory and cardiovascular system, enable the horse to have a tremendous oxygen consuming capability. The normal ventilation rate at rest is about 80 liters of air per minute at rest, and at a fast gallop can reach up to 1800 liters, with a ventilation rate of 150 breaths per minute.
Because horses are only able to breath through their nostrils, they must have a clear upper airway with little air resistance. Partial paralysis of the muscles that abduct the larynx reduces airflow, therefore justifying the reliance and importance of pre-sale endoscopic examinations.
Termed as respiratory-locomotory coupling, a horse’s breathing is in synch with their stride, taking one breath per stride when at a canter or gallop. Therefore, stride length and frequency is highly correlated with oxygen intake.


Aerobic and Anaerobic Power


During exercise oxygen is supplied to working muscles at the cellular level to produce energy for the muscles. Aerobic work is performed at a heart rate below 150 beats per minute (BPM), and includes low intensity activities such as walking, trotting and slow galloping. In the Epsom Derby run over 1 ½ miles about 80% of the energy would be aerobic, with the remaining 20% being derived anaerobicly, achieving a high cruising speed and accelerating at the finish in the last few furlongs. When exercising aerobically carbohydrates, fats and protein are used as fuel and broken down into energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the presence of oxygen.


Anaerobic work is performed at heart rates above 150 BPM and involves explosive power such as short sprints, acceleration, and fast galloping. A Quarter horse running 2-furlongs would be deriving energy 60% anaerobicly and 40% aerobically. The primary anaerobic fuel source is glycogen without the presence of oxygen. Typically a horse can perform purely anaerobic work for a short duration.


Muscles and Structure


Horses have 700 individual muscles, and in thoroughbreds, muscles make up as much as 55% of the horse’s total body mass. The skeletal muscle consists of bundles of long spindle shaped cells called muscle fibers that attach to bone by tendinous insertions. The blood vessels and nerves that nourish and control muscle function run in sheets of connective tissue that surround bundles of muscle fibers. Each nerve branch communicates with one muscle fiber at the motor end. The nerve and all muscle fibers that it supplies are together termed a motor unit. Each time that a nerve is stimulated all of the muscle fibers under its control will contract. One motor nerve will supply from 10-2000 muscle fibers.


A muscle’s unique ability to contract is conferred by the highly organized parallel, overlapping arrangement of actin and myosin filaments. These repeating contractile units or sarcomers extend from one end of the cell to another in the form of a myofibril. Each muscle fiber is packed with myofibrils that are arranged in a register giving skeletal muscle a striated appearance under a microscope. Muscle contraction occurs when the overlapping actin and myocin filaments slide over each other, serving to shorten the length of the muscle cell from end to end and mechanically pulling the limb in the desired direction. The sliding of the filaments requires chemical energy in the form of ATP.


Muscle Fiber Types


The horse has three basic muscle fiber types: Type 1, Type 2A, and Type 2B. These fibers have different contractile rates and metabolic energy characteristics.
Type 1 fibers, also known as “slow twitch” or “red fibers” and have high oxidative capacity and are resistant to fatigue in part related to their high density of mitochondria which can utilize fuels aerobically and have the highest oxidative capacity. Mitocondria are the small organelles in the muscle cells that convert fuels (fats and glycogen) into ATP. They have the highest lipid stores, highest densities of capillaries, and the lowest glycogen stores. They have the lowest glycolytic enzyme capacity of the three fiber types.   
Type 2A are the “intermediate fibers” in terms of both contractile speed and metabolic properties between Type 1 and Type 2B. These fibers are aerobic, but also use a combination of glycogen and fat for energy generation. The thoroughbred has a high percentage of these “intermediate” fast twitch oxidative fibers that can produce speed and still utilize large amounts of oxygen and resist fatigue.
Type 2B “fast twitch” fibers have the fastest contractile speed, the largest cross-sectional area, the highest glycogen stores and glycolic capacity. They are ideally suited to short fast bursts of power. They have a low aerobic capacity and tend to depend on anaerobic glycolysis for energy generation.
Genetics determine muscle type and composition and is 95% inheritable in humans, and is thought to be highly inheritable in horses (Snow and Guy). In evaluating the fiber type distribution in a number of breeds of horses, heavy hunters had a very large proportion of Type 1 fibers, while Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses had few Type 1 fibers and a large number of the faster contracting 2A and 2B types. The percentage of each fiber type that a particular breed has in its muscle depends on the type of performance the breed is selected.
Thoroughbreds have the highest number of the highly aerobic 2A fibers, illustrating the importance of oxygen utilizing pathways in the thoroughbred racehorse. Researchers also found that thoroughbred stayers have a high number of Type 1 fibers than either sprinters or middle distance horses. Unfortunately, within a breed, the spread in fiber type distribution is so small that fiber typing as a predictor of performance is probably of limited value.
Muscle strength, size and shape can be predictive of muscle fiber ratios. Although each muscle may have a fiber type mix, generally a higher percentage of the “fast twitch” (Type 2) fibers are found in the horse’s hindquarters providing power, whereas the “slow twitch” (Type 1) are found in the forelimbs providing stride, rhythm and a weight bearing role.


VO2 Max


VO2 Max is a measure of aerobic capacity. VO2 Max is the maximal rate of oxygen consumption that can be consumed by the horse. VO2 Max is determined by cardiac output (stroke volume x heart rate), lung capacity, and the ability of muscle cells to extract oxygen from the blood. During exercise the oxygen requirement by muscles can increase to 35 times their resting rate.


VO2 Max is a high indicator of athletic potential, and has been found to be highly correlated with race times in thoroughbred horses. A horse with a higher VO2 Max had faster times (Harkening et al, 1993). Training increased VO2 Max. (Evans and Rose, 1987) VO2 Max is determined by measuring oxygen during exercise as increasing speed and/or incline of a high-speed treadmill incrementally increases the workload. VO2 Max expressed as milliliters of O2 per kilogram of body weight per minute (or second). At rest a horse absorbs 3 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute. Maximal rates of oxygen intake vary within breeds and vary with breed and training state, but fit thoroughbreds have a VO2 Max of 160-170 ml./min./kg. By comparison elite human athletes have a VO2 Max of about half or 80 ml./min./kg. Pronghorn Antelopes have a VO2 Max of 210-310 ml./min./kg. 
When VO2 Max is determined, the speed at which VO2 Max is achieved is also measured. Comparing two (2) individuals with the same VO2 Max, one individual will have a higher speed at which the VO2 Max is achieved. VO2 Max calculations enable researchers to evaluate the fitness of a horse and its ability to utilize oxygen for energy.


Anaerobic Threshold


Anaerobic threshold (also know as lactate threshold) is the level of effort usually expressed as a percentage of VO2 Max at which the body produces more lactate than it can be removed. Anaerobic work is performed at a heart rate approximately above150 BPM and at intensities above 70% VO2 Max. At Lactate threshold the cardiovascular system can no longer provide adequate oxygen for all exercising muscle cells and lactic acid starts to accumulate in those muscle cells (and subsequently in the blood as well).


Lactate threshold research has recently focused on blood lactate threshold (LT) as a refection of an individual’s level of training. There are always certain cells within muscles that are relatively deficient in oxygen and are therefore producing lactic acid, but at levels small enough to be quickly metabolized by other cells that are operating on an aerobic level. At some point the balance between the production of lactic acid and its removal by body systems shifts towards accumulation. 
Lactate threshold is usually slightly below VO2 Max, and will improve with training. Horses with increased LT not only experience less physical deterioration in muscle cell performance but also use less glycogen for ATP production at any level of performance.


Training Responses


Thorough training physiological changes take place in most of the horse’s systems. Major training responses take place in the blood, heart, muscles, and cardiovascular, neuromuscular and skeletal systems.
The first 2-4 months of training, increases the total amount of blood volume, red cell count, and hemoglobin concentrations and creates a more efficient circulatory system. Increased blood plasma in the first weeks of training contributes to improved thermoregulation and sweating capacity. After training for 3-6 months, an improved network in the number and density of capillaries provide more efficient blood flow and transit time to working muscles.


After 4-6 months of training a multitude of adaptations take place at the cellular level. Oxidative enzymes in the muscles increase along with the number, size and density of mitochondria in the muscle cells. The enhanced oxidative capacity results in increased utilization of fat and less reliance on blood glucose and muscle glycogen, being an advantage at both submaximal and maximal exercise, because fat is a more efficient energy fuel. 
Training regimens that include speed work, and increased acceleration at intensities close to VO2 max will also result in the increase of glycolic enzymes needed for anaerobic energy production. Training at these higher anaerobic levels will improve the buffering capacity in the muscle cells. Buffers are chemicals that limit lowering of pH when lactic acid accumulates. The clearing and removal of lactic acid and wastes also becomes more effective.

Heart mass has been shown to increase with training. Hypertrophy (enlargement) in the heart physically comes in two ways, a thickening of the heart walls, and an increase in the size of the chambers, especially the left ventricle. Heart mass has been shown to increase up to 33% in 2-year old horses after only 18 weeks of conventional race training (Young, 1999). The increase in heart size results in increased cardiac output. Stroke volume has been shown to increase by 10% after as little as 10 weeks of training (Thomas et al, 1983). A study has also shown that heart size is also correlated with VO2 Max using an ECG (Young et al, 2002).

VO2 Max increases from 10-20% in the first 6-8 weeks of training after which further improvement is limited. Although, the relationship between VO2 Max and velocity is highly correlated, the differences found in the speed and performance of two thoroughbreds with equal VO2 Max values can be explained by differences in biomechanics, and economy of locomotion. Horses with a high VO2 Max and efficient gait will use less energy to attain the same speed. As fitness progresses, the horse will be able to attain a higher speed before reaching VO2 Max. An example would be a lightly trained thoroughbred hitting VO2 Max at 25mph, but after beginning a training program, the same horse would eventually be able to go 30 mph before reaching the limit.

Although improvements in VO2 max and aerobic capacity occurs early in the training stages, it’s not until 4-6 months that improvements are seen in bone and ligaments. This physiological mismatch is often the cause of many bone and soft tissue injuries.


At maximal exercise levels, such as a gallop, increases are seen in bone density, and mass. Bone density, shape and internal composition are related to strength. Medium tissues such as tendons and ligaments become thicker and more elastic. The modeling response of bone is stimulated by fast work, fortunately only short durations are necessary (Firth et al, 1999). Training at the trot or canter results in minimal changes in bone mass and density. Therefore, the trainer must gradually add speed work into the training plan with the goal of developing bone density.


The peak time of bone development occurs between 2 and 3 years of age, with 50% of their primary structure replaced by their 3-year old year. The ability of bone to adapt decreases with age, with some researchers believing that bone becomes more brittle with age, and young horses actually remodel bone more quickly and easily, and are at less risk than horses started later (McIlwraith). This idea is further supported by other researchers that found that tendons grow and adapt to the stresses of training more successfully prior to their 2-year old year (Smith, Birch, Patterson, Kane et al, 1999).


Contrary to common belief, most current research indicates that early training may not only enhance bone and tendon development, but reduce the incidence of injury during training and racing, prolonging racing careers.


Performance Measures


For over 30-years high speed treadmills have revolutionized the study of equine exercise physiology. Today many veterinary clinics and universities with equine departments are able to study the equine athlete in their own sports performance laboratories.


The treadmill can easily evaluate the athletic potential of an equine athlete by standardizing variables used in an exercise test.  A high speed treadmill can answer various questions relating to speed, ventilation, heart rate, VO2 max, blood lactate, substrate (fuel) use, gait analysis, and endoscopic examination of the upper airway. The high speed treadmill will run at speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour, can be inclined at a 3-3.5% grade to simulate ground resistance and a rider’s weight. Treadmills equipped with a respiration calorimeter are used to measure gas exchange. Using indirect calorimetry, a loose fitted, padded face mask is attached to a motorized pump that monitors and analyses air breathed in each breath. The suction created by the pump ensures that expired air is collected and not re-breathed by the horse.


The research team can design an exercise test tailored for a desired performance measures. The test can be designed as an incremental test, where horses are asked to perform and ever increasing high speed until reaching maximal exertion, or a longer endurance test. During a standard exercise test fitness can be monitored using heart rate, with a heart rate monitor. Heart rate is one of the most frequently measured physiological variables measured in exercise tests.  Measurements of blood lactate, glucose concentrations, free fatty acids and pack cell volume can be taken throughout the test not just before and after. Knowing the horse’s weight is necessary in order to make calculations, and the horse is weighed prior to testing. During the test the airflow rate is measured in liters / minute. Both Oxygen (O2) intake and exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) is measured. These measurements provide information to calculate VO2 (volume of oxygen), VO2 max (maximal oxygen intake), and VCO2 (volume of carbon dioxide).  VO2 max provides information on aerobic capacity, and the speed at which VO2 max is achieved. Being equipped with a heart rate monitor, the speed at which maximal heart rate achieved is also known.


The relationship between running speed, heart rate and oxygen consumption is linear up to VO2 max. Two commonly used variables that are used to describe the relationship between heart rate and velocity are V140 and V200. There is a high correlation between V200 (velocity at 200 beats per minute) and VO2 max. These variables are simply used to describe speeds attained at different heart rates. Numerous graphs and charts can be generated to display a horse’s athletic progress over time. Similarly, the speed at which blood lactate reaches certain levels is also measured. Lactate levels at different speeds are used to measure anaerobic capacity. Onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) is recorded as VLA4. This is the speed achieved when blood lactate concentrations reach 4 mmol./l. Elite thoroughbreds can tolerate lactate concentrations as high as 30 mmol/l.


A sprint test on a thoroughbred may be run at supramaximal intensity of 115% VO2 max for a 2-minute period, near maximal heart rate, whereas an endurance horse such as and Arabian may be expected to run at 35-40% VO2 max for 90-minutes. Interestingly, Arabians have been found to use more fats as fuel than thoroughbreds (Kentucky Equine Research, Pagan). Using RQ (respiratory quotient) researchers can determine whether the horse is using fat or carbohydrate as a fuel source. Unlike oxygen, carbon dioxide varies tremendously with substrate (fuel) use. The RQ (respiratory quotient) is calculated by dividing VCO2 by VO2. An RQ of 1.00 indicates that carbohydrates are being used as fuel, and an RQ of .7 indicates that fats are being used.


Designing a Training Plan


By understanding the basics of equine exercise physiology, a racehorse trainer has the advantage of understanding how various physiological systems adapt and respond to training. In designing a comprehensive training plan for each horse the intensity, frequency, duration, and volume of the work is determined. The plan must also incorporate rest and recovery, and avoid overtraining. Each new level of training is maintained until the body has adapted to the added stress, after which further increase in training load can be applied. Alternating periods of increased workload, with a period of adaptation is known as “progressive loading.” Training should be specific to the event in order to train the appropriate structures and systems, doing work that is similar to racing which elicits neuro-muscular coordination. Horses “learn” how to do the event. This principle of conditioning is known as “metabolic specificity.”


Most training programs are divided into three phases. Phase I is the long slow distance (LSD) phase, Phase II is focused around strength work, and Phase III involves sharpening and speed work. (Marlin and Nankervis, 2002)
In Phase I, the primary focus is on long slow distance (LSD) and builds the foundation on which all other work is based. In their first year of training, Phase I may last from 3-12 months, with improvements in aerobic capacity seen in the first 6-8 weeks. Long slow distance is performed at slow canters at heart rates below 130-150 beats per minute. Even after this phase is completed LSD may comprise of 3-5 sessions per week lasting 20 minutes. Phase I improves cardiovascular fitness and trains musculoskeletal structures decreasing the future risk of injuries. This phase also helps the horse’s mental attitude toward daily training. Phase I is primarily done at low intensities of aerobic levels.


Phase II is the strength phase, where horses are trained with intensities from 150-180 beats per minute, and above 70% VO2 Max. Horses are usually working from a canter to a gallop over distances up to 1-1/2 miles. This phase can be accomplished in 60-90 days. Aerobic and anaerobic systems are trained, with horses reaching anaerobic threshold levels during their workouts. These workouts over time will increase the time and speed at which lactate threshold is reached. Strength work may be performed 2-days a weeks with adequate rest between sessions. Often in Europe hill work is added at this stage, increasing the intensity, without increasing the speed. Hill training strengthens the hindquarters, and working horses downhill strengthens the pectorals, shoulder, and working against gravity, the quadriceps in the hindquarters, become balanced.


Phase III is the sharpening phase, where speed work is performed at heart rates and intensities at close to race speed, often reaching V200 and VO2 max levels. Usually, depending on intensity, this type of work is performed only once every 1-2-weeks. Fast work can be performed as either continuous or interval training. K Continuous training performed at the racetrack involves distances from ¼, ½ mile, and 1-mile or more, usually with the last quarter at race speed. Interval training involves using multiple exercise bouts separated by relatively short recovery periods where the heart rate drops below 100 beats per minute. Although each phase has a focus on training specific metabolic systems, a trainer must plan.


Conclusion

Understanding basic equine exercise physiology and the metabolic systems of the horse not only benefits trainers, but owners, breeders and agents in training, breeding and buying a future thoroughbred athlete.

http://trainermagazine.com/articles/2013/4/29/equine-exercise-physiology-understanding-basic-terminology-and-concepts


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 1:46pm
Its a good magazine that Gay. Thumbs Up

Who is Robert Keck ?

Was the study and essay done via insights from the top Japanese and European trainers ?  These are the people to ask.

How did they get such brilliiance from the likes of Orfevre and Goldship and company ?

The two Japanese stayers that look like coming out here for the Cups would not be in the top 30 Japanese stayers.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 1:50pm
I've done enough researching for one day djebel, now it's your turn LOL. I think the 2nd study from the 1st link is a Japanese one & there are probably more as they seem to be leading the way in the last few years, scientifically.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Geraldo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2014 at 9:58pm
Yes, thanks, Gai, think I'll read that second post a bit later, probably tomorrow. Thankyou, Bonfield, too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2014 at 11:35am

The highlighted area may give potential & present owners an insight into the approx time frame required to develop the animals' entire system to full fitness.

Equine Fitness and Physiology
Submitted by EquiMed Staff

Physiology: A branch of biology that deals with the functions and activities of life or living matter (as organs, tissues, or cells) and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved.... --Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Whether your horse is competing as a top-level athlete or is simply used for an occasional trail ride, it must have a level of fitness to perform well and to endure the activity without injury. To make an improvement in overall fitness, activities should be gradually increased in a systematic way. A gradual approach protects the horse from injury as the horse's body adapts to the increased workload.

How the physiology of the horse adapts with training

Horse form and function

Nature has produced in the horse an animal that endures because of its ability to escape and defend itself..
An adequate period of physical conditioning based on your horse's current condition and level of activity will affect five important major systems:
Cardiovascular system -- improved capacity to deliver oxygen to working muscles
Muscular system -- improved capacity to utilize oxygen and more efficient fuel utilization
Supporting structures (bone, tendon,ligaments,muscle) -- an increase in the size and/or strength )
Temperature regulating system -- greater ability to lose body heat during exercise, thereby avoiding excessive increases in body temperature
Central nervous system -- improved neuromuscular coordination enabling the horse to complete skills involved in a particular discipline more effectively and efficiently
Although the amount of time it takes for a horse to gain a higher level of fitness will vary, the average time for structural and physiological adaptations to an effective exercise training program are:
Physiologic response Adaptation time
Increase in oxygen delivery to muscles 1-2 weeks
Increase in plasma volume 1-2 weeks
Improved sweating response 1-2 weeks
Increase in red blood cells/hemoglobin 2-4 months weeks
Increase in muscle capillaries 3-6 months
Increase in mitochondria 4-6 months
Increase in muscle aerobic enzymes 4-6 months
Increase in bone density 4-6 months
Increase tendon/ligament strength* 4-6 months

*Available research is limited
Interruptions to a horse's fitness training are inevitable because of weather, injury, sickness or the end of a competitive season. Horses that have minimal or no training for up to a month, usually experience a minimal loss of fitness, especially if they have been in training for several months.

Interruptions that extend to months or longer will suffer a greater loss of cardiovascular condition and will lose musculoskeletal strength that will have to be regained before progressing further.

Most research shows that for each additional month of little or no training beyond the first month's layoff, you will need an month's reconditioning to reach the level achieved prior to the period of inactivity.

Maintain - easier than regain

Maintaining a baseline of fitness during down-times or the off-season is important especially in older horses. Horses that maintain a baseline of fitness, especially as it relates to cardiovascular workouts at least twice a week, will return to the higher level of fitness much more quickly than horses that are allowed periods of inactivity.

Knowing the physiology of your horse and how it is affected by training and conditioning will help you maintain an adequate program that will keep cardiovascular and muscular systems, as well as the horse's other important systems in condition to withstand the rigors of riding and competing whatever the workload of the horse might be

Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Geraldo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2014 at 11:57am
Probably fairly similar in humans, though I'd reckon we'd lose more with a month's inactivity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Geraldo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2014 at 8:05pm
California Chrome coming back today, six weeks before the Breeders' Cup.

At 9 furlongs.

I suppose likely to have races at three week intervals, rather than go the six weeks.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Geraldo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 11:24am
See, this is how you train horses without buggering their legs, etc.  Just canter them up the nearest hill, instead of working them on a flat track.  Paul Nicholls' facilities at Ditcheat.

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TBV - where it is the Silly Season all year round.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sneck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 12:12pm
Originally posted by Geraldo Geraldo wrote:

See, this is how you train horses without buggering their legs, etc.  Just canter them up the nearest hill, instead of working them on a flat track.  Paul Nicholls' facilities at Ditcheat.

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You wouldn't want a horse to get spooked and go through the outside rail Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bonfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 12:23pm
What surface are they galloping on?  Looks hard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 12:36pm
Synthetic seem to be installed at all the larger establishments in the UK. Hill work is sensational but great care must be taken to avoid hamstring tears & strains due to fatigue. This is known as resistance type work which can be counteracted by stretching exercise such as swimming immediately after the work.
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Morston Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 1:03pm
It's well worth a visit to Newmarket if you get the chance.

The gallops are all through and around the town, some very near the town centre, and often up and down quite steep hills. A lot of the surfaces are all-weather.

You can also watch teams of horses walking through the town to the gallops. The traffic simply stops for them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bjn1960 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 9:21pm
Originally posted by Browndog Browndog wrote:

Lloyd set up Mt Macedon to train horses on European preps, long undulating stamina building exercise, yet he trained Green Moon to a win through the traditional Memsie, Feehan, Turnbull, Cox Plate route off a one start Autumn

Don't he buy the property already setup - to a large degree - by someone else?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whitt0 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 9:34pm
It is not working

Yearly Breakdown

Last 5 years

Starts1st2nd3rdWinPlaceAvg Win OddsROI
201150293645919%43%$3.93-27%
201237359524616%42%$5.8-8%
201312016171013%36%$5.08-32%
2014756748%23%$7.58-39%
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bjn1960 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 9:57pm
Sorry about the grammar and spelling.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bjn1960 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 10:13pm

It would be interesting to compare the above data with the number of horses he had in-training, for the same periods?

Edited by Gay3 - 18 Jan 2015 at 9:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bjn1960 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2015 at 10:17pm
Why, when quoting does all the above happen?

Why aren't we able to self-correct or edit our own posts.

If in doubt check by using the Preview window otherwise some nice mod'll come along & fix the mess Wink


Edited by Gay3 - 18 Jan 2015 at 9:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2015 at 2:53pm
Originally posted by Morston Morston wrote:

It's well worth a visit to Newmarket if you get the chance.

The gallops are all through and around the town, some very near the town centre, and often up and down quite steep hills. A lot of the surfaces are all-weather.

You can also watch teams of horses walking through the town to the gallops. The traffic simply stops for them.

It was just amazing to read how Henry Cecil prepared Ardross for his 2nd Gold Cup.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bjn1960 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2015 at 3:24pm
Originally posted by djebel djebel wrote:


Originally posted by Morston Morston wrote:

It's well worth a visit to Newmarket if you get the chance.

The gallops are all through and around the town, some very near the town centre, and often up and down quite steep hills. A lot of the surfaces are all-weather.

You can also watch teams of horses walking through the town to the gallops. The traffic simply stops for them.


It was just amazing to read how Henry Cecil prepared Ardross for his 2nd Gold Cup.


Do you happen to have a link to Henry Cecil preparation?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2015 at 3:45pm
Sorry, Firstly it was not Ardross it was Le Moss. Just re-reading it from Brough Scotts biography of Henry Cecil.

Basically the horse refused to work on the Gallops, might go 50 yards and turn it up.

The yard had one of the most experienced workers on his back and he would wander around Newmarket and if anythin should fire him up he would be just let run till he'd had enough.

This was a horse being set for a first up tilt at the Ascot Gold Cup

Thats my basic reading of the situation.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Morston Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2015 at 5:16pm
If you are a racing enthusiast and happen to be in England then you would find a visit to the town very interesting. The whole town is built around racing. Many buildings have historical racing connectons and you do not know who you will bump into simply by walking down the High street or in any pub.

The surrounding countryside is all stud farms and gallops and you can see horses everywhere especially in the early morning.

My son lives close by and I love to visit. May well be moving back to live there in the near future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2015 at 5:32pm
Originally posted by <a href=http://course-specialist.co.uk/features/memory-lane-ardross-le-moss/  target=_blank rel=nofollow>http://course-specialist.co.uk/features/memory-lane-ardross-le-moss/ </a> http://course-specialist.co.uk/features/memory-lane-ardross-le-moss/  wrote:

]


Since Alycidon the best Gold Cup winners have included Levmoss, who also won the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe and Prix du Cadran, four time winner Yeats (Coronation Cup), Sheshoon (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud), Zarathustra (Irish Derby, Irish St Leger), Fame and Glory (Irish Derby, Coronation Cup), triple winner Sagaro (easy winner over Bustino in Grand Prix de Paris, Prix du Cadran), and dual winners Ardross and Le Moss.

The best runners up could possibly be the 1969 Derby winner Blakeney, St Leger and King George winner Alcide, and Buckskin, who was twice second.

Buckskin was a great stayer, in 1977, when trained in France, he had beaten Sagaro three times, including in the Prix du Cadran. He was also runner up to that horse in the Ascot Gold Cup. Sagaro was then winning the Gold Cup for an unprecedented third time, a record that would stand, until surpassed by Yeats more than thirty years later. Owned by the volatile Daniel Wildenstein, Buckskin was transferred, later that season, together with Crow and some others, to be trained by Peter Walwyn at Lambourn. After Buckskin finished fourth behind Shangamuzo in the Gold Cup of 1978, Wildenstein expressed his displeasure with the riding of Pat Eddery. By the late summer his horses were with Henry Cecil at Warren Place. Cecil gave Buckskin two races that year, the Doncaster Cup, and Jockey Club Cup. Buckskin won them both in effortless fashion, by wide margins. He was then put away for the winter with a view to be trained for the 1979 Ascot Gold Cup.

Now in the Cecil yard there was another very promising stayer in Le Moss, a full brother to Gold Cup and Arc winner Levmoss. He was by the Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Le Levanstell out of Feemoss (by Ballymoss). There would also be a full sister, Sweet Mimosa, winner of the Prix de Diane.

Le Moss had one unplaced run as a two year old, and reappeared at three to win his maiden over a mile and six furlongs. He then won in succession the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, the Tennant Trophy at Ayr, and the March Stakes at Goodwood. His final race that year was the St Leger, in which he was a fast finishing one and a half length’s runner up to the outsider Julio Mariner.

Le Moss tuned up for the 1979 Gold Cup by beating John Cherry and one other in the Lymm Stakes at Haydock.  Buckskin, heavily bandaged, reappeared in the Henry 11 Stakes at Sandown and annihilated a decent field, winning by fifteen lengths from Pragmatic with Arapahos and Shangamuzo out with the washing. Buckskin was a notoriously frail animal, and it was touch and go whether he would make Ascot, which he did, let alone win.

In the Gold Cup Buckskin was ridden by stable jockey Joe Mercer, whilst his stable companion would be ridden by Lester Piggott, who was going for his ninth win in the race. The going was firm that day and Buckskin, bandaged as previously, could not stride out in his usual fluent style. He took up the running just over four furlongs out, but the others, headed by Arapahos and Le Moss, stayed with him. Buckskin led into the straight, but was challenged by Le Moss, who took a slight advantage, with two furlongs remaining. These two were then engaged in a fierce tussle, all the time pulling further away from the remainder. Inside the last furlong Mercer eased Buckskin right down when victory was gone and Le Moss won the race by a flattering seven lengths.

In the unsaddling enclosure Cecil seemed genuinely upset that Le Moss had won, saying of Buckskin “He is undoubtedly the greatest horse I have trained, and the bravest”. It was Buckskin’s last race.

Le Moss next contested the Goodwood Cup. He made all the running, striding out well clear of the field. He was eased inside the last furlong, but still beat Arapahos by seven lengths with Nicholas Bill the same distance away third. He then went to Doncaster to try and win the Stayers Triple Crown, a feat last achieved by Alycidon. In the event Le Moss had to work hard for victory in the Doncaster Cup, his old rival Arapahos, finally going under by three quarters of a length, albeit in receipt of eleven pounds. Totowah finished third. Le Moss’s final race that season was the Jockey Club Cup, run over two miles at Newmarket. He ran below his expected form, although he was giving weight to his rivals. In the event he finished a close up fifth behind Nicholas Bill, Vincent, and Billion. He was then retired for the season, and then to be trained for a repeat Gold Cup.

Le Moss proved hard to get race fit in 1980 and Cecil gave him lengthy sessions in the equine pool. It was decided not to give Le Moss a preliminary run, but to start him first time out at Ascot. The field comprised old rival Arapahos, who had won the Chester Cup in the spring, as well as Billion, Buttress, Noble Saint, and Vincent. There was also a French challenger, Croque Monsieur, and a lightly raced four year old from Ireland called Ardross, who had recently trotted up in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown.

Le Moss, ridden by Joe Mercer, set out to make all the running. Mercer rode him hard to exploit his stamina, and Le Moss responded well. Turning into the Ascot straight his rivals had all fallen away, except one, Ardross. He came to challenge Le Moss at the two furlong marker and a titanic struggle ensued. The two battled all the way to the line, Ardross never quite managing to get his head in front. At the post the winning distance was three quarters of a length, with Vincent a further six lengths back in third. It had been an epic Gold Cup, very reminiscent of the race between Quashed and Omaha back in 1935.

Both of the principals were again in opposition for the Goodwood Cup. This time Ardross received a 2lb weight concession from Le Moss. Employing the same tactics that had been successful at Ascot, Mercer and Le Moss set a strong gallop that soon had the other four runners at full stretch. Once into the straight Ardross laid down his challenge to Le Moss and was almost upsides with about a furlong and a half left to run. However, try as he may he couldn’t get past Le Moss, who passed the post a neck to the good. New Jerusalem finished third, three lengths further back.

The third meeting between the pair was in the Doncaster Cup, again Le Moss having to concede 2lb to Ardross. It was felt by many that this race should be to the advantage of Ardross. It was three furlongs shorter than the Goodwood race at two miles and two furlongs. Le Moss’s forte was his out and out stamina; he could gallop full speed all day. In the end it made no difference. As was his wont Le Moss set a scorching pace from the start, and as at Ascot and Goodwood, Ardross made his challenge after the two furlong marker. He almost drew level with Le Moss, and with both horses being hard driven to the line, Ardross finally had to once again concede defeat by a neck to his older rival.

Le Moss had one more race before retirement, the Prix Gladiateur, over two and a half miles at Longchamp. For some reason Joe Mercer and Le Moss didn’t make the running, and in a slowly run muddling sort of race he went down by a rapidly shortening half a length to the good French filly Anifa, who was receiving 9lb. In her next race the four year old Anifa won the Turf Classic at Aqueduct, easily winning by three lengths and five from Golden Act and John Henry.

Ardross’s penultimate race of the season was the Jockey Club Cup at Newmarket, and his main rival was Dick Hern’s More Light. It was a medium paced affair and More Light attempted to slip the field after taking up the running four furlongs from home. He momentarily looked likely to succeed, until Piggott rousted Ardross for all he was worth. Still two lengths down going into The Dip, he finished with such purpose that at the post he was one and a half lengths to the good.

Ardross went to France for his final race , the Prix Royal-Oak, the French St Leger. However he raced without showing his usual zest, and eventually finished third behind Gold River. To put that form into its true context, the following season Gold River won the Prix du Cadran and climaxed her career with victory in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, from Bikala and April Run.





STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

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The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

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