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Competitive Trail Riding

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Competitive Trail Riding

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  1. Competitive Trail Riding Rachel Groenenboom

  2. Competitive Trail Riding Information • Rides cover 6-8 miles • Take approximately 2-3 hours • Each ride contains 6-8 judged obstacles • Natural origin • Can include: • Crossing streams or bridges • Riding up or down steep hills • Back around obstacles • Dragging logs • Jumping over logs • Opening/closing gates • Walking on plastic bags or tarps • Many others! • Picture from Horse Channel.com. URL: http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-exclusives/trail-riding-problem-solver.aspx

  3. Conditioning • Different horses respond differently • Goal to cause moderate stress on the body • 6-8 weeks foundation work (Werner, 2009) • Low impact exercise with walking or trotting • Cantering only after 30 days • Picture from Horsechannel.com. URL: http://www.horsechannel.com/western-horse-training/trail-class-lope-overs.aspx

  4. Conditioning • As horse adapts increase intensity, frequency, or duration • Trail riding is a form of aerobic exercise • Goal heart rate: at or below 150-180 beats/min (Feedstuffs, 2011; Freeman) • Most practical means of assessing fitness: check heart rate during and after exercise

  5. Musculoskeletal System • Conditioning strengthens ligaments, bones, and muscles • Avoid fatigue and injury • Bone strength related to bone density • Density was increase by stress from movement • Exercise increases tendon elasticity and strength • Increase coordination • Helpful for a trail horse navigating different obstacles

  6. Endurance Adaptations • Trail riding- increase aerobic metabolism • Increase blood flow through muscle tissue • Increase in ability to extract and utilize oxygen from bloodstream • Increase metabolic enzymes and organelles that aid in performance ability (Freeman) • Changes caused by training during first 6 weeks of training

  7. Fatigue • Aerobic conditioning fatigue results from low levels of substrates • Muscle and liver glycogen • After initial drop in plasma glucose- concentrations rise due to increased glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis, and increased use of free fatty acids • Muscle glycogen releases glucose due to increased supply of fatty acids and glucose to fuel glycogenolysis

  8. Lipid Metabolism • Type I are slow twitch fibers that have high lipid content • Carbohydrates stored for 90 minutes of exercise • Fat stored for several days worth • Triglycerides-free fatty acids that go to muscle • Beta oxidation of free fatty acids forms acetyl CoA which enters Kreb’s cycle

  9. Lipid Metabolism • Trained endurance athletes can use fat oxidation to contribute more to energy expenditure • Decreased free fatty acid concentration (Lindner et al., 2009) • Great utilizing of fat for energy frees up glucose for central nervous system

  10. Studies on Lipid Metabolism • Studies shown conditioned endurance horses exhibit greater utilization and ability to oxidize fat • Untrained horses have decreased plasma glucose • Hambleton et al. saw 58% greater increase in plasma glucose amongst exercised horses on 16% fat diet versus exercised horses on 4% fat diet • Hambleton et al.- Figures 4 and 5

  11. Heat • Aerobic metabolism produces water and carbon dioxide which are exhaled • Heat is also produced • Heat accelerates the breakdown of cells • Causes loss of aerobic capacity • Heat generated in muscle lost to air through skin/respiratory tract • Hot, humid conditions can cause heat production to be a limiting factor • Heat produced faster than it can get rid of can increase muscle temperature

  12. Blood Lactate • Not very crucial for aerobic athletes • More fit individuals should have a higher V4 • Anaerobic energy can only be used for short times due to lactate build up and consequent drop in pH • Need to increase aerobic capacity as opposed to utilizing anaerobic pathways

  13. Sources • ACTHA Faqs. 2008. American Competitive Trail Horse Association LLC. Accessed 14 October 2012. https://www.actha.us/faq • Feedstuffs. 2011. Physical conditioning important for idle horses. Accessed 13 October 2012. http://bi.galegroup.com.proxy.lib.iastate.edu/essentials/article/GALE%7CA258815511/6018fa2f8e3d7fc98727b4d018af8b89?u=iastu_main • Freeman D.W. Physical conditioning of horses. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Accessed 14 October 2012. http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-5466/ANSI-3983web.pdf • Hambleton, P.L., L.M. Slade, D.W. Hamar, E.W. Kienholz, and L.D. Lewis. 1980. Dietary fat and exercise conditioning effect on metabolic parameters in the horse. J. Anim. Sci. 51:1330-1339. Accessed 14 October 2012 http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/51/6/1330

  14. Sources • Lindner, A., H. Mosen, S. Kissenbeck, H. Fuhrmann, and H.P. Sallmann. 2009. Effect of blood lactate-guided conditioning of horses with exercises of differing durations and intensities on heart rate and biochemical blood variables. J. Anim. Sci. 87:3211-3217. Accessed 14 October 2012. http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/87/10/3211 • Trilk, J.L., A.J. Lindner, H.M. Greene, D. Alberghina, and S.J. Wickler. 2010. A lactate-guided conditioning program to improve endurance performance. Equine Veterinary Journal. 34: 122-123. Accessed 14 October 2012. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2042-3306.2002.tb05403.x/pdf • Werner, H. 2009. Safe conditioning: a vet’s guide to equine fitness. Accessed 13 October 2012. http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-health/safe-horse-conditioning.aspx

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