Abstracts and Studies
|First Posted: Oct 10, 2013 |
Oct 10, 2013
Volume 33, Issue 8 , Pages 581-585, August 2013.
The objective was to compare horses' maintenance of fitness during extended periods of no forced exercise with that after stall confinement. Horses were divided into three groups: pasture turnout (P), stalled and exercised (E), or stalled with no exercise (S). Pre- and post-study body fat and bone mineral content were estimated, and horses performed a standardized exercise test (SET). Horses wore global positioning units to estimate distance traveled. The P group traveled a greater distance daily compared with the E and S groups (P < .01). Lateral bone density was greater for the P group after the study (P = .05). Comparing first and second SETs, the P group had lower heart rates at the trot (P < .01) and hand-gallop (P = .028), the E group had lower heart rates at the hand-gallop (P < .01), and the S group had higher 1-minute recovery heart rates (P < .01). Plasma lactate concentrations were higher at the peak of exercise (P < .01) and 10-minute recovery (P = .015) for the S group, whereas the P and E groups had lower rectal temperature at the peak of exercise (P = .029) and 10-minute recovery (P = .031 and P = .041, respectively). These data suggest that the S group lost fitness, whereas the P group remained as fit as the E group. The improvement for the P group compared with the E or S group was greater bone mineral content. Access to pasture appears to help maintain bone strength and exercise fitness ability.
For More Information:Study: Horses Able to Stay Fit When Kept at Pasture