Health: Old­sters and aerobics.

Horse & Rider - - Table Of Contents -

Thanks to a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of their needs, older horses are liv­ing longer, richer lives. A re­cent re­view of pub­lished stud­ies on how ag­ing af­fects per­for­mance, how­ever, in­di­cates older equine ath­letes have low­ered aer­o­bic ca­pac­ity and max­i­mal heart rate as com­pared to younger ones. This means it takes less work for older horses to reach their max­i­mal oxy­gen up­take level, likely the re­sult of nat­u­ral changes in their hearts and mus­cles. The take-home? Keep an eye on your se­nior equine’s re­sponse to ex­er­cise, and don’t au­to­mat­i­cally as­sume he can per­form at the same level he once did. (For ideas on se­nior-friendly work­outs, see the fea­ture on page 60.)

The aer­o­bic ca­pac­ity of older equine ath­letes is lower than that of younger horses.

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