A SIM­PLE WAY TO BOOST WARM-UPS?

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

Move­ment sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases the tem­per­a­ture of a horse’s skin un­der­neath a boot or ban­dage, which could have im­pli­ca­tions for the warm-up phase of ex­er­cise.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Vet­eri­nary Medicine, Vi­enna in Aus­tria at­tached ther­mal sen­sors to the bare can­non bones of 10 horses and col­lected data while the horses were at rest and after a ses­sion on the longe line.

Next, the same horses were out­fit­ted with a ten­don boot on one leg and an ex­er­cise ban­dage on the op­po­site, and ther­mal data was again col­lected while they were at rest and after longe­ing.

The data showed that when the horses’ legs were bare, there was no sig­nif­i­cant change in the tem­per­a­ture of the skin be­tween rest and work; the skin re­mained at about 57.3 de­grees Fahren­heit. How­ever, when the legs were cov­ered in boots or ban­dages, the skin tem­per­a­ture in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly—from 59.5 to 76.6 Fahren­heit un­der a ban­dage and from 59.5 to 69 Fahren­heit un­der a boot.

The re­searchers note that the tem­per­a­ture in­crease un­der boots or ban­dages could ac­cel­er­ate the warm-up phase of ex­er­cise. They call for fur­ther re­search on the ef­fect of the warmer tem­per­a­tures on anatomic struc­tures such as ten­dons.

Ref­er­ence: “Ef­fect of a ban­dage or ten­don boot on skin tem­per­a­ture of the metacar­pus at rest and after ex­er­cise in horses,” Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Vet­eri­nary Re­search, April 2014

HEAT WAVE: When a horse ex­er­cises, the tem­per­a­tures un­der­neath leg ban­dages and boots in­crease sig­nif­i­cantly.

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