Study: Horse Fitness, Layups, Usage Linked

Researchers recently examined the factors that could affect a horse’s propensity for injury and future use.
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The job of school horse doesn’t come with Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 hours. In fact, days off are often few and far between for these hard-working horses. But does this rigorous schedule have any impact on a horse’s likelihood of injury?

Researchers at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands, recently examined the factors that could affect a horse’s propensity for injury and future use.

The team evaluated animals’ fitness, workload, and reasons for premature training end (when horses could no longer continue the training program for the period of the study, typically due to injury) using two groups of riding school horses: Group A was comprised of horses in a vocational school’s riding program, and Group B was comprised of horses working at two local riding schools.

Group A included both horses that had been conditioned prior to a period of intensive work and horses that had only had light recreational work. The team subjected each horse to a standardized exercise test at the beginning and end of a nine-week training period

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Written by:

Natalie Voss is a freelance writer and editor based in Kentucky. She received her bachelor’s degree in equine science from the University of Kentucky and has worked in public relations for equine businesses and organizations. She spends her spare time riding her Draft cross, Jitterbug.

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