Conditioning Young Horses

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Health Problems of Young Horses in Training

Young horses in training are vulnerable to a wide variety of problems–everything from respiratory disease to training injuries. These horses are often taken off the farm where they grew up, transported to training facilities where they

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Derby Trainers Going Against Convention

Several entries will have had long layoffs, something that was once unheard of


Four horses have run just two prep races. Four others are coming in off long layoffs. And some didn’t even race as two-year-olds. Conventiona

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Bulking Up, Not Adding On

Although training might make your yearling look like a bodybuilder, that physique doesn’t guarantee athletic prowess. Evolutionary factors–not early speed or exercise programs–determine the amount of fast-twitch muscle horses have as adults.

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An Equine Athlete’s Heart

Trainers, owners, and researchers have long pondered the effects of a large heart (one that is naturally occurring and not a result of disease), and have even attempted to use heart size as a predictor of athletic ability.

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Interval Training: A Better Option?

Musculoskeletal injury is the main cause of wastage in Thoroughbred racehorses worldwide, with nearly 30% of all fractures being pelvic and tibial stress fractures. California studies in the late 1990s suggested fast work increased the risk of

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Ponying for Exercise

Ponying is leading one horse from another. The pony horse is the one you are riding; the ponied horse is the one being led. Ponying is a good way to exercise a horse you don’t have time to ride or one that can’t be ridden. If you need to keep tw

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Early Jump Training Unnecessary

Training young horses for jumping at six months of age is ineffective and unnecessary, according to a Dutch study published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. The effect of specific jump training on young horses’ jumping

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Joint Cartilage Adaptation in Young Horses

It is widely believed that exercise and limb-loading in foals help joint cartilage functionally adapt to the rigors of athletic activity. In 2005, Dutch researchers set out to find out if they could verify the concept of functional adaptation of

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Juvenile Bowed Tendons and Racing Prognosis

?Juvenile bowed tendons, or ?baby bows,? are not uncommon in yearlings and weanlings,? said Johanna Reimer, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ACVC (cardiology), of the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., at the 2002 American Association of

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Exercise and Bone Development

Beneath the smooth surface of articular cartilage, subchondral bone gives structural support to joints. Normally, newborn foals have a lot of water in this layer, which is slowly replaced by calcium and collagen as the foal weights his joints.

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Training Young Horses

Dr. E.E. Watson was a veterinarian of some repute for many years in the Midwest during the middle decades of the 20th Century. He not only treated racehorses, but he bred them, owned them, and trained them. One year in the late 1950s, he had a

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Sales Prepping Yearlings

As spring moves into summer, the primary focus of activity on many breeding farms is preparation of yearlings for sale. There isn’t much scientific research on exercising horses at that young age, yet many farms are using forced exercise to make

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Yearling Radiographic Studies

Radiographs of a yearling’s legs offer a unique glance into the horse’s athletic future, according to Albert Kane, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University

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Young Horses in Training and Injury Risks

Everyone involved in the racing industry knows that one of the major problems in training horses is keeping them free from injury. Bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments are placed under considerable strain during training and racing,

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