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Physiological response to exercise in the Icelandic horse

Stefánsdóttir, Gudrún Jóhanna (2015). Physiological response to exercise in the Icelandic horse. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2015:84
ISBN 978-91-576-8366-3
eISBN 978-91-576-8367-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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This thesis examined the exercise physiology of the Icelandic horse by: 1) studying physiological response in stallions and mares of different ages performing a true breed evaluation field test (BEFT); 2) comparing the effect of ridden tölt and trot at three speeds on physiological response; 3) evaluating physiological response to a simulated 100 m flying pace race; 4) measuring the effect of increasing body weight ratio (BWR) of rider to horse (20, 25, 30, and 35 %) on physiological response in an standardised incremental field exercise test at tölt at 5.4 m/s; and 5) determining the effect of rider on physiological response. In all studies, speed, distance, heart rate and breathing frequency were recorded and plasma lactate concentration, haematocrit and rectal temperature were measured before and after the exercise tests.

The main results of this thesis were that Icelandic horses performed high intensity exercise during the true gait tests (BEFT and pace race) and, depending on the weight of the rider, the horses at the medium speed tölt and trot (~5.5 m/s) typical of leisure horses also temporarily performed high intensity exercise. Anaerobic metabolism was crucial for performance at pace. Aerobic fitness was higher in stallions than in mares and age had a limited effect on the physiological response in BEFT, although 4-year-old horses had lower aerobic capacity than older age groups. Peak heart rate decreased with age. There were only minor differences in physiological response to tölt and trot in a group of experienced adult Icelandic horses. There was an effect of rider, with physiological response increasing with increased BWR of rider to horse. Trained and experienced Icelandic horses may exceed their lactate threshold at medium speed (~5.5 m/s) at BWR common for Icelandic horse-rider combinations. Post exercise plasma lactate concentrations were correlated with recovery heart rate. Thus by recording recovery heart rate, trainers of Icelandic horses can get an estimate of post exercise plasma lactate concentration, which reflects the extent of anaerobic metabolism and workload. Overall, the results suggest that training of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism is important for BEFT performance and that training of anaerobic metabolism is of critical importance for pace performance.

Authors/Creators:Stefánsdóttir, Gudrún Jóhanna
Title:Physiological response to exercise in the Icelandic horse
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :20 August 2015
Depositing date:27 August 2015
Number of Pages:115
IG. J. Stefánsdóttir, S. Ragnarsson, V. Gunnarsson & A. Jansson (2014). Physiological response to a breed evaluation field test in Icelandic horses. Animal 8(3), 431-439.
IIG. J. Stefánsdóttir, S. Ragnarsson, V. Gunnarsson, L. Roepstorff & A. Jansson (2015). A comparison of the physiological response to tölt and trot in the Icelandic horse. Journal of Animal Science, doi: 10.2527/jas2015-9141
IIIG. J. Stefánsdóttir, V. Gunnarsson, S. Ragnarsson & A. Jansson. Physiological response to a simulated 100 m flying pace race in Icelandic horses. Submitted
IVG. J. Stefánsdóttir, V. Gunnarsson, L. Roepstorff, S. Ragnarsson & A. Jansson. The effect of a rider and added weight on physiological response in Icelandic horses. Submitted.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SVA - National Veterinary Institute > A contributor is enlisted in SVA
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8366-3
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8367-0
Additional Information:Med sammanfattninngar på svenska och isländska
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L50 Animal physiology and biochemistry
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Agrovoc terms:saddle horses, breeds (animals), iceland, locomotion, animal physiology, metabolism, heart rate, breeding value, tests
Keywords:Breed evaluation field test, Exercise physiology, Flying pace, Gaits, Heart rate, Icelandic horse, Plasma lactate concentration, Physiological response, Tölt
Permanent URL:
ID Code:12538
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Deposited By: Guðrún G.J. Stefánsdóttir
Deposited On:28 Aug 2015 06:56
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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