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Use of technological innovations in broadening the application of equine exercise physiology

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The quadrennial International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP) allows focused presentations of a variety of horse exercise- and performance-related research data in cardiorespiratory, muscle, biomechanics, nutrition, genomics, and applied physiology. The most diverse section of the ICEEP meeting has been termed variously ‘Applied Exercise Physiology’ (ICEEP 8 and 9), ‘Applied Physiology: Training Methods, Exercise Testing and Selection’ (ICEEP 7), or ‘Applied Physiology of Athletic Performance’ (ICEEP 6 and earlier). The next ICEEP meeting is scheduled to be held in Australia in 2018. In this subspeciality of equine exercise physiology, scientists attempt to apply or put into practical field use the techniques and tools developed in the more basic sciences in order to assess the performance, training, and injury of horses working and performing under true, non-laboratory conditions. The real test of the value of this subspeciality will be the increased application and sustainability of the use of laboratory techniques in the assessment of equine athletes in field settings. This review summarises exercise physiology findings prior to the widespread use of equine laboratory treadmills which have tethered investigators to the laboratory, and explains and illustrates newer, more portable, often digital technological developments which have allowed investigations to move out of the laboratory and back to the field setting where horses train and compete on a daily basis.
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Keywords: GPS; heart rate monitor; portable blood analyser; portable endoscopy; treadmill

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 7, 2017

More about this publication?
  • 'Comparative Exercise Physiology' is the only international peer-reviewed scientific journal specifically dealing with the latest research in exercise physiology across all animal species, including humans. The major objective of the journal is to use this comparative approach to better understand the physiological, nutritional, and biochemical parameters that determine levels of performance and athletic achievement. Core subjects include exercise physiology, biomechanics, gait (including the effect of riders in equestrian sport), nutrition and biochemistry, injury and rehabilitation, psychology and behaviour, and breeding and genetics. This comparative and integrative approach to exercise science ultimately highlights the similarities as well as the differences between humans, horses, dogs, and other athletic or non-athletic species during exercise. The result is a unique forum for new information that serves as a resource for all who want to understand the physiological challenges with exercise.
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