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Equivont: 5 Principles of Equine Exercise Physiology

Updated: Jun 15


When it comes to the care and feeding of your horse, the more you know, the better off both you and your horse will be. That is why every horse owner should know and understand the 5 principles of equine exercise physiology. While these principles typically only apply to healthy animals in good condition, we are going to take a look at these 5 to help you understand how they apply to your horse! As always, consult your veterinarian and trainer before beginning any equine exercise program.

5 Principles Of Equine Exercise Physiology


1. A physiological system will adapt to stress by making itself more resistant to future stresses.

This is also known as the "Overload Theory" and it relates to the adaptation of your horse’s muscles and other systems to additional stressors from a ‘more strenuous than usual’ workout.


2. The adaptation to overload occurs during rest periods.

When your horse is working hard, his body is busy accommodating the additional workload. It is when he is at rest that his body is adapting to the additional workload.


3. All individuals respond differently to training.

Every horse is different and, as such, every horse responds differently to training. It might take some horses longer than others to show results and your horse might not adapt to a particular workout at all.


4. All adaptations are reversible.

Just because your horse seems to adapt well to a new routine, doesn’t mean that the changes have to be permanent. If your horse becomes inactive, even for a couple of weeks, it might need additional training to regain any gains they have lost.


5. There is a rate-limiting factor in all processes.

There is a wide range of factors that work together to help your horse achieve maximum performance, but there is only a few working against him. These could include a lack of flexibility, insufficient muscle strength or poor balance, among other similar conditions.

*This article was written and posted by Equivont.



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Santa Barbara, California, USA

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