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How Does KER Conduct an Endurance Test?By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · April 8, 2015

An endurance exercise test monitors changes in a horse’s energy metabolism during slow, long-distance exercise.

When endurance tests are conducted at Kentucky Equine Research, endurance-trained horses are asked to trot for 90 minutes on a treadmill inclined to 3° at 35% of maximum oxygen uptake. Blood is drawn from the exercising horse at regular intervals. Plasma samples are extracted from the blood and analyzed for certain metabolites.

Indirect calorimetry measures oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production to determine the respiratory exchange ratio, which reveals if carbohydrates, fats, or a combination of both contribute to energy use during submaximal exercise.  

Data gathered from simulated endurance tests can be applied to horses used in competitive endurance races.

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