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KER Research: How is an Endurance Test Conducted?By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 2, 2014

One of the protocols used at Kentucky Equine Research is an endurance test. This test investigates changes in energy metabolism during slow, long-distance exercise.

Endurance-trained horses are asked to trot for 90 minutes on a treadmill inclined to 3° at 35% of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max). 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 (RER). The RER reveals if carbohydrates, fats, or a combination of both contributes 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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