Factors associated with exercise in reined cow horses competing in boxing and fencing classes
Campbell, Kathryn Marie
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Currently there are no reports on the exercise metabolics of horses performing reined cow work. Fifteen privately owned quarter horses and paint horses were used for this study. The horses were placed into a group based on the type of competition they were competing in. Box group (n=8) included horses performing a reining pattern followed by box cow work only. The Box-Fence group (n=7) included horses that were performing a reining pattern followed by box and fence cow work. Blood samples were obtained from the jugular vein at rest, immediately after warm-up but before beginning exercise, immediately after exercise, and 15 minutes after recovery. Significant changes (P<0.05) between the two groups were observed immediately after exercise in blood lactate, pH, glucose, hematocrit, hemoglobin, bicarbonate, base excess extracellular fluid, Na, K, Cland anion gap. Results indicate that the Box horses primarily exercised under aerobic conditions while Box-Fence horses relied on a portion of anaerobic metabolism and exercised at higher intensities than the Box horses. Additional research was conducted on four privately owned quarter horses (n=4) to isolate exercise workload associated with cow work. Blood samples were obtained from the jugular vein at rest, 5 minutes after completion of reining pattern, 5 minutes after completion of cow work (both box and fence), and 10 minutes after the previous sample. Significant changes (P<0.05) were observed immediately after cow work in blood lactate, pH, glucose, hematocrit, hemoglobin, K, Cl, anion gap, total carbon dioxide, and bicarbonate. Results indicated that the addition of cow work resulted in horses relying on a significant portion of anaerobic respiration.