The use of swimming in thoroughbred racehorse training

by Dr Kathryn Nankervis SFHEA CVPM, The Equine Therapy Centre, Hartpury College Swimming is common practice within the training and rehabilitation programmes of Thoroughbred racehorses yet there have been fewer than 20 scientific studies on swimming in the last 30 years. It is generally considered that swimming provides a good cardiovascular work-out for horses that are unable to gallop due to musculoskeletal injury. Heart rates during swimming are similar to those seen during canter or gallop work, i.e. from 160 to 220 beats/min (Jones and Hiraga 2008) with oxygen uptakes of approximately 70-80% of the typical maximal oxygen uptake of...

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