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Conditioning Sport Horses by Hilary M. Clayton

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Horses compete in a diverse range of sporting activities, each requiring specific technical skills and different levels of physical fitness. Conditioning Sport Horses provides a background of scientific facts upon which to base a logical system of conditioning. The book is written in three parts. The first part covers exercise physiology with chapters on the cardiovascular, muscular and respiratory systems, thermoregulation, and fluid and electrolyte balance. The second part looks at practical aspects of improving cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and suppleness in equine athletes. Other chapters in part two describe a logical sequence for the daily workout, nutrition of the equine athlete and the use of a heart rate monitor as a conditioning aid. The third part gives sport-specific conditioning advice, with chapters on dressage, show jumping, eventing, combined driving, endurance racing, polo, cutting, reining, sprinting sports and chuck wagon racing. The text is well illustrated, and is complemented by a glossary of terms. Practical advice is given regarding peaking and tapering strategies that bring a horse to a fitness peak on the day of competition, riding tactics that preserve the horse's energy reserves, and methods of coping with adverse conditions, such as hot, humid weather.