Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 411, Issue 3, pp 316–321

Cardiovascular and respiratory responses to submaximal exercise training in the thoroughbred horse

  • D. L. Evans
  • R. J. Rose
Heart, Circulation, Respiration and Blood; Environemental and Exercise Physiology

DOI: 10.1007/BF00585121

Cite this article as:
Evans, D.L. & Rose, R.J. Pflugers Arch. (1988) 411: 316. doi:10.1007/BF00585121


Cardiovascular and respiratory responses to submaximal exercise training were investigated in 6 thoroughbred racehorses. Oxygen uptake, heart rate (HR) and arteriovenous oxygen content difference were measured during incremental treadmill exercise tests, before and after 7 weeks of treadmill training. Cardiac output during exercise was calculated by the direct Fick technique. Maximal oxygen uptake (\(\dot VO_{2\max } \)) was increased by 23% after training, from 129.7 ml/kg/min to 160.0 ml/kg/min. The treadmill speed at which \(\dot VO_{2\max } \) was attained increased by 19%. The increased aerobic power after training was associated with an increase in maximal cardiac output and stroke volume, a decrease in arteriovenous oxygen difference and no change in HR. There was no change in pulmonary ventilation during exercise at \(\dot VO_{2\max } \). Mean mixed venous oxygen content (\(C\bar vO_2 \)) at \(\dot VO_{2\max } \) before training was 2.8±1.0 ml/100 ml blood (mean ±SE). After training the value was 8.6±1.4 ml/100 ml blood. It is concluded that the increase in \(\dot VO_{2\max } \) after training in the horse is dependant on augmented blood flow, and is not dependent on either increased arterial oxygen content or arteriovenous oxygen content difference. Cardiac capacity to pump blood is therefore of primary importance as a determinant of increases in \(\dot VO_{2\max } \) due to training in the horse.

Key words

Maximal oxygen uptake Training Afteriovenous oxygen content difference Stroke volume Exercise Cardiac output 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Evans
    • 1
  • R. J. Rose
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Clinical StudiesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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