Glossary of Long Distance Terms
Glossary of Long Distance Riding Terms This is a work in progress. Send corrections and/or suggestions to Deanna at email@example.com
Adenosine Triphosphate: [ATP] The fuel used by muscles. There is a small amount of ATP stored in the muscles. It only lasts a short time before it needs to be replenished. Creatine phosphate can be used to replenish ATP, but is also in very short supply. These two fuels can be replenished by one of two methods – either aerobic or anaerobic metabolism.
Aerobic Metabolism: A process of converting fat and glycogen or glucose into ATP to be used as a fuel by the muscles. Uses oxygen (thus aerobic). A slower process than anaerobic metabolism, but much more efficient, allowing the horse to perform for a much longer period of time. A horse will use predominantly aerobic metabolism below a heart rate of about 150 beats per minute. The maximum intensity at which a horse can continue using aerobic metabolism can be increased with good conditioning. This is the method primarily used by endurance horses.
Alkalosis: When the horse sweats and loses electrolytes, the kidneys start to retain bicarbonate ions. This is why electrolyte preparations for endurance horses must never contain bicarbonate. Many of the commonly available brands do contain it, so always check to be sure.
Anaerobic Metabolism: A process of converting glycogen or glucose into ATP to be used as a fuel for the muscles. A faster process than aerobic metabolism, but good only for a short period of time and thus is used for higher intensity workouts (such as a full gallop). Anaerobic metabolism is quite inefficient, and produces lactic acid as a by product.
Anal Tone: Test performed at vet checks. The anal muscle should constrict when tapped. Flaccid muscle tone may indicate exhaustion, heat stress, or electrolyte/water depletion.
Anhidrosis: A condition where the horse does not sweat even when overheated. Very dangerous.
Arrhythmia: Some horses have an uneven heart rate or heart beat. This can cause the wand used to measure heart rates to give unreliable readings. Owners of horses with arrhythmias should have a letter from their veterinarian stating that the heart rate of the horses should be taken with a stethescope. See example of veterinarian's letter.
ATP: See Adenosine Triphosphate
BC: See Best Condition
Best Condition: Award given to the horse within the top ten finishers who is judged to be in the best condition. Weight carried and riding time are taken into consideration.
Capillary Refill: The length of time required for the colour to return to normal pink in the upper gum of the horse after pressing hard enough to leave a white spot. Should be less than 1-2 seconds, . Times greater than 2-3 seconds should be evaluated by a veterinarian as this could indicate dehydration and/or significantly lowered blood pressure. This is a test performed at vet checks. Cardiac Recovery Index: Metabolic test in which the horse is trotted out and back for a total distance of 250 feet (76 m). A15-second heart rate is taken before trotting and at one minute after starting the trot, the two heart rates should be within one beat of each other for the 15-second counts (4 beats/min). This can be a very sensitive indicator of a problem.
Colic: Basically a stomachache, but more dangerous in the horse than in a human. Can be triggered by lack of electrolytes, and/or fatigue during a ride.
CRI: See Cardiac Recovery Index
Crupper: Some horses have problems with saddles slipping forward, particularly on steep downhills. The crupper is a loop that goes under the tail and attaches to the back of the saddle.
Dehydration: Lack of fluids in the body, generally caused by sweating. Electrolytes are lost at the same time, so both electrolyes and water must be used to rehydrate.
Electrolytes: Horses' sweat contains sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium which, as a group, are called electrolytes. Electrolytes are very concentrated in sweat (which is why sweat tastes salty). Horses competing in long distance events need to replace those salts in addition to drinking water in order to maintain hydration. Electrolytes can be fed orally with a syringe (sometimes mixed with applesauce to make it more palatable), or added to the horse's water bucket. Don't buy products containing sodium bicarbonate as it may cause alkalosis in the endurance horse. http://www.endu...?Counter=226
Exertional rhabdomyolysis: [Azoturia, Tying Up, Setfast] Muscles of the horse seize into a state very like rigor mortis. Not fully understood, but thought to be triggered by a number of things… giving a horse a day off without reducing its grain ration, potassium or selenium deficiency, extreme fatigue, rhinovirus. Most commonly it occurs shortly after beginning exercise after a day or more of rest without a corresponding decrease in grain ration. Can become a chronic condition. http://www.theh...=3093&dpt=13
Fartlek: A conditioning method that uses bursts of speed interspersed throughout a conditioning ride. Similar to interval training, but less structured.
Fast Twitch Muscle Fibres: A type of muscle fibre more common in the heavily muscled breeds such as Quarter Horses. FT fibres are used predominantly during fast intense exercise. They use glycogen and produce lactic acid.
Founder: See Laminitis Gluteal Muscles: Large muscles in the horse's hindquarters.
Glycogen: A carbohydrate that is stored in liver and muscle tissue.
Grade I Lameness: Difficult to observe: not consistently apparent regardless of circumstances. (i.e., weight carrying, circling, inclines, surface, etc.)
Grade II Lameness: Difficult to observe at a walk or trot in a straight line; consistently apparent under certain circumstances (i.e., weight carrying, circling, inclines, surface, etc.).
Grade III Lameness: Consistently observable at a trot under ALL circumstances.
Grade IV Lameness: Obvious lameness; marked hitching, nodding, shortened stride
Grade V Lameness: Minimal weight bearing at rest and/or in motion. Inability to move.
Gut Motility: The sounds of digestion that can be heard with a stethoscope. Normally, sounds are audible every few seconds. When the horse is stressed, blood flow to the gut decreases, and the digestion process gradually comes to a halt. If gut motility stops for too long, colic can result. Gut motility is monitored at vet checks by listening to gut sounds.
Heart Rate: Generally measured as beats per minute (BPM). Normal resting heart rate range is 24 to 44 beats per minute. A low resting heart rate gives an advantage to a horse in distance riding. The most efficient range is while the horse stays in aerobic metabolism (generally under 150 bpm). Horses are expected to recover to heart rates near the resting level (usually 64) at the vet checks. If they do not recover within a specified time, this is a sign of fatigue, pain, or other metabolic problems.
Heart Rate Monitor: Usually consists of electrodes under the saddle or girth, and a monitor worn by the rider like a watch. Allows the rider to monitor the horse's heart rate while riding. The reading gives beats per minute.
Heat-Stress Index: The sum of the environmental temperature (OC) and Relative Humidity. As this score increases, the ability of a horse to cool itself becomes more difficult. Heat-Stress scores of less than 80 require no special precautions. Above a scores of 90, a horse must evaporate fluids (sweat or water) to maintain a normal body temperature. At 100, sweating is insufficient and cold water must also be used on the horse. Over 110 ice water and ice will be necessary to cool the exercising horse. At scores above 115, serious consideration should be given to cancelling all exercise.
Heat-Stress Chart. For weather in your area of Ontario check the Weather Office
Hemoconcentration: Thickening of the blood due to dehydration. http://www.theh...ld=laminitis LSD:
Long slow distance. A type of training used particularly for early training. Generally means a lot of walking and easy trotting. Increases the fitness of the bones and tendons, which reduces injury when the horse moves on to faster work.
Metabolic Criteria: Tests used by veterinarians and lay judges at vet checks to evaluate a horse's fitness to continue. They include capillary refill time, anal tone, jugular refill time, mucous membranes, gut motility, skin pinch test, heart rate recovery times.
Mucous Membranes: Examined in the mouth, gums should be pink and moist. This is one of the metabolic criteria at vet checks.
Mud Fever: [Scratches, Greasy Heel] A condition generally affecting the heel or pastern, but can move higher. Looks like a bad rash, with weeping sores, scabs, and raw skin. An infection that can be a combination of bacteria and fungus. Caused by standing in mud, and can be very difficult to treat. http://www.theh...=mud%20fever
Novice Division Beginners can ride in an open divison if they feel up to the mileage and/or faster time and they feel their horse is fit enough for the open division. However, once they have ridden open they cannot go into a Novice division although it wouldn't prevent them from being in a "mileage" ride.
P&R: Pulse and respiration. Misnomers, as we actually take heart rate and respiratory rate. The respiratory rate count, per se, means nothing unless the type and quality of respiration are evaluated. A respiratory rate greater than the heart rate is known as an inversion and needs further evaluation. Judges still watch respiratory rate while taking the heart rate .