A Solemn Posting: Endurance 101

Did you know that your horse will die for you?  That it will run until muscle goes to mush, and the kidneys then try to filter all the mess, and then clog and shut down?  Scary huh?    This is why it is important bringing your horse into the sport of endurance that your goals match your horse’s experience.    Your horse does not know about metabolic melt-down, and operates on herd and flight instincts.   As a rider it is your job to know how to prepare your horse, how to rate your horse based upon the animal’s level of fitness, and be the brains of the outfit.    A metabolic crisis is an avoidable critical incident.

Sporadic Exertional Rhabdomyolysis 
 “Sporadic exertional rhabdomyolysis occurs most commonly in horses that are exercised in excess of their level of conditioning. This happens frequently when a training program is accelerated too abruptly, particularly after an idle period of a few days, weeks, or months. Endurance competitions held on hot, humid days may elicit sporadic exertional rhabdomyolysis in susceptible horses because of high body temperatures, loss of fluid and electrolytes in sweat, and depletion of muscle energy stores. These metabolic imbalances can lead to muscle dysfunction and damage. In some instances, horses seem more prone to exertional rhabdomyolysis following respiratory infections. Therefore, horses should not be exercised if they have a fever, cough, nasal discharge, or other signs of respiratory compromise. ”  Full article here.
Source document: http://www.aaep.org/info/horse-health?publication=782
Ride sane, ride safe, complete, complete, complete!

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