Freedom, Friends Help Horses Recover From Exercise Exertion - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Freedom, Friends Help Horses Recover From Exercise Exertion

New research shows that horses recover more quickly from strenuous exercise if they're turned out in a field with friends, rather than placed in a stall by themselves. 

Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala used eight trotting horses that were either kept in small herds or in box stalls for 21 days. The horses then switched to the other housing system at the conclusion of the three weeks. On days 7 and 14 of each study period, the horses completed an exercise similar to a race. 

Researchers collected blood before, during, and multiple times after the exercise, and observed the horses after their exercise. 

The scientists found that horses kept in stalls ate less than the horses living on pasture with others. They also found that horses living in groups had plasma non-esterified fatty acids that decreased more rapidly after excise than the levels of those horses living in stalls; these levels measure post-exercise recovery. 

The team determined that horses allowed to go outside after exercise exertion recovered more quickly and ate better than horses placed in stalls after exercising. This contradicts anecdotal claims that placing horses in stalls is better for them post-exercise. 

Read more at EQUUS magazine. 

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