Saturday, October 24, 2009

Zenyatta's latest work

Details above courtesy of Jay Privman at DRF regarding Zenyatta's strong effort Friday morning at Hollywood Park.

Of note the timed work was 6F in 1:11.2 which was the best of 10 at that distance by a full second. But notice the final comments where she gallops out a full mile in 1:39 which doesn't maket the official published worktab of course.

Interesting to see her trainer comment that he was more aggressive in order to keep open the option that she may enter the Classic rather than the Distaff, or Ladies Classic. He mentioned were she pointed specifically towards the Distaff she would have simply coasted in with a few 'maintenance' works.

Very cool insight into the mind of the trainer of a superstar, willing to go a bit tougher on the conditioning with the prospect of the toughest race of her life, the first against boys, coming up in a few weeks.

Wonderful approach, in my opinion.

But can you do that same work on dirt?
Remember my data has shown the surface to be as much as 50% harder on some cheap claimers than the artifical stuff...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Equine Exercise Physiology Seminar upcoming

Hello friends-

A great group of presenters is coming together in early December at Rutgers University in NJ for some very applicable info on HR/GPS tracking and lactate testing and how it can help you make your horses faster.

Below I will attach the specifics please let me know if you are interested in attending and I will get you some additional details. Thanks!-

This course will be conducted December 4-6, 2009 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick New Jersey in conjunction with FaCT Education of British Columbia Canada and Racehorse Conditioning Systems Inc. of Albrightsville Pennsylvania.

Presentation and discussion topics will include:

* Finding a deeper understanding of aerobic (oxygen dependent) and anaerobic (oxygen independent) muscle fiber development…it’s not rocket science.

* We’ll discuss the new understanding of lactate as potential fuel source for working muscles, and how we can use lactate information to help test fitness and set training intensities.

* You will learn simple and safe testing methods for measuring lactate and understanding the Lactate Balance Point (LBP) system.

* You will be introduced to quick and easy tests you can periodically perform to help measure fitness, with easy to use software specifically designed to help with data interpretation. You will have the foundation for creating your own performance-line tests. These “Fit-Lines” are valuable tools for more in-depth evaluation of a horse’s overall development.

* You will learn more about when, why, how and how often to monitor a racehorse’s heart rate. You will also learn about the newest technology in measuring speed, and use this in combination with the horse’s heart rate information.

* Transferring the information to your computer for in-depth analysis can be easy. Youwill learn about the Polar Heart Rate Monitor System, The Lactate Pro Analyzer and FaCT software. We will discuss how to build an inexpensive and portable, testing lab using these tools.

* Other topics of discussion:
The Central Governor Model for Racehorse Performance
Resistance Conditioning
Glycogen Depletion / Refueling
Spleen Dumping.

Course Conductor:

Dr. Andrew Sellars M.D. is the director of FaCT-Education and Head Coach for the Balance Point Racing Team. His recent work has led to the development of the equine equivalent of the FaCT Lactate Balance Point test, which has over the past 20 years revolutionized training programs for human athletes.

Course Counselors:

Karyn Malinowski PhD is Director of Rutgers Equine Science Center. Karyn is also a racehorse owner, trainer and driver.

Ken McKeever PhD is renowned as one of the top racehorse exercise physiologists in the US. He takes a very layperson approach.


Friday December 4, 2009:
5pm to 9pm - Lecture and Classroom Discussion at Equine Science Center Conference room.

Saturday December 5, 2009:
7:30am Continental breakfast at the University Inn.
9:00am to 11:30am - On track LBP field test at Gaitway Farm.
12:30pm - Working lunch at Rutgers.
1pm to 5pm - Field test LBP evaluations and group discussions.
7pm - Group Dinner and discussions (Location TBD).

Sunday December 6, 2009:
7:30am – Continental breakfast at the University Inn
8:30am to 1pm LBP/Treadmill Testing at Rutgers and group discussions.
1 - 2pm - Concluding discussion
2pm - Departure

Whether you train 2 or 200 horses you will gather practical ideas for day to day applications.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heart rate variability and soundness

Above is an enhanced image of an EKG where one can calculate the variability of time between individual heart beats in a thoroughbred. Heart Rate Variability, or HRV, is important because the greater the variability - the more control the nervous system exhibits, which is a good thing.
Recently there was published a wonderful article about this concept, drawing conclusions between HRV and catastrophic breakdowns in eventing horses:
The cool thing is that you don't need fancy, lab quality EKG equipment to get these figures, the HR/GPS monitors I use cost just $599, set up in seconds, and analyze this information for you.