Med. Weter. 68 (6), 323-327, 2012

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Janicki B., Kochowicz A., Cygan-Szczegielniak D., Krumrych W.
Fundamentals of exercise physiology in horses
The aim of this paper was to assess the effect of physical exertion on horses. In the course of evolution the horse was forced to develop a number of adaptations which enabled it to survive under unfavourable natural conditions. These adaptations surpassed the ones developed by other animals and of man. During a maximal effort the horse’s heart rate as well as maximal oxygen consumption increase significantly, which is possible, among others, due to a favourable lung volume to body mass ratio in this animal. As the horse’s use always involved and still involves its physical exertion, the assessment of respiratory and circulatory system efficiency in this animal remains a vital subject of numerous studies. They analyze biochemical and blood morphology parameters, as well as the issues of the biomechanics of movement, composition and construction of muscle tissue, gas exchange.
Keywords: horses, exercise physiology, adaptation