Exercise Physiology

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you study a moving horse?
You have to be pretty quick! But seriously, the Equine Science Center’s Exercise Physiology Lab is one of the few places with a 21-foot treadmill that horses can gallop on. It’s a blast! While a horse runs on the treadmill, scientists can measure how much air they breathe, check their heart rates, and all sorts of other things.

Do horses get sore from exercising?
Similar to humans, horses can also get muscle aches. Scientists at the Center have been testing natural food products that actually help reduce soreness. These natural products – called nutraceuticals- could decrease the need for pain medications, not only in horses, but in humans.

When is a horse too old to exercise?
Just like humans, some really old horses still have plenty of energy and love to run. Older horses in good body condition that are healthy and active should be able to exercise as much as they want. Lord Nelson is over 40 and is still going strong!

heart What are some of the things that make a horse “old?”
It’s not just grey hair! Horses can get arthritis, which makes joints stiff and painful. It becomes harder to walk and run. So, guess what happens? They don’t exercise as much. Then, just like human couch potatoes, horses can lose muscle, gain weight and even get diseases like diabetes. Pretty soon they look and act old, even if they’re not.

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