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  1. #1
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    Aug. 9, 2002
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    Default Thoughts on this study? In "The Horse" (exercise in young foals help cartilage

    development in maturity; it posits that there is only a small "window" during which a young horse can lay down an optimal foundation, and that MORE exercise is better for this:

    http://www.thehorse.com/articles/307...ign=12-27-2012

    Apparently pasture exercise is good, but not enough?
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  2. #2
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    Default

    I'd love to hear thoughts on this as well..
    First and foremost about the horse.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Interesting article. Kind of hard to read they euthanized half the subjects to test them.

    But, it makes sense. You need to stress things to make them grow, and there are certain more critical growth periods. The bones in babies close from the bottom up, so you have months to correct any issues in the fetlocks and so on. It makes sense that the cartilage growth is similar and that you have to condition and stress babies with work to make it stronger.

    It also makes me feel like I did right by my babies, who always were in pasture and always went with me on trail rides or to run in the arena as they like when I ride mom. I've always had really sound horses.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Although I have not read this study I know that studies in Holland done more than twenty years ago confirmed great reduction (up to 65%) of OCD when youngsters had more exercise and later studies in Germany had similar findings.
    www.immunallusa.com
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  5. #5
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    Injury rate was not different in racing TBs raised on pasture vs pasture+forced work outs. "Twenty went on to have racing careers with no difference in injury rate between the groups"

    I am not sure I am willing to put in time/risk into forced work for my young foals on a regular basis in order to get better cartilage under a microscope. I plan on having my horses live. They are raised in constant field turn out set up, though.

    What is "thirty minutes of gallop sprints per day" for a 1week old foal?! That certainly seems beyond excessive if in nature the foals on "average galloped at will for three and a half minutes a day, trotted for 30 seconds, and walked and slept the remainder of the time."

    Perhaps it is more important for horses meant to race/perform at athletic peak prior to skeletal maturation AND raised in confinement.

    The evidence presented in the article synopsis is not conclusive nor convincing for strategies in prolonging healthy life of sport horses, imo.
    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


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  6. #6
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    Default

    I read the cited Rogers et al. 2008 article (sometimes being a grad student comes in handy when I have access to the library!)

    While this and the Rogers et al. 2008 study did have generally positive results for the throughbred foals the discussion opened up with this paragraph

    "To the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first report on the
    imposition of early overground conditioning exercise during the
    first 18 months of life on a group of pasture-reared foals. In a
    previous study with Warmblood foals, the effect of pasture
    rearing, box rearing and the imposition of exercise on box rearingwas determined (Barneveld and van Weeren 1999). In that study it
    was identified that, while the imposition of sprint exercise on box
    rearing provided an increase in bone mineral density (Cornelissen
    et al. 1999; Firth et al. 1999), there was a negative effect on
    cartilage quality (van den Hoogen et al. 1999). The greatest
    heterogeneity of cartilage was found in the pasture group
    (Brama et al. 1999). The responses of the tissues to the differing
    management systems possibly reflect the mechanical stimulus
    threshold for positive response and the time during which the
    tissue remains responsive."

    So I think maybe there needs to be more work done before people go out exercising their babies more than just in the pasture



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TSHEventing View Post
    I read the cited Rogers et al. 2008 article (sometimes being a grad student comes in handy when I have access to the library!)

    While this and the Rogers et al. 2008 study did have generally positive results for the throughbred foals the discussion opened up with this paragraph

    "To the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first report on the
    imposition of early overground conditioning exercise during the
    first 18 months of life on a group of pasture-reared foals. In a
    previous study with Warmblood foals, the effect of pasture
    rearing, box rearing and the imposition of exercise on box rearingwas determined (Barneveld and van Weeren 1999). In that study it
    was identified that, while the imposition of sprint exercise on box
    rearing provided an increase in bone mineral density (Cornelissen
    et al. 1999; Firth et al. 1999), there was a negative effect on
    cartilage quality (van den Hoogen et al. 1999). The greatest
    heterogeneity of cartilage was found in the pasture group
    (Brama et al. 1999). The responses of the tissues to the differing
    management systems possibly reflect the mechanical stimulus
    threshold for positive response and the time during which the
    tissue remains responsive."

    So I think maybe there needs to be more work done before people go out exercising their babies more than just in the pasture
    Your conclusion is logical, and thanks for the additional input!
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  8. #8
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    Default

    I did not read the study but I can tell you from experience with horses I have gotten in mostly for remediation training, their owners or the owners they had before don't know what "moderate" exercise is-as I have had 6 year old horses in with terrible arthritis and major behavioral issues.

    I give nearly 2/47 turnout to all of my horses and they are in like type groups. I also start mine later-as said by one other poster, they mature from the ground up- and their backverterbra is the last to close! Their backs are very, very similar to ours. Many owners push their horses too far too fast and there needs to be a long term study-like when these horses are 6-10+ year olds to see what their changes are when compaired to those that were started later.

    For me, I'll stick with loads of turn out, light exercise after the age of 3 and backing and riding in a conditional way, at age 4+. It's worked for me for many, many years and I don't plan to change it.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 26, 2009
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    Default

    Classic -

    If you want a study looking at later backed horses vs. those backed earlier, contact the AHC or something similar and try to lobby for funding for it. You can also personally offer funding or some sort of match.

    I realize that might come across blunt in a post, but that is not the intent. One of my pet peeves is horse owners saying they want stuff done but they feel helpless like they have no control over what research gets done.

    In fact, YOU are the stakeholders, make your voice heard to your local research universities and equestrian organizations.

    My current research is working on fly control on equestrian farms and I have found horse owners have a lot opinions and thoughts about what works and what doesn't, but feel like they have no control over the research, development and implementation process for insect control. Not true!

    I urge you all to get your voices out there!


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