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Baseline Rides: How to Take Them, What They Mean, Why They Matter

You asked, we're answering! Many Hylofit users have requested more resources geared toward helping them maximize their Hylofit experience. With that in mind, we're kicking off a new educational series aimed at providing you with just that!

For starters, we'd like to introduce you to the Baseline Test. This is an easy place to start, whether you're a professional rider or a weekend warrior. After all, every horse deserves a chance to be at his or her healthiest. This is a way for you to truly know your ride.
What purpose does a Baseline Test serve?
Baseline tests should be taken periodically to monitor progress and check for anomalies. By collecting a data set from each baseline ride, you can track your horse's heart rate at each gait, in each direction. When comparing rides over time, you will get a sense of your horse's averages (remember: every horse is different!) and will therefore be better equipped to tell if something is "off". You'll also be able to tell if your horse is getting fitter (a quicker recovery rate after work, it becomes "harder" to get your horse into higher zones).
How often should I take a Baseline ride?
We recommend taking baseline rides as often as every month, but this is up to you and your training/riding schedule!
Can I tell Hylofit that I'm taking a Baseline ride?
Yes! We've just added an activity icon for Baseline, making it easy to go back and check past rides for averages and anomalies and to compare baseline tests over time.
What am I looking for in my Baseline data?
You'll be able to see if your horse is averaging a higher or lower heart rate during each gait and direction. Let's say your horse's heart rate is significantly higher during your "trot left" phase of the Baseline test between rides. This may indicate some pain while trotting to the left, which you can investigate further. Or let's say that your horse now spends less time in zone 3 while cantering and now is closer to zone 2 — this can indicate that he's getting fitter! Most Baseline tests should have an overall intensity score of 2 or 3, as a general guideline. 
We'll be releasing more educational pieces just like this one — if you have a topic you'd like us to cover, ping us on social or email hello@hylonome.com. Happy riding! 
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