Using Hylofit to inform your riding and training has never been easier! For the rider looking for help with strength and conditioning, Hylofit co-founder and international dressage competitor Eliane van Reesema has put together a useful guide.
Just as with human heart rate, integrating zone training into your fitness work is helpful for building and maintaining fitness.
Why ride with heart rate? Every horse's heart rate is a little different. While there are ranges in which a heart rate should be, generally speaking, at each zone, the best way to know your horse's ideal workload is to monitor his heart rate regularly. Knowing your horse's average heart rate at rest and in each zone of work will provide more information on whether or not your horse is fit and healthy.
What should you be looking for in each ride?
Recovery: How long does it take your horse's heart rate to drop below 100 bpm? What about to drop to or below 60 bpm? A horse that has not recovered to below 100 bpm within 2 minutes or 60 bpm within 10 minutes may have overexerted itself. A quicker drop in heart rate after exercise/elevated heart rate indicates a gain in fitness.
Symmetry: Your horse's heart rate should not be markedly different at the same gait in each direction. A spike in one direction may be indicative of pain.
Featured photo by Susan J Stickle Photography.