Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Joe Meyer tending to his ribs in between dressage rides. Photo by Ruthie Meyer.

Some riders get all stressed out by dressage, but Joe Meyer knows the answer to that problem is a portable smoker near your stables to fulfill all your smoked meat needs. Eventers know how to party, but this is adding a whole new element to the mix. My mind has been blown. I thought bringing cookies to the competition was a great idea, but ribs? I’ve been beaten.

National Holiday: National Banana Split Day

Major Events This Week:

Richland Park: WebsiteScheduleRide TimesLive ScoresEN’s Coverage

Millstreet: Website, Entries, ScheduleRide Times & Live Scoring, EN’s Coverage, XC Saturday Radio

Blair Castle ERM: Website, Ride Times, Live StreamERM Leaderboard

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Town Hill Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Feather Creek Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Caber Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

The Event at Archer H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

The Retired Racehorse Project is expanding into a new area offering a trainer certification program for those experienced in retraining OTTBs. The concept builds off a collaboration announced in February between RRP and the United States Eventing Association that works with the USEA’s Young Event Horse Professional Trainer Certification. Participants currently going through the YEH certification process say that a Thoroughbred version of the training is needed because of the different methodology used in training a Thoroughbred versus training a warmblood. [OTTB Trainer Certification Program]

Twenty-six-year-old Olivia Craddock is heading towards her first Burghley Horse Trials with a horse she made herself. The ten-year-old gelding, Billy Liffy, was not the most promising of young horses, with a pony trot and a bronco buck that even unseated Pippa Funnell at the 4-yo championships. She kept training him, and kept trying to sell him, but nobody wanted to buy him, luckily for her! [Burghley First Timer Olivia Craddock]

Dominance theory in training horses is popular throughout the disciplines, but learning theory and science has it debunked. Many people assume that unwanted behavior from a horse is a direct challenge to the social status of the trainer, but it’s just not so. Insufficient training is a common cause of unwelcome behavior. The proper use of learning principles can improve training success and prevent unwanted behavior. Horses learn more readily when they are attentive and calm, so training should reduce fear, not trigger or intensify it. [Dominance in Human-Horse Relationships]

Hot on Horse Nation: The Horse Haircut That Destroyed the Internet

KER ClockIt™ Session of the Week

How do you really know if your horse is fit? It’s a question every rider asks, and Kentucky Equine Research (KER) takes a lot of the guesswork out of conditioning with its free smartphone app, KER ClockIt Sport.

KER ClockIt Sport is a modern way to measure equine fitness. By tracking the individual horse’s intensity and duration of exercise through speed, heart rate, and GPS, horse owners and trainers can condition and feed each horse appropriately for the work they’re actually performing.

The ClockIt Sport session featured this week belongs to a rider who took her horse on a hill walk that incorporated some trot sets. Below you will see a segment of the session that demonstrates the rider’s ability to raise her horse’s heart rate with hill work, but without the need to increase speed.

Multiple KER treadmill studies have shown that exercising horses on an incline greatly increases work intensity as measured by oxygen consumption, heart rate, and lactate production. These studies have shown that at a canter, a 1% increase in grade increases a horse’s heart rate 6 bpm—the same effect on heart rate as increasing speed 35 m/min on a level treadmill. Therefore, equal heart rates can be obtained by cantering horses on a 6% grade at 490 m/min as from galloping on the flat at 700 m/min.

To see a detailed report like the one above, go to the KER ClockIt website and log in to your account. Once you are signed in, you can view your detailed sessions under the “Sessions” tab.