The importance of the warm up and cool down for equine fitness

Warm Up and Cool down

Do you Know Why the warm up and cool down is a crucial part of equine fitness?

Sometimes knowing why you are doing something can improve the way you do it.

Begin your Equine Fitness Session with a Warm Up-

The warm up duration and intensity will vary for each horse based on fitness level, age, and fitness goals, but here are six reasons that a warm up should be included in your horse’s work/play sessions:

  1. Allows for a psychological warm up.
  2. Helps prevent a premature onset of blood lactic acid accumulation and fatigue during performance or session.
  3. Decreases the work of contraction and reduces risk of muscle injury, because it causes a gradual increase of muscle temperature.
  4. Helps enhance cardio-respiratory performance by permitting a gradual metabolic adaption period.
  5. Allows for a gradual distribution of blood flow to active muscles.
  6. Increases the elasticity of connective tissue.


Ending Equine Fitness Sessions with a Cool Down

Same as mentioned with the warm up- body type, climate, density of coat, fitness level, etc. can vary what type of cool down your horse may need to support their wellness. But these six reasons are why it should become a part of your routine:

  1. Reduces the immediate post exercise tendency for muscles to cramp up or spasm.
  2. Reduces the concentration of exercise hormones.
  3. Prevents post exercise venous blood pooling.
  4. Promotes nervous system health by releasing heat generated by exercise. (The nervous system and brain are sensitive to overheating.)
  5. Allows the horse’s heart rate and circulation to return to a normal range.
  6. Reduces the risk of heat trapping within the core of the body, muscles, and brain. Trapped heat in horses has been linked to issues like colic, heat stroke, metabolic collapse, tying up, etc.