17 Feb Working Out Your Horse’s Workload
Knowing your horse’s workload is important for:
- Making sure they get their daily nutritional requirements.
- Calculating how much of your feed you need to be giving them, as per the directions on the bag.
THE NRC WORKLOAD GUIDES
The NRC has outlined 4 workloads in their Nutrient Requirements for Horses, which is the resource used for developing and calculating a horse’s diet. The amount of protein, energy, vitamins and minerals your horse requires, changes with how much work they do. The hours are just a guide, but they can helpful in estimating your horse’s workload:
- LIGHT WORK: 1-3 hours a week of work, made up of 40% walk, 50% trot and 10% canter.
- MODERATE WORK: 3-5 hours of work a week made up of 30% walk, 55% trot, 10% canter and 5% jumping, galloping or skill work.
- HEAVY WORK: 4-5 hours of work a week made up of 20% walk, 50% trot, 15% canter and 15% gallop, jumping or skill work.
- INTENSE WORK: Various work durations and speeds, i.e. 1 hour of speed work or 6 to 12 hours of slow work. This is usually only seen in race horses or top level eventers and endurance horses.
*National Research Council (NRC) 2007
BUT WAIT...THERE'S MORE...
The workload guides above are helpful BUT really working out your horse’s workload is not quite that simple.
- Heart rate
- Health status
- Weather conditions like temperature and humidity
- And more!
Taking into account these other factors is especially important for high-level competition and performance horses!
HEART RATE AND WORKLOAD
- LIGHT WORK: 80bpm
- MODERATE WORK: 90bmp
- HEAVY WORK: 110bpm
- INTENSE: 110-150bpm