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          How to prepare your horse for cross-country riding? With Raphaël Cochet for the Grand Complet

          Thursday, August 16, 2018

          Raphael Cochet and his mare Shérazad were at the Haras du Pin last weekend for the Grand Complet 2018. Unfortunately no ranking for them but a super clear cross-country in 6'44". Incidentally, they were able to set off equipped with their Seaver girth guard 🙂 Here's some advice from Raphael about preparing his mare for cross-country.

          Let's go back to the preparation gallops done with her girth guard. They were made to train Shérazad and to allow her to apprehend in the best way the cross country of the CIC***.

          Raphael has done two gallops. An intense gallop on the beach of Deauville a month before. Then a second "cooler" gallop in the forest of Rambouillet a week before the deadline. In exclusivity, we decided to share with you the data collected after these two sessions.

          Training at Deauville lasted 43 minutes. Raphaël broke it down into 16 minutes of walk, 15 minutes of trot and 12 minutes of canter. The latter were performed in a single session. At Rambouillet, training lasted 1h59. It was broken down into 1h12 of walk, 31 minutes of trot and 12 minutes of canter. The purpose of these two preparatory canters was slightly different.

          In fact, the aim of the "intense" training was to put the mare's cardiovascular system through its paces and push her into the type of functioning she'll find when running her cross-country race. The graph shows that Shérazad worked on her cardio for 14 minutes (orange gauge) and made a major effort for 5 minutes (red gauge).

          At Deauville, she burned nearly 500 calories and her heart rate gradually increased with the effort, with an average of 112 beats per minute and a maximum of 213 beats per minute, a correct rate for such an effort. We also notice her quick heart rate recovery after the effort, since in one minute after the gallop, the mare finds a rhythm around 100 bpm, which will then continue to decrease, a sign of good shape.

          Data retrievable on theSeaver app

          We can also see that the speed curve increases with intensity. We find the walking phase, then the trotting phase, the 12 minutes of fairly intense galloping with a peak of 600m/min at the end of the session and finally the recovery phase when the curve drops rapidly.

          On the other hand, the gallop carried out in Rambouillet a week before the deadline was intended to sharpen the mare and check that she was in good shape without tiring her too much.

          During this much longer training, at no time was Sherazad in the red. She trotted a lot and did a long gallop of 10 minutes at a rather low speed. Her cardio remained stable (between 50 and 100 beats per minute) and went down quite quickly during the recovery phase.

          It's interesting to study the speed curve in relation to cardio. Note the evolution of the heart rate curve, which follows that of speed. Raphael didn't push his canter too hard, so as not to impair his physical condition. Here, Raphael moved at an average speed of 120 m/min, peaking at 384 m/min.

          The girth guard's locomotion data also allowed Raphael to verify Sherazad's symmetry as she approached her due date. Indeed, thanks to this indicator, it is possible to detect a weakness or even a lameness.

          Here, percentages close to 50% are indicative of very good symmetry. The same applies to scores between 80 and 100. Lower scores can be explained by uneven ground at times outdoors. So Shérazad was ready to run her cross 🙂

          See you soon for a new article,

          Team Seaver