Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Musculoskeletal: exercise response test

Contributor(s): Graham Munroe, Laura Quiney


  • Useful in the diagnosis of conditions affecting horse performance Poor performance: overview.
  • Can be used to assess respiratory function, monitor heart rate and electrical activity (electrocardiography) and identify muscle damage (clinical or subclinical myopathy).
  • Performance testing can assess fitness, physiological response to exercise tests and therefore training regimes.
  • Exercise testing is currently most frequently used in racehorses.

Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Allen K J, Erck‐Westergren E & Franklin S H (2016) Exercise testing in the equine athlete. Equine Vet Educ 28 (2), 89-98 VetMedResource.
  • Allen K J, Young L E & Franklin S H (2016) Evaluation of heart rate and rhythm during exercise. Equine Vet Educ 28 (2), 99-112 VetMedResource.
  • Navas de Solis C (2016) Exercising arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in horses: Review of the literature and comparative aspects. Equine Vet J 48 (4), 406-413 PubMed.
  • Younes M, Robert C, Barrey E & Cottin F (2016) Effects of age, exercise duration and test conditions on heart rate variability in young endurance horses. Fron Physiol 7, 155 PubMed.
  • Franklin S H & Allen K J (2015) Assessment of dynamic upper respiratory tract function in the equine athlete. Equine Vet Educ 29 (2), 92-103 VetMedResource.
  • Fitzharris L, Franklin S & Allen K (2014) The prevalence of abnormal breathing patterns during exercise and associations with dynamic upper respiratory tract obstructions. Equine Vet J 46 (S46), 22-22 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Davidson E (2014) Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy: Diagnosis, Dynamic Endoscopy. In: Advances in Equine Upper Respiratory Surgery. Ed: Hawkins J. Wiley Blackwell. pp 9-15.
  • Davidson E (2014) Dorsal Displacement of the Soft Palate: Standing and Dynamic Endoscopic Examination. In: Advances in Equine Upper Respiratory Surgery. Ed: Hawkins J. Wiley Blackwell. pp 93.
  • Valberg S J (2009) Approach to the Horse with a Suspected Myopathy. In: Proc 11th WEVA Congress. Guaruja, Brazil. Website: www.ivis.org. Last accessed 23rd January 2018.