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Maximum Heart Rate

The MHR is the key to opening the door to a huge warehouse of conditioning potential. For full benefit of heart monitoring focused conditioning, you MUST know the horses maximum heart rate.   Each horse's maximum heart rate is unique and is the foundation of anaerobic/fast twitch (strength) muscle cell development.

There are numerous methods (tests) of determining Maximum Heart Rate. Regardless of the method used to determine maximum heart rate do not relay on one test to conclude the maxium heart rate on any given horse. Run the test at least twice.

One safe and easy workout to determine maximum heart rate utilizes a Polar CS600 and three two minute intervals with 90 seconds recovery between the intervals. The first interval do a 3:10 mile (18MPH), the second do a 2:50 (21mph) and the third 2:30 (24 mph). When the beats per minute levels off in the third interval and is stable for 10 to 15 seconds you will probably have the horses maximum heart rate.

NOTE This exercise is comperable to a race.

To record the exercise press the RED button twice. The CS600 display will need to be set to monitor heart rate, stopwatch and speed if you are interested in the mph and the speed sensor is installed on the cart.

This Maximum Heart Rate Exercise has been developed with help from Leonie Seesing VP Reasearch and Development - Race Horse Conditioning Systems. Ms Seesing is a Thoroughbred Jockey and Trainer. Leonie is also CEO of Equigym LLC, Lexington KY. Maximum heart rate can be achieved on a Equigym Treadmill. Click here to visit

In Pennsylvania we have provisional approval to use the CS600 in qualifying races at Mohegan Pocono Downs. It will be implemented the first time 8/9/07. For more information please call 570-722-COLT(2658) or email We perceive that other tracks and states will soon follow.

There are other approachs to determining maximum heart rate. It is reprinted with permission from "HEART RATE TRAINING FOR HORSES." By Neil Craig and Michael Nunan. To view the document, click here.