Thoroughbred Home


Heart Monitoring

Lactate Analyzing


More Tools

Heart Monitoring

Gary Miller, one of our successful trainer clients in Delaware recently said, “If I don’t have a my Polar CS600 on a horse when we’re on the track, I feel naked. The way I look at it, with out a horse heart monitor you might as well stay in the barn”.

Why train using a horse heart monitor?

Here are a few reasons provided by Gary Potter PhD, horse trainer and retired Texas A&M Professor:

  • The heart rate in a racehorse is like a "biotachometer"--it reveals how hard a horse is working at any moment in training.
  • The heart rate in a racehorse is quantitatively reflective of the cardiac output, or the amount of blood that is being circulated to the muscles and other tissues. 
  • Monitoring the peak heart rate and the rate at which the heart rate recovers from a workout and elements within a workout, helps reveal the condition of the horse.  Monitoring, recording and analyzing heart rate information will allow trainers to design training schedules to better condition the aerobic and anaerobic systems in their athletes.
  • Recording heart rate data over time will help give an objective picture of a training program.
  • Abnormally elevated heart rate can be indicative of pain and/or excitement in a horse.  But to know what is abnormal for a horse, one must first know the resting heart rate for that horse. Of course for Zone Focus you also need to know the horse's maximum heart rate.
  • Monitoring the heart rate takes more of the guess work out of training. 

It’s all about recognizing and developing specific muscle fibers. Science tells us that all athletes, human and horse, use different muscle fibers in concert and independently during a race. Some provide endurance (Slow Twitch-Aerobic-Oxygen Dependent) and some provide short quick burst of speed (Fast Twitch-Anaerobic-Oxygen Independent). Knowing the fuel burned while those muscles are working is imperative so feeding to the task is a huge part of the mix and a study unto itself. This information is the small tip of a huge iceberg. For some this is a life-long study and there are libraries full of information and research.
RCS’s job is to be a spark that lights your fire.

There are several horse heart monitors on the market that we have played with. The only monitor we care to carry is The Polar CS600 for pulling and the RS800 for riding.

According to Joe Geiser, Pres/CEO of Racehorse Conditioning Systems, “Polar is head and shoulders above the field. Their software is excellent and their new wireless technology and Wearlink Belt system makes it easy to use even with a very large stable.”

In less than a minute you can get the Polar Wearlink set up before you harness or saddle the horse. With the push of a button on the receiver you can see and record beats per minute until you push another button to turn it off. Walking, trotting, cantering or galloping you have the heart rate while while performing the activity. You can even use it unattended in the stall or while shipping a horse.

“As a racehorse trainer I am very happy with the new wireless models and I’m also thrilled that Polar is not stopping here. I understand that their people in Finland and Switzerland working on the next generations. The team at Polar USA in Lake Success New York is identifying the best ways to deliver the product to and help educate the professional horse trainer markets.” concluded Geiser.

Suggested Readings:

Equine Sport with Feeling and Know How – C Heipertz-Hengst
Free downloadable PDF at

Heart Rate Training for Horses – Neil Craig & Michael Nunan
Racehorse Conditioning Systems: 570-722-2658/ $6.95

Fit Racehorse II – Tom Ivers $39.00

Equine Exercise Physiology – David Marlin & Kathryn Nankervis
New and used available.

Scientific Training of Thoroughbred Racehorses - Allan Davie
Call RCS at 570-722-2658 or e-mail for availability.

Polar Manuals Click Below
Quick Start Manuals: