ISSN 2398-2977      

Musculoskeletal: exercise response test


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.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Exercise - keeping your horse fit and happy to give to your clients.

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: Last accessed 23rd January 2018.


Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!


To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code