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TOPIC: Stride length

RE:Stride length 05 Dec 2009 12:06 #31

  • solidrockshoer
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This is an interesting discussion (stride length). I once read an article from a very well credentialled farrier who determined that if he could lengthen the stride of a T/B by 10cm through shoeing then he could increase the speed of the horse by a specific amount over a specific distance.

I personally found this comment astounding as there must surely be other things to consider. What if that change in shoeing style forced the horse to travel higher into the air, or it took longer to complete each stride, or unbalanced the horse? There is no proof that a longer stride is equal to better performance.

Personally I agree that maximum length of stride would most likely be optimum for each horse and will be based upon individual genetics/conformation. I also feel that in most instances, trying to alter stride length could more likely lead to an increase in the chance of unsoundness without any guarantee of improved performance.

If the horse that had the longest stride always won the race or outperformed every other horse then I am sure we would be going through a very different system for the purchase of our performance horses. I would strongly suggest that muscle fibres (degree of slow and fast), amongst other things would also have much to do with the speed and performance of horses and their suitability for specific disciplines.

As far as research, I have read that by using a traditional, rolled toe and rocker toe shoe, it was found that there was no distinctive change in the length of stride or the timing of breakover. I have a feeling that this was Clayton but would have to check.
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RE:Stride length 13 Dec 2009 12:22 #32

  • cynthia-jay
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As for Clayton's research in regards to rockering the toe for "maximum stride length"

it would not affect it if the hoof(s) were in balance, in regards to length, depth, width

as for the muscular structure playing a part, true, however. also include ligaments, tendons, skelatal structure, among other factors

as for wind, ex: Big Brown had all the fixings of a Champion, and fell apart , or so stated in his flapper paralizing, which research indicates is also related to the back

they run em too hard, to quick, to fast, to return investments

as always

Cynthia Jay:)
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RE:Stride length 15 Dec 2009 02:58 #33

  • jack-mac
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Tallisman1968 wrote:
This is an interesting discussion (stride length). I once read an article from a very well credentialled farrier who determined that if he could lengthen the stride of a T/B by 10cm through shoeing then he could increase the speed of the horse by a specific amount over a specific distance.

I personally found this comment astounding as there must surely be other things to consider. What if that change in shoeing style forced the horse to travel higher into the air, or it took longer to complete each stride, or unbalanced the horse? There is no proof that a longer stride is equal to better performance.

Personally I agree that maximum length of stride would most likely be optimum for each horse and will be based upon individual genetics/conformation. I also feel that in most instances, trying to alter stride length could more likely lead to an increase in the chance of unsoundness without any guarantee of improved performance.

If the horse that had the longest stride always won the race or outperformed every other horse then I am sure we would be going through a very different system for the purchase of our performance horses. I would strongly suggest that muscle fibres (degree of slow and fast), amongst other things would also have much to do with the speed and performance of horses and their suitability for specific disciplines.

As far as research, I have read that by using a traditional, rolled toe and rocker toe shoe, it was found that there was no distinctive change in the length of stride or the timing of breakover. I have a feeling that this was Clayton but would have to check.
proper action combined with stride length will increase a horses speed , how long it can maintain it for, is the winning or losing factor . clayton's? isn't that the drink you have when your not having a drink:D
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RE:Stride length 15 Dec 2009 14:38 #34

  • chris bunting
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the idea of lenghthening the stride in flat horses is that theoretically the horse does not need so many strides down the track and so is not as tired at the end and still has juice left in the tank for a final surge at the finish line
chris
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RE:Stride length 15 Dec 2009 23:47 #35

  • solidrockshoer
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Hi Jack,

proper action combined with stride length will increase a horses speed , how long it can maintain it for, is the winning or losing factor . clayton's? isn't that the drink you have when your not having a drink

I agree with your comments, that proper action combined with maximum individual stride length (which is based upon each individual horses genetics) will increase the 'individual horses' speed, but it wont necessarily make it the fastest horse. There are other factors to this such as how fast the horse can complete the said movement, which is generally determined by muscle i.e. muscle twitch fibres, percentage of fast or slow. As for winning or losing, not all horses run at the same 'maximum speed'.

Yep, Claytons is the drink you have when your not having a drink. So why not have a bourbon instead!!! :)
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RE:Stride length 15 Dec 2009 23:59 #36

  • solidrockshoer
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Hi Chris,

the idea of lenghthening the stride in flat horses is that theoretically the horse does not need so many strides down the track and so is not as tired at the end and still has juice left in the tank for a final surge at the finish line

I understand the reason behind what this farrier was trying to achieve, but it does not make sense IMO. As an example, if you sprinted 100m and then sprinted 100m using the longest stride you could, I guarantee you would use more energy and be slower using the longer stride.

Just like humans, every horse has a natural and optimally efficient stride length that is determined by genetices, essentially its structure (levers), muscles, tendons etc. Any change to this through shoeing interferes with the horses biomechanical efficiency, which in turn interferes with performance (including level of and speed of fatigue) and soundness.

Personally, I feel optimising efficiency is the best way to maximise individual performance and maintain soundness.
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RE:Stride length 16 Dec 2009 03:53 #37

  • Donnie Walker
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Perhaps the following will be of interst.


You can tell that a quarterhorse and a thoroughbred are two distinct breeds merely by looking at them.
What is it that really catches your eye? Muscles! What we're talking about here are "skeletal muscles", muscles that surround the limbs. These are also called voluntary muscles because they are consciously and actively used to move.
What really makes up a triceps, a biceps, or a gluteal muscle? Whether in horses or in humans, muscles are really just a giant bundle of stringy fibers gathered together at their ends and attached by tendons to bone.
But it's not that simple because there is more than one "type" of fibers in each bundle. Animals have actually evolved to have different amounts of each fiber type in their bundles, depending on what they need to do. In this respect, horses differ from goats and kangaroos. Taking this process one more step, Quarterhorses differ from Thoroughbreds.
Some muscles are made to contract quickly and explosively, resulting in power, strength, and immediate speed. These are called the "fast twitch" or Type IIb fibers.
Other muscles are meant to work steadily, without fatigue, for many hours, resulting in great endurance. These are classified as Type I, or slow-twitch
A third type of muscle fiber in the body is an intermediate, able to generate both rapid power and endurance ("Type IIa). Humans have the same mix of fiber types.
Horses that are meant for quick power and speed, such as Quarterhorses, will possess a greater proportion of Type IIb fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Horses that are meant for endurance, such as Arabians, will possess a greater proportion of Type I muscle fibers.
Horses that are meant for both great speed and (relative) endurance, such as Thoroughbreds, will possess a greater proportion of Type I and IIa fibers, the slow and intermediate types.
The cellular makeup of the muscle fibers themselves, and the energy source that the muscle cell uses, determine the type of contraction that they will produce.
The type of energy source that the muscle uses, in turn, will determine the amount of blood supply to the muscle. Type I muscles are absolutely reliant on the presence of oxygen in order to work. They are necessary for aerobic exercise. Type II muscles can function without the presence of oxygen, and are necessary for anaerobic exercise
Muscle fiber types do not change with the type of training that the horse receives - it is actually the nerve supply during development of the muscle that determines its fiber type.
However, work will enlarge or "hypertrophy" certain types of muscles. For example, Type II fibers will respond to power work, like pumping iron in the gym, and Type I by long slow work analogous to running.


Muscle Structure:
Each muscle consists of thousands of cells that are bundled together to form one functional unit. Skeletal muscles are covered with a protective sheath that eventually comes together to form tendons and ligament. Muscles have a plentiful blood supply, because they require constant delivery of oxygen and nutrients. The blood supply also takes away the toxic substances that muscles build up because of their high activity level.

Muscle Energy Sources

All cells are reliant upon high-energy phosphate bonds for energy. When these powerful phosphate chemical bonds breakdown, they release energy which is used by the body to power things, like pumps, enzymes, and revolving doors for proteins to come and go from cells.

The fastest method of producing energy comes from a molecule that stores phosphate, known as creatine phosphate. However, this hot fuel called creatine phosphate lasts only 5-10 seconds. That's a quick burnout. For more continuous function, for example to cross a river, the muscles will be required to make and store a more reliable energy source.

Most of this 'reliable' energy is found in a molecule called ATP. It's so important it's often called "energy currency." The P in ATP stands for phosphate - and, once again, it is in the P bonds that energy is stored. There are three of these high-energy bonds in ATP, which makes it a particularly valuable energy source.

ATP itself must come from the breakdown of nutrients - sugar (glucose, or glycogen in its stored form), fats, and protein. ATP is continually used, remade, and reused. It's such important stuff; only a very small amount is actually stored in the muscle cells. But there must always be a supply of ATP, because if a muscle cell runs out of ATP, it can no longer function. Rigor mortis, the stiffness seen in death and in the morgue on television is due to a final lack of ATP.

Type I muscles break down sugars by a process that requires oxygen, much like the gas burning engine that requires oxygen from air. The form of sugar breakdown that occurs in the presence of oxygen is known as aerobic glycolysis. Aerobic glycolysis is well suited to endurance type muscles, because it produces a very large amount of ATP (36 in total) for every molecule of glucose that is broken down.

Type I muscles also use fats for production of ATP, producing an astounding 460 ATP for every molecule that it broken down. Therefore, fat is an extremely dense source of energy production. Both aerobic glycolysis and the breakdown of fats are relatively slow processes. Anaerobic glycolysis is the process of breaking down glucose without the presence of oxygen. The net production of ATP from one sugar is only two ATP. So if we only get two ATP versus 460 from a molecule of fat, what is the advantage of anaerobic glycolysis? Actually the advantage is huge for specific situations, because it is extremely fast, and speed is the name of the game with muscles.

The down side to anaerobic glycolysis is a greater production of by-products, especially lactate. Lactate accumulation blocks anaerobic glycolysis itself, and thus muscle function.





So, What Happens During Exercise in the Quarterhorse versus Thoroughbred?
Your Quarterhorse is about to begin running the barrels. He starts to gallop - what powers him? When a horse starts to gallop, he needs an immediate source of energy. This energy is found in the very small amounts of stored ATP and a molecule called phosphocreatine. However, these supplies are quickly exhausted (within seconds).

Your Quarterhorse's powerful, predominately Type IIb muscles, have by now started the process of producing energy by anaerobic glycolysis. This process is in at its peak within 60 seconds - with the job that your horse is doing now, this is all the energy that he needs. Because your Quarterhorse has a high proportion of fast-twitch muscles that are meant to move into gear quickly and anaerobically, and produce great strength and power, he is innately suited for many of his jobs, such as the quarter-run, barrel-racing, and calf-roping. However, these muscles can't sustain this process for more than a half a mile, so your quarterhorse can't keep up the pace over a longer distance.

Imagine a different scenario - your Thoroughbred racehorse is in the starting gates, facing a mile and a half course, instead of several hundred yards of sprinting. What happens? Well, he starts the same way that the Quarterhorse did under full throttle! But now, he must sustain his effort for longer than is possible with anaerobic glycolysis.

The Thoroughbred, by birth, has a higher proportion of slow twitch, oxidative, Type I and Type IIa muscles. Within one minute, the slower, but more efficient process of aerobic glycolysis has begun to supplement his efforts. Although aerobic glycolysis is much more efficient, it is not as fast a method of producing energy, so at this point, the pace starts to slow. Although the thoroughbred still keeps up an amazing speed over the last 3/4s of the race, he is physically incapable, no matter what his training regimen, of completing the entire race at a sprint.

Now, to stretch your mind a little further, imagine an Arab competing in a 100 mile endurance race. He needs more energy than even aerobic glycolysis can afford, but he doesn't need the powerful, short-term speed of the quarterhorse, or even the pace that the Thoroughbred can maintain for a mile to a mile and a half. Instead, he needs to be steady and sure for a truly impressive distance.

The endurance horse needs a fuel that is in plentiful supply, but he doesn't need instant delivery of fuel - and this is found in the form of oxidation of fats. This process is slow, but extremely efficient. Even in a fit, muscular looking horse, there are enough body stores of fat to last for a very long time. Thus, the endurance horse will rely primarily on his Type I muscles to (relatively) slowly but very steadily power him through his grueling task.





Summary
Different breeds are intrinsically suited to the type of work that they do. They are not limited by their will, or their desire, but rather by their physiological make-up, which is breed -determined (i.e. genetic) to a large extent.
Appropriate training can bring each type of horse to its peak level of fitness, but will not change the type of muscle that the horse has by birth. A good example of how this poses a dilemma is the difficulties in training for 3-Day Eventing, which requires a horse to perform aerobic (cross-country, dressage) and anaerobic (jumping) exercises. These horses that can do it all are truly impressive.
Despite the limitations imposed by nature, training can enable each horse to use his muscular strength, power, speed, and endurance to its fullest effect.
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RE:Stride length 16 Dec 2009 16:18 #38

  • cynthia-jay
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Very well said Proffessor Walker in relationship to the muscular make up

then there is the skelator structure which adds up to "conformation"

all that muscle mass won't do a bit of good if the bone mass can not hold up to it add angles, lenghts and "whatmacalitz":)

and best to have a hoof ( 4 is even better) to get it to the destination, or disapline

as for the T.B.'s, an experianced jockey, and trainer can also add to the equation as a rider can in regards to HJ/D and other disaplines as well

always a combination

best to all

as always

Cynthia Jay:)
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RE:Stride length 16 Dec 2009 17:28 #39

  • tbloomer
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cynthia-jay wrote:
. . . and "whatmacalitz":)
I think I saw some of them for sale on eBay last week. :D
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Stride length 16 Dec 2009 17:42 #40

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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Donnie Walker in gray, lots of stuff deleted

You can tell that a quarterhorse and a thoroughbred are two distinct breeds merely by looking at them...

Not me, I can't tell 'em apart - and neither can lots of other folks. There's been so much infusion of TB blood into some QH families that it's virtually impossible to differentiate between a sprinting type TBs and QH runners, many (most?) of which carry more than 1/2 TB blood. Consider Phenomenal Freaky, the probable 2009 Champion Running Quarter Horse that just won the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos: He has more than 5/8ths TB blood.

As to the author's observaton on fast twitch/slow twitch and those muscles' influence on speed/distance, it's interesting to note that every time QH and TBs of equal class have been matched at 440, the TB has won. Probably the most famous of these matches was in 1974 when Come Six, the World Champion Quarter Horse Gelding, was outrun by the then-unknown TB, Beduino, down in Mexico.

The $100,000 winner-take-all match race rocked the QH racing industry; Beduino was subsequently imported to the USA and went on to become one of the QH racing industry's most influential sires. By the way, Phenomenal Freaky is inbred to Beduino 3 x 4. :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
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RE:Stride length 16 Dec 2009 17:48 #41

  • Clint Burrell
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stuff deletedTom Stovall, CJF wrote:
Consider Phenomenal Freaky, the probable 2009 Champion Running Quarter Horse that just won the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos:

By the way, Phenomenal Freaky is inbred to Beduino 3 x 4. :)


That's line breeding. If they don't "run", then it's inbreeding.:D



(I know you know that)
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You just brought a swichblade
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RE:Stride length 16 Dec 2009 22:55 #42

  • chad rice
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Thanks for the history lesson Mr. Tom, I did not know that, and that stuff is interesting.
Chad Rice, CF
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