Acta Vet. Brno 2016, 85: 355-362

Autonomic nervous system activity in purebred Arabian horses evaluated according to the low frequency and high frequency spectrum versus racing performance

Iwona Janczarek1, Witold Kędzierski2, Anna Stachurska1, Izabela Wilk1, Ryszard Kolstrung1, Katarzyna Strzelec1

1University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Faculty of Biology, Animal Sciences and Bioeconomy, Department of Horse Breeding and Use, Lublin, Poland
2University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Lublin, Poland

Received July 15, 2015
Accepted December 2, 2016

Emotional excitability influences horses’ performance in sports and races. The aim of the study was to analyse whether the balance of the autonomic system which can occur when sympathetic system activity is at various levels might impact the horses’ racing performance. The study was carried out on 67 purebred Arabian horses trained for racing. The following indices were analysed: low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and the ratio of spectrum power at low frequencies to high frequencies (LF/HF). The autonomic nervous system activity was measured × 3 during the training season, at three-month intervals. Each examination included a 30-min measurement at rest and after a training session. The racing performance indices in these horses were also analysed. Better racing results were found in horses with enhanced LF/HF. The worst racing results were determined in horses with low LF.


The study was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development, Poland (grant N180061).


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