The sheer strength of a galloping horse is really an awesome sight. Lots of people devote their lives training these wonderful athletes to meet their potential and turn out to be a champion, whilst millions more obtain satisfaction from observing these animals participating in many different equestrian endeavors.
Horses possess very big hearts, which transfer considerable amounts of oxygen-carrying blood through the entire body. The heart becomes bigger and stronger with training, and bigger hearts associate with an enhanced exercise capability. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the muscles from the lungs. The blood isn’t the only source of the horse’s red blood cells. The equine has a big storage of red blood cells within the spleen that may be mobilized by the contraction of the spleen at the time of exercise – these can easily double the level of red blood cells.
The blood volume of the horse also improves with training. It will help with not only the maintenance of the circulation but also aid in cooling the animal during intense exercise.
The equine stores huge amounts of energy within the muscles. Its muscle cells likewise have a high capability to utilize oxygen to generate energy, providing them with an increased aerobic capacity.
The power needed by the muscles while galloping is lowered by having hardly any muscle tissues in their lower arms or legs. Instead, there exists a system of ligaments and tendons that not only decrease the weight of its legs but also act to store vitality like springs, which is actually discharged during the propulsion stage of the stride.
The horse’s respiratory system is also remarkably evolved for running. In humans, the gas exchange surface area is roughly the size of half of a standard tennis court. In case of a horse, the gas exchange area is approximately 10 tennis courts! In spite of these adaptations, the respiratory system of the beast is the limiting aspect for athletic skills. Whilst galloping, all normal race horses become hypoxemic meaning that the oxygen level within their blood is lesser than normal. This doesn’t occur in human beings. One of the feasible causes of the hypoxemia is because of the fact that horses happen to be obligate nasal breathers (they need to breathe via their nose). They also possess a long neck and head, and consequently the air they inhale needs to travel considerably before any sort of gas exchange can take place. The animal’s respiratory system is unable to supply oxygen as quickly as the heart and the muscles are able to use it. You can easily see why even minor issues with any area of the respiratory system might have a substantial impact on the performance where speed is of utmost importance.
From all these above-mentioned facts, it is not difficult to comprehend why horses are considered to be one of the most athletic animals on the planet.