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Horse Racing/interval training


Dear mr.Crocker,
Did You ever use interval training,and were You satissfied with resaults?

This could be a long explanation, but I'll keep it as short as possible.

Yes, I have and still do, from time to time, depending on the horse. The big problem with actually executing interval training is the time involved, the specific control required, and the horse's mental strength to handle it. All the books written on this subject do lay out great plans, but to get an exercise rider to follow specific instructions and be able to keep a horse to these instructions is very challenging. Interval training is a sport in itself. The rider really needs to understand the process as to not injure the horse. Risk of serious injury is higher if interval training is not under proper control. In my opinion, a heart monitor is a must have tool if interval training is to be attempted along with proper education on understanding the HR data. The main reason interval training is not widely used is because most trainers can't afford a rider who will take the time as well as possess the skills required.

I was satisfied with the results, but never completed a full interval training regimen from start to racing. I train my horses harder than most and work them more often, but do not think the interval training is necessary since it seems like in the U.S., all you have to do is train more aggressive than the guys who only speed work their horse once a week and don't go any further than 5 furlongs when doing so. It also takes a strong horse to be able to handle the stress of interval training. Mental stress seems always left out of the equation. If you are able to carry out a interval training program properly then I believe you will have an edge, but don't think it's for everyone and I would caution experimenting with it. One last factor to consider is that joints in many horses are not going to stand up to the stress of interval training and I never seen this discussed as a concern, but should be greatly considered. My overall opinion is that interval training is perfect on paper, but does not translate perfect to the horse.

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Christopher Crocker


All questions pertaining to thoroughbred horse racing from a trainer's perspective. All questions about thoroughbred training methods, equine biochemistry and physiology. General questions about strategies and economics of thoroughbred horse racing. I will also be pleased to answer general questions about training and caring for horses of all breeds.


I have been breaking, schooling and training thoroughbred race horses for over 17 years.


High school graduate 1992. Dalfort Aircraft 1994. Licensed thoroughbred horse trainer in the United States and Canada.

Awards and Honors
Track record with Chedi at Colonial Downs 2011. Multiple Stakes Placed Trainer.

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