Take a look at how other riders are using KER ClockIt Sport to monitor their conditioning programs.

Graph displaying heart rate for hill work session.
Hill work session from July 2019. The hill work (beginning near the middle of the session) increased this horse’s heart rate while maintaining a lower speed.
Graph displaying the heart rate of a horse doing gallop sets on flat ground.
Gallop session on flat terrain from April 2019 for comparison.

Upper-level eventing conditioning: Hill work vs. Gallop sets

Horse: Holsteiner-Thoroughbred Cross, CCI4*-S

The rider says: “As part of my hacks, I take my horses through the woods and up hills at a walk, and this alone raises their heart rate (HR) to the 130s, which is higher than it would be at a slow gallop. The hills that I use for trot conditioning raise their HR to the same levels as a gallop session in one of our slightly undulating fields. My ‘serious’ galloping hill takes a minute and a half or more to climb at a speed of 230-350 meters per minute cantering. Heart rate during this effort is between 190 and 205. The walk back down the hill takes seven minutes, and I do this three times after I do two sets of six-minute gallops in our field and then a 10-minute trot up the big hill. Accessibility to hills has offered a huge advantage in terms of fitness, and KER ClockIt provides the method to measure progress.”

Endurance training

Endurance training

Horse: Arabian mare, elite level

The rider says: “This is an easy preparatory session for a 50-mile ride in a couple weeks. The session lasted just over an hour and mostly consisted of trotting. We just want to keep them moving and loose, without asking too much during the buildup to a race.”

Intermediate XC

Intermediate XC school

Horse: Oldenburg/Thoroughbred cross

The rider says: “Most of our cross-country schools do work in a progression. It was pretty hot that day, but he handled the weather really well. The first 15 minutes would have been a trot and canter around and then the warm-up jumps. We put a few together (4 or 5 jumps), then came back to talk about it or re-do anything we need to. With every peak in the chart, I was doing an exercise. Each exercise progressively got harder. The lull in the middle was watching another person do an exercise that I wasn’t doing. The next two exercises added banks with accuracy questions, so down bank to corner, and double up banks to skinny, etc. The last exercise we finished up at the water. This was a final prep, so we tried to keep it light for him.”

Foxhunting horse heart rate


Horse: Thoroughbred gelding

Session notes: During this 2.5-hour hunt, the horse spent about 15 minutes above a heart rate of 70%. Foxhunting sessions show rapidly alternating periods of walking and faster gaits. Overall, the horse spent about half the session walking and half trotting, cantering, and galloping.

Intermediate gallop sets

Intermediate gallop sets

Horse: Thoroughbred mare

Session notes: The rider trotted to warm up, then did three 6-minute gallop sets on flat terrain. Overall, she spent about 16 minutes of the hour-long ride in the 70-80% heart-rate zone.

Novice dressage

Novice dressage school

Horse: Pony mare

Rider says: “Dressage school on a hot day. This tells me she is aerobically able to do more work. Since shifting her weight back is still new and difficult for her, muscle fatigue is the limiting factor.”

Beginner novice jump

Beginner novice jump school

Horse: Thoroughbred gelding

Session notes: Offsite jump school with an off-the-track Thoroughbred.

Prelim gallop

Prelim/1* gallop with trots

Horse: Warmblood gelding

Session notes: The total session duration was around 90 minutes. The rider alternated trot and walk on a hill to warm up, followed by two gallops (460 and 520 mpm) on level ground (visible as central loop on map) and a cool-down period. Overall, the horse spent about 5:30 over a heart-rate of 70%.

Hill work

Intermediate/advanced hill work

Horse: Warmblood cross

Session notes: Two canters up Nelson’s hill in Pennsylvania. It’s easy to see the correlation between incline (altitude shown in blue) and heart rate. By using a hill, riders can easily raise their horse’s heart rate into a higher conditioning zone without the need for extreme speed.

Novice XC course

XC Course – Novice

Horse: OTTB

Session notes: This session shows an exceptionally fit horse doing a Novice XC round in competition. His highest heart rate during the work was 142.

Training XC course

XC Course – Training

Horse: OTTB

Session notes: To compare with the Novice session above, this horse is doing the Training track at the same competition, and shows a more typical cardiac response. His heart-rate got into the 190s while on course.