Alexa Khaghan: How Hylofit helps keep track of my horses' fitness levels
My name is Alexa Khaghan, I work for Hylofit under the social media/marketing department and I am a competitive hunter/jumper amateur rider. I own a twenty-two-year-old appendix, gelding named Dasha Blue Streak, also known as Cash. With owning an older horse, I never want to push him too hard, or not push him hard enough. Yet, I am lucky that Cash is as vibrant as he is at his age. But I always want to make sure his fitness is at the proper level, considering he is still competing in the summer months.
Aside from owning a horse, I also lease a horse who I competitively ride. Going back and forth between riding a younger horse and an older horse can be hard at times. As they are two completely different rides. But, I am thankful that the Hylofit system is able to tell me when Cash is having a hard day or Monty thinks our hack was a walk in the park.
The heart rate tool within the Hylofit is how I know whether or not I pushed my horse’s too hard or just the right amount. Personally, before riding with Hylofit, I never trained with heart rate before, so this was all new to me. It was nice to see how easily the girth attachment slides on and off the girth, making riding several horses a day a breeze. And the app is very user-friendly, which even allows you to create a personal profile and, multiple horse profiles. I was able to create a specific profile unique to each of my horses (see below for example.)
After riding with the system for a few weeks. I wondered to myself how did I ever really know if my horses were being exercised correctly? A few weeks ago, I hacked Cash (my older horse) and hit a zone 4. For those unfamiliar with “zones”. The Hylofit app uses a proprietary algorithm to determine how hard your horse is training and delivers a color-coded zone intensity. This zone calculation is determined through the heart rate of the horse. And the zones are numbered from 1-5. For example, zone 1 would be considered a very light work zone (active recovery) and, as you go up to through the zones the work becomes harder.
Hitting a zone 4 hard work ( Threshold ) was not the zone in which I was intending to hit that day, as this was just supposed to be a light hack. Thus, more of a zone 1 ride. That same week I hacked my younger horse, Monty. The exact same way in which I hacked Cash and, he hit a zone 1 (working hard or hardly working?) Right there, was when I said to myself “how did I ever ride without this tool?” Here I was just hacking my horses thinking they received an appropriate workout when in reality, behind it all, these hacks were either too much or just enough for these guys.
Thus, training regimes had to be changed to fit each horse accordingly. Cash had to start receiving short lunges throughout the week. As for Monty, his fitness was at an appropriate level. But I now know, some more intensive rides can be thrown into his schedule to get his heart rate up a bit. Without the Hylofit system, I would have never known what the underlying fitness of my horse’s truly was. This whole time it was just a guessing game for me… Was that enough of a hack?.... Did we jump too much? Now, I have proof of my rides, the guessing is eliminated and, my mind is more at ease.
I will be heading down to Ocala, Florida in the coming months. Competing in the jumpers division, which should be rather interesting as I have been an equitation/hunter rider my entire riding career. Stay tuned for the journey ahead, as I am super excited to see how the Hylofit system will help keep my horse’s and I be at our best, in and out of the show ring!
The Hylofit system is now available for $349 plus a membership plan.