Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

A metabolomics perspective on 2 years of high-intensity training in horses

Johansson, L.; Ringmark, S.; Bergquist, J.; Skioldebrand, E.; Jansson, A.


The plasma metabolomic profile of elite harness horses subjected to different training programmes was explored. All horses had the same training programme from 1.5 until 2 years of age and then high-intensity training was introduced, with horses divided into high and low training groups. Morning blood samples were collected at 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3.5 years of age. The plasma was analysed using targeted absolute quantitative analysis and a combination of tandem mass spectrometry, flow-injection analysis and liquid chromatography. Differences between the two training groups were observed at 2 years of age, when 161 metabolites and sums and ratios were lower (e.g. ceramide and several triglycerides) and 51 were higher (e.g. aconitic acid, anserine, sum of PUFA cholesteryl esters and solely ketogenic AAs) in High compared with low horses. The metabolites aconitic acid, anserine, leucine, HArg synthesis and sum of solely ketogenic AAs increased over time, while beta alanine synthesis, ceramides and indole decreased. Therefore high-intensity training promoted adaptations linked to aerobic energy production and amino acid metabolism, and potentially also affected pH-buffering and vascular and insulin responses.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2024, Volume: 14, number: 1, article number: 2139