“I’m telling them my horse weight, because otherwise we can’t know what I’m telling you when I say, ‘I’m the most injured competitor in the world because I need to carry more weight to the end of the race and carry it for another 10-15 minutes,'” he says.
The average weight for a horse in America is about 140 pounds. This equine equivalent is a fraction of that, which can make the difference between breaking through the finish line and limping along.
The average horse weighs about 2.5 to 3 pounds. You may think horses are not that big because the best are bred with big muscles. The only problem, says the horse-welfare study’s author, Dr. Michael J. Hirsch, is they are not that big because they aren’t actually that big.
“The human body is so big, it’s huge. It’s a tremendous amount of muscle,” he says. While horses, at 2.5 to 3 pounds, weigh more like we do, they don’t feel all that big or stiff.
Horses have no way of storing that muscle — no way to add muscle. They burn muscle-laden fuel, which is what makes them look and run like they are really big.
According to the study, horses have the lowest fat levels of any species, because they are not eating enough. In fact, the horses burning fat do so at the same speed as the people in the study. Horses and humans can also use fat for fuel.
Humans can use fat to fuel the same way they can use fuel for fuel. We do not store fat in our bodies, so if an animal like a horse weighs too much, it cannot eat that fat. When an animal stops eating, it stores that fat, and then it can be used the next day.
The study of horse and human metabolism shows that horses and humans are quite similar.
To measure the metabolic rate of the horse, the researchers used some of the most common tests available to researchers such as weighing, measuring oxygen consumption and a metabolic chamber that measured the animals heart, blood and energy expenditure. (Read a summary of the study that summarizes the findings.)
The horse did well at the oxygen consumption test, even though they were not really running, Hirsch says.
“Their metabolism was basically the same as the man. It is just there weren’t as many calories stored in that man’s body,” he says.
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