- Occasionally the watch monitor will read a high HR which is actually double the correct HR. This is due to the band electrodes picking up the electrical voltages from both the large QRS wave and the T wave. The sensitivity of most ECG equipment and HR monitors is set for humans, thus counting the high T wave is a common finding. Turning the band around 180 degrees and therefore swapping the electrode position, may change the voltages enough to correct this problem. Check with a stethoscope. Often as the HR slows even further, it will display the correct HR.
- The monitor can sometimes take longer than normal to display a HR. This is usually due to lack of moisture or poor contact electrode contact because the band is too low and the electrodes and not sitting flat on the horse.
In summary, the HR monitor is a very useful tool for speeding up the strapping process at an endurance ride. The HR is obtained by a different physiological process to using the stethoscope and the instantaneous HR is able to be measured thereby allowing a better insight into how the horse is recovering from the endurance activity being asked of it.
This is a snippet from a previous article reproduced with permission. Author: Caroline Fitzgerald, Cardiac Scientist. BHMS (Exc Physiology), DMU (Cardiac), ASAR.
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