Building A Stronger Partnership With Lauren Mastroianni
Lauren Mastroianni is an amateur hunter rider and, a certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist. She is also the owner of a 7-year-old OTTB in training, named King, who she initially purchased off the racetrack when he was a 4-year-old and immediately began the re-training process. After looking up his race records, Lauren noticed that King had been claimed a few times during his racing career so her first priority was making sure he knew he had a safe place and a person he can trust. The pair have inseparable ever since!
Three years ago, Lauren decided to become certified in Equine Sports Massage Therapy and Kinesiology Taping. This new path has allowed her to understand her horse in a new way and also allows her to help other owners or trainers ensure that their horses are always feeling great.
How do you incorporate Hylofit into your everyday training?
Hylofit is a super easy way to understand what's happening with my horse internally. Being a massage therapist I can feel the tension in his body when I work with him on the ground, but now looking at his heart rate during different exercises where he is using his body in different ways allows me to target my message or taping work. I use a heart rate monitor every day on myself. I understand how different situations affect my own body whether is a relaxing environment or a high-stress situation. Now, with the help of Hylofit, I can not only see King's heart rate but I can compare how our two bodies are connected.
I also see the massive benefit in comparing heart rates (especially the zones we stay in) when I'm lessoning with my trainer versus when I'm riding on my own. Both myself and King are pushed much harder when we lesson, so understanding where we fall in those two situations shows me how I can work on my individualized riding when I don't have my trainer on the ground. I've also spoken with many of my massage clients, especially those at the racetrack, about the benefits of hylofit and monitoring heart rates during training. Understanding how the horse is feeling internally when they breeze versus a normal jog or gallop day can help determine the type of race the horse can be entered in, or in their feeling pain or sensitivity during workouts. Being able to share our workout reports with each other and with our vets, in my opinion, it is crucial to making sure we're always doing what's right for our equine partners.
After riding with Hylofit, what was your favorite part about reviewing the results?
My favorite part is always seeing what we've accomplished. Being the only owner at my barn with Hylofit, it's become almost like a game between us. When I ride, some of the others will should "what's his heart rate now??" or, if they think he isn't pushing himself they'll tell me "push him forward or you'll never get out of zone 1!" Not only does it bring another element of understanding to my riding, but it makes me feel great about the training regimen I have King in. I know that it's okay to have lighter days of work, and our heart rates match up on those days when we're both calm and relaxed, and then to know that we are so in sync on our heavier work days makes me proud of how far we've come as a team.
King is my absolute best friend in the world and I won't blink at the opportunity to understand how he feels and what I can do to make sure that he is always happy and enjoying our rides. Hylofit allows me to do just that. I can make sure he is pushing himself and staying fit and healthy, but I now have parameters to understand how much is too much. I feel that a lot of time we ride around, and we don't really know if our horses are getting a workout. Sometimes we may feel like WE are, but our horses might not be using themselves to their full potential. With the technology paired with the monitors that is no longer a question.
Thanks to Hylofit, Lauren can now build an even stronger partnership with King. The systems data, which includes heart rate (bpm) and, zone intensity allows her to ride with a better sense of what King is feeling. By monitoring a horse’s heart rate during an exercise, a rider can better understand what their horse’s body is telling them, and how the exercise is affecting him/her. This vital information can help the pair to progress in their daily training and make Lauren more aware of King’s overall wellbeing.
The Hylofit system is now available for $349 plus a membership plan.