The effects of two training programmes in 20 Andalusian and 12 Anglo-Arabian horses were evaluated by an increasing intensity work test at velocities of 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 m sec(-1). Heart rate was monitored and blood samples were drawn at rest and after each velocity to analyse packed cell volume, haemoglobin concentration, plasma lactate and potassium levels. Furthermore, the programmes were video-taped and stride length, duration and frequency, stance (restraint and propulsion), swing phase durations and stride vertical component were measured. The training protocol of the Andalusian horses produced significant decreases in the cardiovascular, haematological and metabolic responses to exercise. Locomotory training adaptation consisted of an increased stride frequency and a reduced stride length and vertical stride component. The last variable was the limiting factor of stride length both before and after training in the Andalusian horses. A different training protocol for show-jumping competition in Anglo-Arabian horses failed to show significant differences in the studied parameters to the work test, although an increase in stride length at velocities of over 6 m sec(-1) was observed. Stride vertical component did not have an effect on the physiological response to exercise, either before or after training.