Aquatic Therapy for Race Horses
Our highly trained staff, who are all horsemen themselves, work carefully with each horse to ensure a safe and positive experience from the first introduction to all subsequent visits. To ensure your horse is getting the most benefit from the Hydro Therapy we offer.
One of the safest and most effective means to exercise a horse and recondition him is in the water! We have found horses take to it very quickly and gain tremendous benefit from this low impact, low stress form of exercise year-round.
The benefits of hydrotherapy are the relief of stress on a horse's joints and less physical impact. The water also provides greater resistance. Water density is some 12 times greater than that of air. This combination makes hydrotherapy an excellent way to condition and also to recondition a horse after an injury or surgery and to improve fitness, just as it is for human athletes.
Hydrotherapy is perfect for post-surgical work (instead of hand walking) and as a reconditioning device for horses coming off lay-ups. It is also helpful when preparing horses for sale, especially in the high-end yearling market.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
- Preserving senior horses who continue to work
- Rehabilitation of hundreds of injury types
- Mental refreshment for burned out track and show horses
- Conditioning without joint insult from ground concussion
- Extend breeding life of stallions through exercise
- Visual detection of Chiropractic issues while in the pool
- Pre-training conditioning for coming 2 yr olds to protect their joints and build muscles
- Pre-sale toning and conditioning so they look their best
- Broodmares benefit greatly after weaning to aid in post-partum pains
- Desensitization and exposure to new things for all disciplines
- Muscle Mass is Enhanced
- Legs Strengthened
- Regained Muscle Tone
- Mental Relaxation is Evident
- Horses learn to look forward to new forms of exercise
How do you get them in for the first time?
You'd be surprised as to how easy it can be! Even the most fearful horse can be taught to enter the pool quietly and safely. How, you ask? By positive reinforcement! The same way we teach our students in our Desensitization Clinics, we teach YOUR horse to be brave, stay left brained and "think" their way into the pool. We ask for ONE STEP FORWARD, stop and reward. We watch their eyes and ears and wait until they drop to a "mentally rational" level, then ask them for ONE MORE step.
Our philosophy is this..."If it takes 30 minutes to get a horse in the Pool for a 2 lap workout then so be it! We take our time!" We do NOT force them into the pool, OR use tranquilizers or drag them in with ropes. Given enough time, most horses will stay rational, unexcited and logically walk in. If we have to stop backwards motion, we will use a rope under their hips (like teaching a foal to lead) and tap on their hindquarters. Nothing more is needed!
As mentioned in The Sanctuary, swimming a horse helps with maintaining proper body and muscle tone, also helps maintain or increase mental capabilities.
The Adame Racing Pool for horses, is cleaned and tested daily to ensure the quality our horses will be swimming in. The horses will be in a very safe environment, rather than a traditional swimming pond.
Conditioning Plans are formulated according to their upcoming demands in the arena or on the track. We have found that the average time needed to condition a horse is 3-4 sessions per week for at least 30 days. It's no different than going to a gym to work out! You can imagine the results with working out 6 days a week for 30 days! The more time spent exercising, the better the results. The major plus to using the horse pool versus arena work is that you're not pounding their joints in the process! By using Hydrotherapy to condition and strengthen, you are preserving ligaments, tendons, feet, joints, backs and hips PLUS giving them a much needed change of routine! Remember, horses LOVE the pool and are mentally fresh when they return to their normal job.
Therapy Plans are formulated around the type of injury or stage of recovery. For example, a freshly bowed tendon (post Veterinarian recommended stall rest time) is put on the AquaTred at a very slow walk for 8 to 15 minutes, six days a week. The jets, warm water, buoyancy and water resistance helps to align the tendon/ligament fibers without undue stress. As the horse progresses in his rehab, his pace is gradually increased to a power walk. THIS is the beauty of the AquaTred versus swimming! We can CONTROL the horses' movements from a very, very slow walk, to average stride, to power walk. Then, as they continue to heal, they are introduced in small time increments to a trot. During the final stages of healing, the horse may walk 4 minutes, trot 10 minutes and then walk for 1 minute to total a 15-minute, stress-free session. From this point, if the owner wishes to begin conditioning, we formulate a Post-Rehab Conditioning Plan.
Post-Rehab Conditioning Plans are created to "test" the injury we rehabilitated and at the same time, "protect" the injured area as well. Here is where we use the combination of the AquaTred and EquiCizer. A horse can be 100% sound in the water but if you put him back to work on the dirt, he suddenly goes lame again. Why? Plain and simple...concussion! Our regime is to do "dirt" work one day, "water" work the next. By rotating the two forms of condition, we produce a WHOLE HORSE! The EquiCizer workout is added in levels: week one is a slow trot for 5-8 minutes. If they show no signs of regression, we bump them up to an extended trot for 2-5 minutes, adding increments of time each week for a longer workout. Remember, we are also conditioning in the AquaTred every other day as well! By week three or four, we slowly bring them up to a full 45 minute workout, which includes the walk, trot, extended trot and lope in both directions. NOW we're ready to get back under saddle and into the show ring!CONTACT US:
870 Barrel Road
Alvin, TX 77511