An aquatrainer is used for the purposes of strength training for horses and rehabilitation following injury. It comprises a treadmill measuring approximately one by three metres in a large box containing water. The speed at which the treadmill moves, the duration and the level of the water are tailored to the objective of the training. An aquatrainer is very effective when working with horses with such problems as tendon injuries (intermediate tendons and flexor tendons), arthrosis and back problems.
An aquatrainer can be used to improve the horse’s muscle power, coordination and agility. By improving the horse’s posture and pattern of movement, aquatraining also helps prevent injuries. An aquatrainer is the ideal equipment to support day-to-day training, but one of the most important if not the most important benefit of an aquatrainer is that it can be used early on in the rehabilitation process.
Training a horse with the aid of an aquatrainer can be fully tailored to individual needs. You see, the speed of the treadmill, the duration and the level of the water can be set separately. Thus enabling you to draw up an accurate training plan with an aquatrainer. The aquatrainer can also be used as a normal treadmill. In such cases, the top of the treadmill will be above the water. The water under the treadmill surface cools down the treadmill.
Aquatrainers make it possible to get horses with joint, tendon or bone problems exercising. Just like when swimming, buoyancy puts less strain on those joints and tendons that are submerged.
The resistance from the water means that the horse needs to use more muscle power to move. This increases muscle mass and the horse is challenged mentally. Using cold water cools the joints and tendons at the same time.
The aquatrainer is an effective aid when it comes to treating back problems. The resistance provided by the water encourages more active use of abdominal and core muscles. Training with an aquatrainer will speed up the process of getting your horse back to being able to carry a rider without experiencing pain.
Lots of top riders, breeders and rehabilitation clinics have already discovered the benefits of aquatraining and are working with an iDots aquatrainer.
It is extremely important when rehabilitating an injured horse to get it to do some controlled exercise. This is also the hardest part of the rehabilitation process.
Horses have a great deal of energy and can sometimes make unexpected movements impulsively, with all the consequences that this entails. The major benefit of an aquatrainer is that you can give your horse controlled exercise. The speed of the treadmill is fine-tuned to the pace suitable for the horse.
Dr Wim Back from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University has studied the effects of an aquatrainer on movements in horses’ backs. His research entailed looking at the back movements of 12 horses walking in an aquatrainer with a variety of water levels. The study spanned a period of 10 days. The results of the research were extremely positive—all horses exhibited a greater degree of movement in their backs after the 10 days had elapsed. What’s more, step frequency was lower and stride length was higher.
Knowledge and expertise are extremely important when it comes to using an aquatrainer. Incorrect use of this equipment could have serious consequences for the horse!
At the Aquatrainer Academy, you can follow a course to learn all about safe use of the aquatrainer and all the opportunities that this unique piece of equipment presents in terms of training and rehabilitation. More and more aquatrainer users are opting to get trained and certified.
An increasing number of racing stables and private individuals have their own aquatrainer in-house. If used properly, the aquatrainer will complement horses’ training and even occasionally replace training with a rider. Interested in buying an aquatrainer? Leen Soldaat Horse Training Systems offers the option to buy or lease an aquatrainer.