Equine hydrotherapy is used as a method of muscle building and also rehabilitation for horses.
In essence, hydrotherapy has the basic benefits of swimming for humans in that it is no / low impact, can be as gentle or rigorous as required. If the horse is actually swimming, then the body is supported by the waters natural buoyancy, which is a plus point in rehabilitation.
Modern hydrotherapy uses chilled saline water applied in water jets to the lower legs.
This strengthens the tissues, reduces inflammation, swelling and pain.
The most famous success story of equine hydrotherapy is Red Rum, winner of three Grand Nationals and many other prestigious races.
He was trained on Southport beach utilising the benefits of salt-water surf, to strengthen the tissues whilst stimulating circulation.
Equine Hydrotherapy Methods
There are a number of variations of hydrotherapy for horses, some of which can be administered by the amateur-owner, and others which require specialist facilities.
|Hosing Legs||Cold hose on legs to reduce swelling|
|Swimming||Can be used to build fitness and help recovery from injury. Natural resources such as the sea could be used, however clearly there is less control of the environment than a purpose build facility|
|Spa||Jaquzzi for horses ,using cold water to reduce inflamation|
|Treadmill||Again, a specialist facility to support recovery and muscle development|
Equine hydrotherapy is often combined with tissue massage and laser / red light treatment.
Equine Injury, Therapy and Rehabilitation. ~ By Mary Bromiley. This book covers rehabilitation after injury, ultrasound, laser therapy, hot and cold water therapies. Highly recommended by our therapists
Naturopathy for Horses ~ By Gerd Emich. Out of print but 2nd hand copies are still available and well worth purchasing.
Equine Spa Manufacturers
CET Ltd one of the leading European manufacturer of high quality stainless steel Equine Spas. They maintain a list of equestrian centres throughout the UK using their equipment. www.cet-equine-spa.co.uk
The Panama Equine Spa is designed and built to meet the hydrotherapy needs of professional trainers and riders. They are supplied by Panama Spa, a list of equestrian centres using their equipment is available on their website. www.panamaspa.com
Hydrotherapy Treatment Sites
Shardeloes Farm is above Old Amersham Town set in outstanding natural beauty of the Chiltern Hills. www.shardeloesfarm.com
Bourton Hill Farm, Bourton on the Water, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. www.equinespa.com
Quob Stables offers equine therapeutic spa treatments, situated in Brook Road, Durley, Southampton. www.quobstables.com
Flawborough Equine is located in a tranquil rural setting in the heart of the Nottinghamshire countryside with easy access from all major road networks. www.flawborough.co.uk
Oaktree Stables Equine Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre is a small, friendly yard where the emphasis is on creating a happy, healthy environment for horses and their owners, situated in Buckinghamshire. www.oaktreestables.co.uk
Priory Farm Equine Spa & Rehab Centre is located on the borders of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire within easy reach of all major motorways (M4, M25 & M40) with good access for large lorries. www.horserehab.co.uk
Peasebrook Equine Clinic, located near the North Cotswold village of Broadway, is a purpose-built Veterinary Hospital set in 30 acres of mature pasture. www.peasebrookequineclinic.com