Water treadmills have been used in the equine world for years, both as a training method and as rehabilitation therapy. They are especially useful for horses that experience back pain as they can still be exercised without a rider aboard.
While treadmills are often used, there is no set protocol for how they should be used. Staff at University Centre Hartpury worked with the Animal Health Trust to see how the depth of the water in the treadmill affected a horse's back. The results were published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.
Water depth was tested at hoof, fetlock, hock and stifle levels. Water depth at hock level promoted the most flexion in the back and less thoracic extension. It was determined to be the most beneficial, potentially because a horse could still lower his head and neck.
Read more at HorseTalk.
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