HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Your first session on the treadmill is an assessment session and is just £20 for up to an hour's session. After that you can “pay as you go” at £45 a session or buy a package of five sessions which includes discount from the single session price. Please contact us for more details.
A single session in the Saltwater Spa is £32.50. For horses that need some encouragement and getting used to standing in the Spa, we offer a Spa Training Package of two introductory sessions for just £50.
WHAT DOES THE ASSESSMENT SESSION INVOLVE?
Your first session lasts up to an hour and is primarily a chance for your horse to acclimatise to the treatment centre and the treadmill, as well as being our opportunity to learn about your goals for the horse and to take a good look at them so we can suggest a suitable training or rehab program.
If your horse is less experienced, we’ll take as long as necessary to help make them feel comfortable in the new environment and to encourage them to enter the treadmill box. Once they are settled and ready, we’ll start the belt moving and give them a chance to experience walking on the treadmill and gradually introduce a little water.
WHAT IF MY HORSE DOESN'T WANT TO GO INTO THE TREADMILL
This very rarely happens – we’ve worked with hundreds of horses and only a very small handful have ever flat-out refused to go on, but in extreme cases we may ask that you do a bit more groundwork with the horse (and perhaps a trainer) before we try them on the treadmill again.
HOW LONG DO SESSIONS LAST?
Regular appointments (Treadmill or Spa) last 30 minutes. The initial assessment session lasts up to an hour.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
That totally depends on the horse’s condition and what you want to achieve! Contact us for a chat and we can give you an indication based on our experience.
CAN TREADMILL WORK REPLACE OTHER EXERCISE?
Water treadmill exercise can greatly enhance your horse’s existing rehabilitation programme or training regime, but it should always be considered part of what you do, not the only thing. Having said that, there may be short periods, during a rehab programme for example, where water treadmill exercise is more suitable than another form of exercise due to the water treadmill work being low impact.
WHAT PREPARATION DO I HAVE TO DO BEFORE MY HORSE'S WATER TREADMILL SESSIONS?
We’ll give your horse every opportunity to get used to the treadmill during their initial assessment session, but if they are very reluctant to enter confided spaces (for example if they always take ages to load into your horsebox) then you may want to do some more basic training with them (and perhaps a trainer) before coming to us.
The most important thing to do before every session is to check your horse’s shoes are sound, as we can’t allow horses with loose or missing shoes onto the treadmill. Picking your horse's hooves and tying up their tail will allow us to get going on the treadmill more quickly when you arrive, although we are happy to do these things for you on arrival when required.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A WATER TREADMILL SESSION?
The operators stand on an elevated walkway so that they can easily control the horse and watch its movements, assisted by a live video screen that allows them to see the horse’s leg action from the side. You can see the horse in action through the transparent side panels of the treadmill.
The treadmill is started dry and the movement of the treadmill belt forces the horse to walk or trot within the confines of the cabinet so that it maintains position, not moving too far forward or backward. The assistant holds the reins to correctly position the horse, but quite quickly it will adopt a natural position on the belt requiring less and less control from the assistant.
The operator, who has overall control and responsibility for ensuring the horse is not unduly stressed or overloaded, introduces water into the cabinet. The level depends on the muscle groups to be exercised and the aerobic load intended. The treadmill belt can be inclined for a harder workout.
After the session we’ll complete a written record of what we did and how the horse responded.
CAN I VIDEO OR PHOTOGRAPH MY HORSE WHILE ON THE TREADMILL?
Yes, if you like, but we can also provide you with video of your horse’s session from multiple angles FOR FREE – all you have to do is bring along a USB stick for us to download the video onto!
WHAT ABOUT BIOSECURITY?
We take your horse’s health extremely seriously and have extensive and well-tested procedures for maintaining the biosecurity of the treatment room, equipment and the water used in the machines.
We use DEFRA approved disinfectants and we are rigorous with disinfecting the machines between uses and with our extensive end-of-day cleaning routines.
Two 5,000 litre tanks hold the water used in the treadmill; one for “clean” water and one for “used”. When the exercise is finishing the water is pumped out of the cabinet into a rotating drum filter with a water wash which separates out any solids and captures them for disposal. The water is held in an intermediate tank, from where it is pumped into the “used” water tank.
An intensive filtration cycle is then started which takes the “used” water through a charcoal bed that removes any remaining impurities and then via an Ultra Violet chamber that kills any bacteria. This cycle is carried out during the day and overnight allowing the water to be continuously re-used.
The whole system is back-washed weekly to clean out the filter bed and topped up with fresh water.