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Open AccessCommunication

Consensus for the General Use of Equine Water Treadmills for Healthy Horses

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Equine Therapy Centre, Hartpury University, Hartpury, Gloucester GL19 3BE, UK
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Range Animal Science, Office 105, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX 79832, USA
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Moulton College, West Street, Moulton, Northamptonshire NN3 7RR, UK
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Sport Horse Health Plan, Jan van Beierenlaan 88, 3445 VV Woerden, The Netherlands
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Tränkgasse 4, D-83512 Wasserburg, Germany
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Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, 300 West Drake Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
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Hong Kong Jockey Club, Obe Sports Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
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Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell, Warwickshire CV35 9BL, UK
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Move to Balance, Terheidedreef 50, 2900 Schoten, Belgium
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Langdale Equine, Langdale Farm, Park Lane, Ramsden Heath, Billericay CM11 1NN, UK
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Equine Rebalance Therapy Centre, Wellington Riding, Basingstoke Road, Hook, Heckfield, Hampshire RG27 0LJ, UK
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Brooksby Melton College, Asfordby Road, Melton Mowbray LE13 7JE, UK
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Department of Nursing, Arden University, Arden House, Middlemarch Park, Coventry CV3 4JF, UK
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Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons, Cotton End Road, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7NN, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jane M. Williams and Gillian Tabor
Animals 2021, 11(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020305
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 31 December 2020 / Accepted: 18 January 2021 / Published: 26 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Training and Rehabilitation )
Water treadmill exercise has become popular in recent years for the training and rehabilitation of equine athletes. Water treadmill exercise sessions can be tailored to the individual horse and the training/rehabilitation goals by altering the frequency, duration of exercise, water depth and belt speed. Recent work suggests that there are large variations in current modes of use between users, despite shared training or rehabilitation goals. In 2019, a group of researchers and experienced water treadmill users met in the UK to establish what was commonly considered to be best practice in the use of the modality. The result of these discussions was the production of ‘Water treadmill guidelines—a guide for users’, released in 2020 via various equestrian websites. The purpose of this article is to describe the development of these guidelines and propose them as a starting point for further collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the pursuit of ‘best practice’ in water treadmill exercise for horses.
Water treadmill exercise has become popular in recent years for the training and rehabilitation of equine athletes. In 2019, an equine hydrotherapy working group was formed to establish what was commonly considered to be best practice in the use of the modality. This article describes the process by which general guidelines for the application of water treadmill exercise in training and rehabilitation programmes were produced by the working group. The guidelines describe the consensus reached to date on (1) the potential benefits of water treadmill exercise, (2) general good practice in water treadmill exercise, (3) introduction of horses to the exercise, (4) factors influencing selection of belt speed, water depth and duration of exercise, and (5) monitoring movement on the water treadmill. The long-term goal is to reach a consensus on the optimal use of the modality within a training or rehabilitation programme. Collaboration between clinicians, researchers and experienced users is needed to develop research programmes and further guidelines regarding the most appropriate application of the modality for specific veterinary conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: equine; hydrotherapy; water treadmill equine; hydrotherapy; water treadmill
MDPI and ACS Style

Nankervis, K.; Tranquille, C.; McCrae, P.; York, J.; Lashley, M.; Baumann, M.; King, M.; Sykes, E.; Lambourn, J.; Miskimmin, K.-A.; Allen, D.; van Mol, E.; Brooks, S.; Willingham, T.; Lacey, S.; Hardy, V.; Ellis, J.; Murray, R. Consensus for the General Use of Equine Water Treadmills for Healthy Horses. Animals 2021, 11, 305. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020305

AMA Style

Nankervis K, Tranquille C, McCrae P, York J, Lashley M, Baumann M, King M, Sykes E, Lambourn J, Miskimmin K-A, Allen D, van Mol E, Brooks S, Willingham T, Lacey S, Hardy V, Ellis J, Murray R. Consensus for the General Use of Equine Water Treadmills for Healthy Horses. Animals. 2021; 11(2):305. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020305

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nankervis, Kathryn; Tranquille, Carolyne; McCrae, Persephone; York, Jessica; Lashley, Morgan; Baumann, Matthias; King, Melissa; Sykes, Erin; Lambourn, Jessica; Miskimmin, Kerry-Anne; Allen, Donna; van Mol, Evelyne; Brooks, Shelley; Willingham, Tonya; Lacey, Sam; Hardy, Vanessa; Ellis, Julie; Murray, Rachel. 2021. "Consensus for the General Use of Equine Water Treadmills for Healthy Horses" Animals 11, no. 2: 305. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020305

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