Adding Therapies to Services Offered: Treadmills

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Farm and stable owners and managers read StableManagement.com for many reasons, including to find out ways to help their equine businesses become more profitable. In looking at three separate therapies that might be considerations for adding to your facilities, we also discussed cold compression systems and discussed vibration plates. While not all of these therapies will be suitable for your farm or stable, some owners or managers will want to make the investment and reap the benefits of these additional client services.

Treadmills

Stable owners interested in expanding their services offered can consider installing equine treadmills.

Treadmills allow for controlled exercise routines on a forgiving and consistent surface, and each session can be programmed for duration, speed and intensity. 

“Unless you have somebody to ride 12 hours a day, you can easily do nine, 12 or 15 head a day on a treadmill,” said Ray Drennan, inventor of the Trilogy treadmill. “Treadmills provide faster, safer and more efficient exercise.”

A treadmill can be set up inside a barn, in a covered area or in a separate building. Some treadmills can be used outdoors despite inclement weather. “You can do more work in less steps, and the cushioning of the belt ensures that a horse never takes a bad step,” Drennan added. “The treadmills are usually portable and require less space than hot-walkers.”

Alternating treadmill workouts with riding sessions can alleviate a horse’s boredom. “Rather than burnout (in disciplines) like cutting, trainers alternate work on a treadmill with riding to keep their horses fit,” Drennan said.

Purchasing a treadmill is a large investment, and pricing varies based on model and manufacturer. Prices range from $18,000-$30,000 or more.

“They (treadmills) are not necessarily a therapeutic modality any more than hand- or hot-walking,” said Brenda McDuffee, general manager of The Equine Sanctuary Sports Therapy Rehabilitation Center in Florida. “But, they provide controlled exercise, and I see them a lot in hunter/jumper barns.”

The Sanctuary relies on “aquamills,” treadmills that allow the horse to walk in a tank filled with water up to the horse’s belly.

Aquamills can be more costly to install than some treadmills, but they provide a higher level of physical fitness. “The full-depth workout encourages a full range of motion on all four legs, and on the physical fitness side, you can ask the muscles to work harder and in different ways,” she added.

Learn more about equine treadmills and how they might fit into your equine business by visiting the websites below to get started.

Freedom Horse Products: www.freedomhorseproducts.com

Horse Gym USA: www.horsegym.com

HydroHorse, LLC: www.horsetreadmills.com

Trilogy Horse Industries, Inc.: www.trilogyhorse.com/