Horses running on the beach and going for a swim in the ocean are more than just a pretty view. Swimming our equine athletes is an excellent tool in rehabilitation. It increases cardiovascular fitness without the increased concussion on the musculoskeletal system. For this reason, swimming pools have become a more popular tool in equine training and rehabilitation.
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Swimming pools are found on training farms and rehabilitation centers around the country. They can vary from freshwater, long and narrow, to pond-like. Some facilities add in the use of a treadmill underwater for other benefits. Still, free swim pools have a beneficial use in almost all aspects of training.
Swimming pools for horses typically have a slow sloping ramp into the pool covered in mats for the horse’s safety. Usually, one to two people have long lines attached to either side of the horse’s head to help steer them safely to the other side of the pool. On the other side of the pool, there will be another slow sloping ramp that leads out of the pool so that the horse can gather itself before exiting the pool.
Depending on the purpose of swimming for the individual horse, they can swim once a week or every day. Also, depending on the training plan and the type of pool, you can swim based on time or number of laps. One lap in a 100-yard pool or 3-5 minutes of swimming is a good base for a horse aiming to maintain a level of fitness. As with any form of exercise and training, it is always important to slowly increase and listen to the horse.
The use of swimming pools can vary from rehabilitating injuries, increasing muscle mass on young horses, giving a change of scenery to older horses from the racetrack, or maintaining fitness on older horses with less time under saddle.
- Are you interested in learning more about our swimming pools?
Contact Female Thoroughbred Trainer – Jena Antonucci at 352-266-6555.
- Have a 2-year-old that needs breaking and training to get ready for next year?
Contact Katie Miranda at 352-299-6720 – White Lilac is a woman and minority-owned business.
Great Horsewoman & lady. Genuine love & concern for animals in her care.
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