Rehibilitation: What’s Right For Your Horse

Hudson Aquatic Systems

Injury to an equine athlete can be devastating and sometimes inevitable. Even a small injury that still allows them to compete hinders their overall ability to perform at their peak. Injury layup is a double-edged sword… the athlete cannot continue to practice and improve, while suffering muscle atrophy from the limited use of their muscles.

Many injuries are caused by the lack of rest of the muscles and the pounding on the joints. Aquatic therapy with an underwater treadmill uses the natural properties of water buoyancy, temperature, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure to create a perfect environment for any equine athlete to build muscle, rehabilitate and increase cardio all at the same time.

Water is approximately 12-14 times more difficult to move through than air. Water provides 360 degrees of resistance so any movement will result in resistance from the water. Water Buoyancy unloads the joints of the legs while still providing muscle resistance. Hydrostatic pressure helps push edema (swelling) out from under the skin and increases blood flow. All this happens before you even turn on the treadmill for a workout.

The treadmill provides a controlled walk/speed without the need of the rider and helps with balance and gait. The increased resistance of walking in water exercises the back line and legs while putting less stress on joints. This allows equines athletes to train and condition in half the time of land workouts and rehab at a quicker rate than traditional programs. From trail horses to Kentucky Derby winners and rodeo champions, aquatic therapy with an underwater treadmill is successfully keeping all types of equine athletes at the top of their game. Introduce your horse to aquatic therapy before an injury and see the transformation for yourself.

Cold River Equine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

University of Calgary and Washington State University conducted a study on treadmills with and without water. Of course, most of us in the horse industry have known for years of the numerous benefits of underwater treadmills related to rehabilitation and fitness. The study was done with horses walking only on both treadmills and they tracked changes in aerobic capacity, ventilation, speed, heart rate and whole blood lactate. Results: dry treadmills proved no changes in fitness at all while the water treadmill showed 16% VO2 (aerobic capacity) increase and 17.4% increase in speed.

At Cold River Equine, we use the AquaTred in 3 different ways. One is fitness and our speed is a trot for 15-30 minutes. Can you imagine the results this study would have had if they had used the water treadmill as it was intended? As a fitness machine for the horses who are injury free?

We believe the study numbers would have been astonishing! Second use is for rehabilitation, which is where we only walk the injured horse.

Over the last 15 years of using this amazing machine, we’ve found we get very little ‘fitness’ in the horse at this speed, hence, why we only use it for rehab. The third way we use the AquaTred is power walking. This is for the horse who is either sore from their regular job and needs to ‘stretch out’ and also for ones breaking out of the slow rehab cycle and are breaching into the realm of fitness.

Keeping these guidelines in mind for water treadmills, Cold River Equine has established programs that have delivered undeniable results to owners over the years. While working with your Veterinarian or trainer, we’re able to return your sport horse to work or regain fitness at any level. 817-578-9604

Equine Leg Magic

IF YOU HAVE A HORSE WITH… arthritis • contracted tendons • crooked legs in foals • desmitis • epiphysitis • hoof wall cracks • joint popping • laminitis • limited flexibility • locked stifle • navicular • non-sweaters • ringbone • sesamoiditis • small bone chips • soft tissue swelling • soft tissue calcium deposits • straight pasterns • torn suspensory ligament • undefined body or foot soreness


Equine Leg Magic (ELM) is a mineral supplement which was formulated by K.C. Kelley, PhD in 2008. After observing amazing results in a young colt with severe leg problems, it was decided to promote the product. Over the next four years, data from 1000+ horses—from 10 days of age to 37 years—was collected & the results evaluated, confirming that the product was acting at the cellular level. The large number of health & injury problems that were being healed was over 90%. The new ELM for Dogs has been found to be effective for arthritis, lameness, ligament issues, stifle problems, joint popping, soft tissue swelling, and undefined soreness.

Equine Leg Magic is manufactured & distributed by: Equine Leg Magic LLC, Alachua, Florida Phone: 352-283-6331 • Email: •


SolEquine®, preventative and post-injury equine products. horseRAP® Cold Therapy Wraps cool the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons after a exercise session or performance. Accessible pocket to hold our duoPAK®, convenient by not having to freeze the whole boot.

• Stretchy adjustable compression wrap.

• Adjustable Velcro straps for best fit. horseRAP® Universal, Full-Leg & Chest Wound Wraps are compression bandages designed for post-operative/post-injury equine care. It provides soft tissue support and secures sterile dressings, medicine, or poultice. Keeps wounds clean from dirt and flies.

• Infused with SMARTSILVER®, an additive that provides lasting antimicrobial protection.

• SMARTSILVER® kills 99.9% of Bacteria & Fungus.

• Will not thermally or UV degrade.

• Easy to use, wounds can be checked periodically without removing the whole bandage.

• Eliminates the need for VetRapTM or medical tapes.

• horseRAP® is washable. Effects of the nano silver lasts through 30+ washings. duoPAK® provides cold therapy treatment that isn’t as extreme as ice or frozen gels. It provides regulated cold therapy over a period of 60 to 90 minutes without damaging the skin or nerves.

• Stays powdery even when frozen, allows conformity to the shape of the leg.

• Non-toxic, environmentally friendly.

• Re-usable, simply place back in freezer.

• Does not evaporate/sweat & is not affected by heat or humidity. Contact: 800-995-8715,

Veterinary Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Clinic

Veterinary Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Clinic (VCRC) is located in Houston, Texas south of the NRG Stadium and the Medical Center. The clinic is a large and small animal practice, offering veterinary chiropractic, acupuncture and rehabilitation services for horses, dogs and cats. VCRC provides a variety of services including veterinary chiropractic, traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (acupuncture, electro-acupuncture and Chinese herbal supplements), nutritional counseling, cold LASER therapy, Rehabilitation therapies, underwater treadmill, neuromuscular stimulation,

TheraPlate (vibration plate), Young Living Essential Oils and Raindrop Technique.

One unique aspect of VCRC is their use of veterinary chiropractic and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM). Drug free chiropractic, TCVM and western veterinary medicine work well together as a holistic approach to preventative and maintenance health care for all animals.

In addition to these unique treatments, VCRC uses Ferno Aquapaws and Aqua-Pacer Underwater Treadmills for conditioning and rehabilitation of dogs and horses. Workouts are tailored thru water level, speed and time. This allows for quicker rehabilitation and quicker return to regular activities. VCRC also uses TheraPlate Vibration Technology that is proven to counter the effects of chronic inflammation conditions, speed healing, reduce pain, aid in the prevention of injury and speed the recovery of equine athletes from lameness, cellulitis, tendonitis, pre- and post operative care, bowed tendons and more. For more information regarding VCRC treatments please call 713-991-9500 or visit