Hudson Aquatic Systems

Barrel Racer Makes Full Recovery and Competes Again After Treatment in AquaPacer

The Hudson Aquatic Systems’ AquaPacer Plus underwater treadmill with warm and cold saltwater is an effective tool for training and conditioning, injury prevention, post-workout recovery, and successful rehab for a variety of diagnoses. At Unbridled Equine, a rehab and training facility in Batavia, Illinois, the AquaPacer Plus with cold saltwater proved to be crucial in the treatment and recovery of recurring cellulitis.

Goldie, a 14-year-old AQHA mare barrel racer, was brought to Unbridled Equine for treatment of recurring cellulitis in the right hind leg that was preventing her from competing. Goldie spent 50 days at UE completing her treatment, which included 35 sessions in the AquaPacer Plus.

Goldie’s Treatment Outline:

  • Training/acclimation to unit: one day
  • Water: Cold Saltwater
  • Water Height: Mid-Hock to walk and soak
  • Speed: 1.9 mph (specifically determined according to Goldie’s natural stride)
  • Time: First session 10 minutes, increased to 20 minutes by 25th session

Utilizing cold saltwater for treatments not only provide benefits from the natural properties of water (buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, viscosity), but are also especially beneficial for injury prevention, rehab and post-workout recovery.

Cold saltwater therapy helps speed up the body’s natural healing process in the following ways:

  • Blood vessels constrict with cold application, resulting in decreased edema and ensuring surrounding tissue continues to receive adequate oxygenated blood supply.
  • Cold temperatures slow down electrical impulses to the areas of the brain that signal pain.
  • As water depth increases, so does hydrostatic pressure. The increased pressure on tissues acts as a compression garment and helps reduce swelling, while the salt enhances the effects by drawing excess fluid from the tissue.
  • Adding turbulence to the water provides added benefits by creating a massaging effect to the soft tissues, increasing the cold penetration into joints and tissues, aiding in the dispersal of fluids, and helping to decrease pain. Turbulence can be added to the water via turbulence jets, from walking on the treadmill belt during treatment, or both.
  • Turbulence jets inject air into the water which increases the dissolved oxygen level in the water and aids in the healing process.

After just two months in the AquaPacer and completing rehab at Unbridled Equine, Goldie was able to make a full recovery and has successfully returned to competing in barrel racing. For more success stories utilizing the AquaPacer underwater treadmill and to learn more about benefits and features, visit us at: