Be involved in the future of equine water treadmills. Animal Health Trust, a veterinary charity which offers clinical referral services and diagnostic testing for horses, dogs and cats in East Anglia, across the UK and internationally and which through its research programmes develop new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to help thousands of animals, is looking for your help.
Equine water treadmills are frequently used as a rehabilitation tool in injured humans and dogs. Recently this exercise type has become more popular in the rehabilitation and training of horses but very little is known about optimal protocols. At the current time, there is little understanding of the protocols in use and the decision-making used to select these protocols. We need to know how decisions are made in selection of speed, water height, duration and frequency of exercise. In order to be able to design safe and effective training and rehabilitation protocols, we need to understand more this decision-making and about the effects of different variables on the outcome for individual horses and groups of horses, including breed, type, conformation, sport discipline, fitness, injury type, etc. The Animal Health Trust is aiming to investigate some of these questions.
A questionnaire, to be completed by venues that have this facility, has been devised to determine when, why and how water treadmills are used. Two further questionnaires have been devised: one for the venues to complete for a two week period to collect detailed information on the different protocols used for individual cases, and one for horse owners/client to complete based on their experience with the water treadmill and how their horse has changed through its use. Data from this study will be critical for making informed and rational decisions on the selection of horses and the selection of protocols for training and rehabilitation.
Animal Health Trust needs your help to collect quality data and encourage involvement from any known venue with a water treadmill and anybody who uses one.
AHT is very keen to hear your views, and will be able to feed back to you at the end of the study. Please contact Carolyne Tranquille with any comments, queries or interest in further involvement. Thank you!
For more information about the Animal Health Trust, click here.