Swimming horses for improved performance and rehabilitation

July 28, 2018

For humans and horses alike, the benefits of cross-training for athletic performance, cardiovascular conditioning, and endurance are well known; there’s also great advantages of hydrotherapy for injured athletes (of both the two-legged and four-hooved varieties) as they recuperate and return to training.

Understanding the importance that cross-training plays within the development of Thoroughbred race horses, we set about developing a purpose-built swimming facility within Peppertree Arcadia.  Taking the latest research and industry trends into consideration, as well as the experience of Australian and international trainers, we created a 55m long, straight, fresh-water pool that’s 4.5m deep.

From late-Spring through to early Autumn, we swim our Thoroughbreds that are in full-work six afternoons a week (the pool is used less during Winter as we switch to using the Walker instead).  Our Sprinters really enjoy a single lap of the pool, whilst our horses that race more than 1600m generally do two laps a day; all our horses enjoy a refreshing swim and significant improvements in their aerobic fitness is evident.

If necessary, in cases where a horse due to race has a niggling twinge, upon veterinary advice, we change up the training routine to focus on swimming.  This takes the pressure off the horses’ joints and ensures that they can stay in work and maintain fitness.

At Peppertree, we use the swimming pool for our equestrian horses as a rehabilitation tool; in particular, for horses that have hock injuries.  It’s a great facility to help develop or regain muscle strength without impact.

LouLou and I truly believe that when you combine training across our swimming facilities, expansive arena, round yard, horse walker, and large galloping paddock, the results are remarkable.

If you’re keen to inspect our property and perhaps agist your horse(s), don’t hesitate to contact us.

Marty McInerney
Marty is an expert in design and construction of equine properties as well as being an experienced racing trainer.

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