Pre-training is the core of what we do at Aquagait. Equipped with a unique variety of conditioning options, we take a modern and precise approach to tailor the right program for every horse in our care.
Our focus is on building strength, condition and fitness without putting undue stress and concussion on the horses body. Typically horses will start out in our water walker with a daily workout between 20mins and 30mins. Once the horse is ready we progress to treadmill workouts (walk, trot & canter). Then finally, if needed, we move to being ridden under saddle track work on one of training tracks or in the round yard. Our aim is to develop cardiovascular fitness and body strength conditioning through controlled exercise which keeps the horse relaxed, feeling healthy and sound. We prefer to minimise work under saddle early in a horses preparation and often horses will not be ridden throughout their pre-training programs with us (they get plenty later on once in full training).
Diet and nutrition is a key element of our program as well. We prefer to feed Hygain™ products, however we also can procure any type of feed and supplements available upon your request through our good friends at Condell Park Produce.
Pre-training time frames vary, for a typical program we recommend a minimum of 4 weeks to have your horse ready to return to full training where it can commence pace work under saddle shortly after. At all times Steve will advise where your horse is at and we welcome specific instructions from trainers and are quite happy to pre-train your horse to a specific set of instructions if you prefer.
Freshen ups or cross training is about providing a different exercise routine and environment to mentally and/or physically stimulate your horse. Once again we take a modern and tailored approach to achieve this.
Our cross training method is not standardised, instead we tailor it to each horse depending on what you want to achieve and the time frame we have to work within. A great place to start is with our water walker which enables your horse to maintain a good level of cardiovascular fitness while at the same time soothing joints and muscles through effective hydrotherapy principles. Horses generally love being in water once they are familiar with it, so with the hydrotherapy comes plenty of mental stimulation.
We also have specialised equipment such as our high intensity therapeutic class IV laser machine. Laser therapy is now well known as effective pain relief tools for humans and animals, used all over the world. It has many other applications as well but for horses with orthopaedic wear & tear and general soreness, 3-4 treatments can yield fantastic results.
Nutrition is a key piece to everything we do and with our cross training programs we really focus on providing a diet that will have your horse in the desired condition when it returns to full training. We choose to use Hygain™ products however we can source any brand of feed you prefer and will follow strict diet instructions at your direction.
Unfortunately orthopaedic leg and muscular injuries are now a common occurrence in racing. With this in mind we have established a facility that is well equipped to care for horse on the road to recovery.
Our injury rehabilitation approach is 100% tailored to each horse and is always done in consultation with your vet or physiotherapist. We have a variety of options in how we can help a horse recover from injury through utilising our Water Walker, Horse Walker, Treadmill and Class IV Laser Therapy. Generally it's a combination of all of the above which helps us to tailor the best program for your horse.
We are fully aware your ambition to get your horse back to the track burns hard, however we are a patient bunch and will provide continuous feedback on your horses progress which in turn helps you to manage your own expectations. We are also quite pragmatic, so if it does reach the point where we need to 'call time' on your horse because the risks outweigh the benefits or it's become obvious that full recovery is not achievable, we will always be honest with you.
Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to injury rehabilitation for horses, however we do commit to doing our very best to give your horse to best opportunity to return to racing.
In our opinion, laser therapy is possibly the most under utilised form of safe and therapeutic treatment available for racehorses. With a wide range of application and completely non-invasive, laser therapy is incredibly effective in the treatment of common injuries and conditions.
Our K-Laser Performance Cube 2.0 machine is the most powerful and compact laser available in the world. It is able to provide fast, precise pain relief to acute and chronic pain conditions, treat common lameness injuries such as tendons or ligaments sprains/tears and speed up the healing process for surgical wounds.
Laser therapy is the non-invasive use of laser energy to generate a photochemical response in damaged or dysfunctional tissue. Our staff are fully trained in the application of all treatments and we continue to have great success in utilising this technology.
We think deeply about 'how might we' help our clients to maximise the investment they have made in their racing stock. We hold the view that sending your horse to the spelling paddock feeling stiff, sore, tired and unhappy will not yield the best outcome. Post preparation recovery is a short program which aids in helping your horse with some therapeutic recovery from its racing preparation, allowing it to head to the paddock in good health.
Our approach is to provide a light and low impact exercise regime with a real focus on muscle and joint recovery through hydrotherapy in our Water Walker and potentially through some targeted laser treatment if applicable. We combine this with some rest and relaxation in our sand and grass day yards as well as plenty of walking.
With time between carnivals getting shorter, we aim to have your horse ready to hit the spelling paddock within 10-14 days. How long you choose to rest your horse from here is totally up to you.