We have previously dispelled the myth that water walkers are best used for injured or sore horses, that is simply not true. So now let’s explore in more detail how we use our water walker at Aquagait.
For horses in pre-training or having a freshen up the typical daily exercise routine in the water walker is for 30 minutes at a speed of ~3kph, water depth of 950mm and all 4 resistance pumps on.
A daily exercise routine like this develops core muscle strength, muscle definition and improves cardiovascular fitness. A horses heart rate will normally sit between 70-100bpm throughout the exercise.
This type of workout is higher intensity and is mainly used for horses that are a few weeks into their pre-training program or for horses requiring additional cardiovascular exercise with low impact on joints or bone. For this workout a horse will exercise in 3 intervals of 5-15-5 or 5-20-5. The first and last 5 minute interval is as per general conditioning above and the 15 or 20 minutes in between is at 7kph which forces horses to work a lot harder to propel themselves through the water. The resistance pumps prevent any whirlpool and maintain a current for the horses to work against.
Heart rates will reach >150bpm providing a great cardiovascular workout additional to the core muscle strengthening and development. A couple of sessions a week doing this really brings on a horses condition and muscles them up nicely.
After track workout under saddle or a good session on the treadmill a great cool down tool is a 15-20 minute light stroll in the water walker.
For cool down we can slow the speed down and turn the resistance pumps off to allow a nice light workout focused on cooling down body temperature and helping soothe joints and muscles.
Mental Health & Stimulation
It cannot be underestimated just how effective the environment at Aquagait is for relaxing horses and keeping them in a great mental state and our water walker plays a pivotal role in achieving this.
The change up in routine and experience combined with the feeling of being in water is an amazing way to make and keep a horse happy. Young colts, old geldings or highly strung mares, we deal with them all regularly and they all leave Aquagait in an improved mental state.
We hope the above helps provide more insight into how we use our water walker and how it might be able to help you give your horse the conditioning edge.
Thanks for reading!