Water Treadmill

The aqua-treadmill provides a full body workout for horses.  Working on the treadmill provides a non-concussive environment great for rehabilitation and improving fitness.

Our treadmill allows water levels and speeds to be varied at any point during a session enabling a totally bespoke experience.

If you have any queries about the water treadmill or would like to discuss how it could benefit your horse, please feel free to Contact us.


  • Controlled environment makes it a good alternative to in-hand walking, providing straight line exercise at a consistent speed
  • Improve core strength
  • The water gives gentle resistance, increasing the muscular effort required to move joints without excess force
  • Walking in water leads to increasing range of motion and improved joint mobility
  • Walking in water increases stride length making the shoulder more free and supple.
  • Improves straightness by increased gait symmetry and back strength
  • Improves posture and balance
  • Vary the speeds the horse works – introduce trot in a safe environment

Conditions benefitting from water treadmill work

  • Tendon injuries (suspensory desmitis, etc.)
  • Post-arthroscopic surgery
  • Nondisplaced fractures
  • Joint stiffness, osteoarthritis
  • Reconditioning after a lay-up
  • Back issues such as kissing spines or sore back

How do water treadmills differ to other types of hydrotherapy (swimming/spa)?

Whilst water treadmills, swimming pools and spas all fall under the ‘hydrotherapy’ title the benefits and risks associated with each is different.

For example swimming has increased cardio and respiratory demands for the horse over water treadmill work but when swimming the exaggerated movement of rear limbs and the inverted back would not be beneficial to horses with back or hind limb issues.

When using an equine spa the horse remains still in a bath of salt water chilled to around 2 degrees with the addition of jets to move the water.

It is very effective for acute leg injuries and for maintenance following fast hard ground work, a much improved icepack experience!

What to expect from a treadmill session

General Prep

All sessions require some prep of the horse to minimise contamination in the treadmill:

  1. Bandage tail out of the way
  2. Hose legs off and clean feet

FIrst Session

On a first visit there is some information that we need to ensure that we can formulate the best plan for your horse.

  • Lead horse through treadmill until happy to walk on/off and stand calmly
  • Run treadmill dry until horse finds their rhythm and is walking comfortably
  • Minimal fill to acclimatise the horse to the water
  • The first session may only be about 10 minutes as the physical and psychological effort for the horse is quite high first time

Subsequent Sessions

Depending on horse/reason for using the treadmill the water will be increased in height and the speed adjusted as appropriate.