CLICK on the MOVIE ICON below to watch a horse work in the AquaTred!

AquaTred by Hydro Horse
One of the safest and most effective means to exercise a horse and recondition him is in the water! We have found horses take to it very quickly and gain tremendous benefit from this low impact, low stress form of exercise year round.

The benefits of hydrotherapy are the relief of stress on a horse's joints and less physical impact. The water also provides greater resistance. Water density is some 12 times greater than that of air. This combination makes hydrotherapy an excellent way to recondition a horse after an injury or surgery and to improve fitness, just as it is for human athletes.

AquaTred is perfect for post surgical work (instead of hand walking) and as a reconditioning device for horses coming off lay-ups.   It is also helpful when preparing horses for sale, especially in the high-end yearling market.

You can control the speed from slow, soft walk to an aerobic big power walk or long trot.  The temperature can also be regulated according to the season, which keeps us up-and-running year round, even in the worst of weather!

Our highly trained staff, who are all horsemen themselves, work carefully with each horse to ensure a safe and positive experience from the first introduction to all subsequent visitsTo ensure your horse is getting the most benefit from the AquaTred, a HEART RATE MONITOR is put on each and every horse for the first 10-15 sessions!  By using a heart rate monitor, we have found that the water and massaging jets produces a calming effect on cardiac output.  From the baseline readings, we can then begin to increase or decrease the workload of the horse while on the treadmill.  We have found that some horses are so "brave" that they won't let you know that they are tired or hurting.  With the heart rate monitor, we can clearly see when a horse is stressed, tired or nervous.  The average initial working heart rate is between 90 and 110 bpm (beats per minute).  Once the horse learns their new job in the water, we find the rate drops between 75 and 85 bpm.  For comparison purposes, if a race horse is at top speed, their average heart rate is 170 to 200bpm!  And a horse at rest, under a shade tree taking a nap is 25 to 30 bpm!  In summary, horses working in the AquaTred are at the Prime Metabolic Conditioning Rate of exercise. 

Benefits of HydroTherapy:

  • Conditioning without joint insult from ground concussion
  • Preserving senior horses who continue to work
  • Rehabilitation of hundreds of injury types
  • Visual detection of Chiropractic issues while in the pool
  • Mental refreshment for burned out track and show horses
  • Extend breeding life of stallions through exercise
  • Pre-training conditioning for 2-3 yr olds to protect their joints and build muscles
  • Pre-sale toning and conditioning so they look their best!
  • Broodmares benefit greatly after weaning to aid in post-partum pains
  • Desensitization and exposure to new things for all disciplines

At Cold River, we are continually upgrading our facilities and staying on the "cutting edge" of technology.  The AquaTred underwater treadmill has been a great asset to the therapies we offer.  The results we see are incredible!  Muscle mass is enhanced, legs are strengthened, muscle tone is regained and mental relaxation is evident.   From training burn out to envigoration.....that's what this machine can offer!  Horses actually look forward to their workout!  

Our Aquatred barn is insulated and kept at a comfortable temperature  throughout the year.  During the winter months, it is heated and each horse is kept inside the building until completely dry.  In addition to housing the AquaTred, it also has four wash docks.  Horses are washed before entering and after leaving the AquaTred pool.  The water in the AquaTred is kept at a comfortable 85 degrees and is chemically treated twice a day and water refreshed to maintain cleanliness at all times.  During the summer, a cool breeze blows through the building from 3 sides of the barn and ceiling fans are utilized.  The water is cool and comfortable for our hot summer days!   For horses than need a more vigorus workout over our regular 15 minute session, we can condition your horse up to 30 minutes at a trot!  


One of the most commonly asked questions about the AquaTred is, "How do you get them in for the first time?"  You'd be surprised as to how easy it can be!  Even the most fearful horse can be taught to enter the pool quietly and safely.  How, you ask?  By positive reinforcement!   The same way we teach our students in our Desensitization Clinics, we teach YOUR horse to be brave, stay left brained and "think" their way into the pool.  We ask for ONE STEP FORWARD,  stop and reward.  We watch their heart rate and wait until it drops to a "mentally rational" level, then ask them for ONE MORE step.  Our philosophy is this......"if it takes 30 minutes to get a horse in the AquaTred for an 8 minute workout, so be it!  Take your time!"  We do NOT force them into the pool, use tranquilizers or drag them in with ropes.  Given enough time, ALL horses will stay rational, unexcited and logically walk in.  If we have to stop backwards motion, we will use a rope under their hips (like teaching a foal to lead) and tap on their hindquarters.  Nothing more is needed!

Foal entering AquaTred
We had a client call us regarding a foal who was born with a fractured knee.  The foal had already had a pin inserted in his knee to straighten the joint and then removed once it calcified.  The Vet suggested a swimming pool but the owners were afraid of the size of a swimming pool and him becoming fatigued 1/2 way around.  So they asked if they could "swim" their foal in the AquaTred.  Wow!  What a neat opportunity!  As the foal swam the length of the pool, the mare walked on the deck beside him and met the foal at the exit ramp!  It was the neatest, safest therapy!!  The owners trailered the mare and foal over for many sessions and the post-therapy Vet check was fabulous. 
Foal swimming
Conditioning and Therapy Plans for the AquaTred vary from horse to horse, injury to injury.  We tailor suit programs to meet your horses' needs, as well as yours.  We understand rehabilitation can be a costly endeavor, so we try very hard to work within your budget and rehabilitate or condition your equine athlete in a timely manner. 

Conditioning Plans are formulated according to their upcoming demands in the arena or on the track.  We have found that the average time needed to condition a horse is 3-4 sessions per week for at least 30 days.  It's no different than going to a gym to work out!  You can imagine the results with working out 6 days a week for 30 days!  The more time spent exercising, the better the results.  The major plus to using the AquaTred versus arena work is that you're not pounding their joints in the process!  By using Hydrotherapy to condition and strengthen, you are preserving ligaments, tendons, feet, joints, backs and hips PLUS giving them a much needed change of routine!  Remember, horses LOVE the AquaTred and are mentally fresh when they return to their normal job.

Therapy Plans are formulated around the type of injury or stage of recovery.  For example, a freshly bowed tendon (post Veterinarian recommended stall rest time) is put on the AquaTred at a very slow walk for 8 to 15 minutes, six days a week.  The jets, warm water, bouyancy and water resistance helps to align the tendon/ligament fibers without undue stress.  As the horse progresses in his rehab, his pace is gradually increased to a power walk.  THIS is the beauty of the AquaTred versus swimming!  We can CONTROL the horses' movements from a very, very slow walk, to average stride, to power walk.  Then, as they continue to heal, they are introduced in small time increments to a trot.  During the final stages of healing, the horse may walk 4 minutes, trot 10 minutes and then walk for 1 minute to total a 15 minute, stress-free session.  From this point, if the owner wishes to begin conditioning, we formulate a Post-Rehab Conditioning Plan.

Post-Rehab Conditioning Plans are created to "test" the injury we rehabilitated and at the same time, "protect" the injured area as well.  Here is where we use the combination of the AquaTred and EquiCizer.  A horse can be 100% sound in the water but if  you put him back to work on the dirt, he suddenly goes lame again.  Why?  Plain and simple...concussion!  Our regime is to do "dirt" work one day, "water" work the next.  By rotating the two forms of conditiong, we produce a WHOLE HORSE!  The EquiCizer workout is added in levels:  week one is a slow trot for 5-8 minutes.  If they show no signs of regression, we bump them up to an extended trot for 2-5 minutes, adding increments of time each week for a longer workout.  Remember, we are also conditioning in the AquaTred every other day as well!  By week three or four, we slowly bring them up to a full 45 minute workout, which includes the walk, trot, extended trot and lope in both directions.  NOW we're ready to get back under saddle and into the show ring!

CRESM client
Client - 3 Day Eventer
Client - 3 Day Eventer