BMC Equine Lecturer, Vanessa Hardy, has authored an article in academic journal, Animals.
The article, titled ‘Consensus for the General Use of Equine Water Treadmills for Healthy Horses’, was published in the international peer-reviewed journal last month.
A multi-national collaboration between a variety of education providers and industry professionals, (including Brooksby Melton College (Part of the SMB Group), Hartpury University, Moulton College, Colorado State University, and more) this research project focused on establishing a consensus on ‘best practice’ for equine water treadmill use.
In order to reach this consensus, the team considered a variety of elements including the potential benefits of water treadmill exercise, general good practice in the use of equine water treadmills, how horses should be introduced to the exercise, the factors influencing selection of belt speed, water depth and duration, and more.
The result was the production of ‘Water Treadmill Guidelines – A Guide for Users’, which was published on various Equestrian websites in 2020. This 2021 Animals article described the development of these guidelines and proposed them as a starting point for further collaborative projects surrounding equine water treadmill best practice.
When speaking about the project, Vanessa said ‘It was a great privilege to collaborate with fellow professionals in creating guidelines for this specialist equipment. With Treadmill activity gaining in popularity, it is important to standardise practices for the welfare of both horse and handler.’
Water treadmill exercise programmes have become increasingly popular in the world of Equine sport, as sessions can be tailored to the individual training and rehabilitation needs of the horse in question. BMC’s Equine Rehabilitation Centre, which is based at the College’s 850 acre Brooksby Campus, is home to an Activo-Med aqua treadmill, allowing students to learn from this increasingly important piece of equipment which is widely used within the industry.
Equine qualifications at the college’s 850 acre Brooksby Campus range from Level 2 through to degree level, with students benefitting from industry-expert teaching staff and multi-million pound facilities, including a state-of-the-art Equine Rehabilitation Centre, two indoor arenas, two outdoor arenas, an on-site livery, and more.
Animals is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal published online by MDPI. The journal publishes a wide variety of animal-based research, including zoology, veterinary sciences and more.
To keep up-to-date with what’s going on with the BMC Equine team, follow them on Instagram @brooksbyequinecollege.