Hydrotherapy for Horses

Hydrotherapy, is a great way to relive stress in overworked muscles of humans. The science associated with humans is also applicable to horses. For ages, horsemen have used cold therapy to relieve their steeds of pain, heat and stress. Three forms of hydrotherapy exist for horses. These include swimming, cold water therapy, and underwater treadmills. These activities are full of benefits for horses. These practices allow for low impact training and techniques while relieving stress, offering resistance and improving the animal’s fitness.


Swimming, an aerobic activity, allows horses to better recover from an injury. Swimming is a gentler activity benefiting a horse, than on ground training. Swimming allows horses to engage in full body exercise instead of isolated and targeted exercise. Horses are not natural swimmers, so be patient with horses as they start swimming. They will swim only for a few minutes in the beginning. Once adjusted, horses will take longer laps, and stay longer in the water.

Saltwater therapy helps treat numerous ailments of horses. Below, those injures will be discussed in detail. Cold water therapy is used for healing of sores and treating medical issues. Specific temperatures and salinity of salt water are used to relieve swelling, heat and pain. The spa, placed on the ground, allows a horse to enter and leave the spa via walking through a gate. Once the gate is closed, the spa fills to the appropriate water level. Then the water is agitated and the therapeutic process begins.


Underwater treadmills are different from spas. Treadmills are used for conditioning. They provide low-impact exercise for horses and do not stress the animal out. The treadmill combines the effects of swimming, and cold water treatment and also adds a massaging effect. The treadmill can be controlled by the user to manage the agitation of the water, the speed of the mill, as well as the temperature.