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A rehabilitation session taking place on the water treadmill at Moulton Colleges Equine Therapy Centre

Moulton College instrumental in developing new aqua treadmill guidelines to ensure horse welfare

Monday 29 June 2020

The Equine Hydrotherapy Working Group, put together by members of Moulton’s Equine Therapy Centre has published an official document on the safe use of Aqua Treadmills for horses.

‘Equine Water Treadmills – a guide for users’ offers recommendations and support on the correct use and operation of equine water treadmills.

The document aims to ensure the development of appropriate and optimal rehabilitation and training plans. The guide, which is endorsed by British Equestrian (BEF) is the brainchild of the Equine Hydrotherapy Working Group, founded at Moulton College in June 2019. The group comprises academics, veterinary surgeons and therapy and rehabilitation centre managers from across the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the US and China. Over the past twelve months, the Group has been in collaboration to produce the document which is a huge step for the industry and a landmark publication.

Dr Jessica York, Equine Hydrotherapist at Moulton College said:

“Releasing these guidelines is a huge step for our Group. We’ve been working hard to produce a document that supports horse rehabilitation, exercise and wellbeing whilst ensuring the most current academic research is at the forefront of leading best practice. For too long there’s been a lack of guidance for users of aqua treadmills and we wanted to change this. We hope these guidelines will be of benefit to all users of water treadmills and provide clarity.”

The document has been produced following research and user studies supported by the BEF, Petplan Charitable Trust and the Equine Hydrotherapy Working Group.

Jessica added:

“It’s important we share best practice with the industry and it’s essential we do this based on significant research – the result of which is this official document. We hope this document provides the insight that many horse owners and therapy centre managers have been waiting for.”

Providing guidance and standardisation on the use of hydrotherapy equipment for horses is markedly significant to the industry. The Equine Hydrotherapy Working Group are hopeful that the document’s release will drive more experts to get involved and strengthen the sector.

Moulton College offers Equine courses from Level 1 to degree level.

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