Equine underwater treadmill in SA

Underwater treadmill therapy has a range of benefits for active and recovering horses

Towards the end of last year, at Pellmeadow Estate in Klapmuts, near Paarl, a horse named Baybar quietly made South African history. He was the first horse in South Africa to bravely enter into the depths of an underwater treadmill designed and built specifically for horses. Since the 1990s, the benefits of underwater training have been known among equestrians, and more recently a number of small animal veterinary practices have started employing this technology to aid with the rehabilitation of canine patients, especially after surgical cruciate ligament repairs.

 

What are the benefits?

Training a horse in an underwater environment has many benefits that can help to get him moving and exercising much sooner after injury or surgery, thereby speeding up the recovery process. Where horses would usually be restricted to box rest and minimal hand-walking, they can now continue to exercise because the weight they would have put on injured limbs is decreased in the water. This means they can strengthen muscles without putting added pressure on an injury. Muscle strength is increased through the resistance provided by the water, but because the treadmill does not require horses to swim in the water, their necks do not have to arch and their backs don’t hollow, making it ideal for horses with back problems.

 

 

About Baybar and Baybar Active

When the horse, Baybar, arrived at Pellmeadow Estate, he turned around the owner’s, Dr Deon de Beer, perceptions of horses and horse care. Living on a small farm and without the use of a tractor, other plans had to be made to deal with stable muck. This is what inspired Baybar Trailers to start building convenient horseboxes and farm implements that could be used by smaller-scale farmers who do not have the luxury of large tractors. All Baybar products are built and designed to be towed by quad bikes.

Baybar Active is the first facility of its kind in the Western Cape, offering dog and horse owners the opportunity to have their animals exercised by a team of professionals who include veterinarians and qualified therapists. All exercise programmes are tailored to the horses’ individual needs. Facilities include:

  • South Africa is fortunate enough to have an underwater treadmill facility in the Western Cape

    Consultation workspaces

  • Treadmills for horses and dogs
  • Solarium
  • Vibrating table (to strengthen joints in horses)
  • Horse walker
  • Jumping lane
  • Boarding facilities for horses and dogs
  • Blood sample and x-ray service

Get in touch

  • Visit Pellmeadow Estate on Protea Road, Klapmuts.
  • Email: mkotze@baybar.co.za
  • Phone: 021 875 5066
  • Website: baybar.co.za