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Performance horses often place a substantial amount of stress and strain on their joints leading to inflammation and longterm cartilage damage. Across all riding disciplines, 57% of owners report their horse has a joint condition with nearly all of the poll respondents (90%) treating the perceived ailment with supplements (Swirsley et al., 2017). Recovery from tendon, ligament and joint injury is a lengthy process with many owners exploring options for accelerating healing rates. Because speed, duration and time are manageable features, conventional and aqua treadmills are popular rehabilitative aids for horses (Nankervis et al., 2017). The impact of treadmills on joint physiology in immature horses remains poorly understood. A recent study examined synovial fluid isolated from the knee for evidence of inflammation and cartilage turnover in response to a conditioning and training program (Silvers et al., 2020). Both mechanical devices provide benefits over sedentary controls that are discussed by the authors.

Aquatic exercise and equine joint and bone metabolism

Credit: Journal of Animal Science, Volume 98, Issue 9, September 2020, skaa281, doi.org/10.1093/jas/skaa281

Digital Credit:

Publisher: American Society of Animal Science

Rights: Name must appear as a credit whenever the image is used - Journal of Animal Science, Volume 98, Issue 9, September 2020, skaa281, https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skaa281

Description: Performance horses often place a substantial amount of stress and strain on their joints leading to inflammation and longterm cartilage damage. Across all riding disciplines, 57% of owners report their horse has a joint condition with nearly all of the poll respondents (90%) treating the perceived ailment with supplements (Swirsley et al., 2017). Recovery from tendon, ligament and joint injury is a lengthy process with many owners exploring options for accelerating healing rates. Because speed, duration and time are manageable features, conventional and aqua treadmills are popular rehabilitative aids for horses (Nankervis et al., 2017). The impact of treadmills on joint physiology in immature horses remains poorly understood. A recent study examined synovial fluid isolated from the knee for evidence of inflammation and cartilage turnover in response to a conditioning and training program (Silvers et al., 2020). Both mechanical devices provide benefits over sedentary controls that are discussed by the authors.

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