Valegro Does Something Unique When in a Water Treadmill

Very interesting about his spine movement compared to other horses that use the treadmill. Video at the link.

“The unique thing about Blueberry on the Aqua Fit compared to other horses is his ability to flex the part of his spine that sits underneath the saddle upwards. Most horses in the water drop this area down. This allows him to generate a different type of movement in that part of his back to any other horse we know.”

He has to have learned to lower his head, so his back can come up, and his abdominals to engage.

Really interesting…thanks for posting this.

I have taken my horse for water treadmill sessions. I found it interesting that they have a bridle on instead of a halter.
I am not sure that him flexing his spine up is that unique. One of the big reasons I decided to use the aqua-tred versus swimming was to get him to use his top line. With straight swimming they tend to raise the head and hollow the back.

I got a package of 6 sessions for Finnegan that I used in about a 3 week period. You could see a huge difference in how he used himself from the 1st session to the last session.

The place I take him to is also his saddle fitter and massage therapist. Most of the point of these sessions were to strengthen his back. He is low in the back (not lordosis).
Maybe Valegro has more flex than I am seeing versus my horse.

I wish I could see the side view at 2:04 in super slow motion.

Sounds like Patrick Kittel is also utilizing water treadmill training with Scandic and it seems to have really boosted his scores. Wonder if the U.S. team will invest in this type of conditioning as well.

Sonnysmom, can I ask how much they charged per session? Have a friend with a rehab place - will try to see if she is planning to get one!

This may be a British thing. You’ll find that some advise loading into trailer/box with a bridle too.

It’s a safety measure recommended by BHS. Hats also.