For centuries water has been recognized as having spiritual and healing properties. From soaking aching muscles in an Epsom salt bath to taking a refreshing dip in a pool at the end of a long day, the sound and presence of water are soothing and relaxing. Water is even used for therapy, or Hydrotherapy, to rehabilitate and condition without the harsh impact on the body.
According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), Hydrotherapy has become increasingly more popular for equine healing and conditioning because of the ability to maintain or improve condition without unnecessarily overstressing the horse’s body.
Swimming allows a horse to regain (or maintain) condition without causing unnecessary impact or pressure on the horse’s musculoskeletal system. Just as athletes use their entire body while swimming and interval training, horses do the same while using the equine pool or underwater treadmill. For horses that have suffered an injury, swimming can help the horse recover faster, with less stress and even confidence that they can recover.
Additionally, aquatic therapy has major cardiovascular, respiratory and muscle and tendon benefits. Many horsemen also find that the use of an equine swimming pool or underwater treadmill extends a race horse’s career by an average of five races a year. Due to the waters buoyancy, viscosity, density and pressure, horses are provided with a powerful and endurance filled training session without the weight of the rider.
After years of research and recognizing the extortionary benefits of Hydrotherapy, it was imperative that we install an equine pool at Turf Paradise. The pool was created in 2003 and it has been a huge hit with trainers and owners at the track, with an average of 30 to 50 horses using the pool on live race days.
Our oval-shaped pool is just one of three in the United States located on racetrack property. At 30-feet wide, 60-feet long and 14-feet deep, the pool is designed for the advanced development and improvement of equine athletes of all disciplines.
Horses are powerful beings that have the unique ability gracefully transition from jumping fences, galloping around barrels and sprinting down the stretch. However, all of these abilities require a healthy well-conditioned horse with a full range of motion. Musculoskeletal injuries, depending on the severity, could be career-ending.
About Jerry Simms:
Jerry Simms is a philanthropist, local Arizona businessman, proud grandfather and lifelong entrepreneur. He began his business ventures in the 1970s, owning auto dealerships in Pasadena, Calif., then later moving into the banking industry and real estate development. Born in the Midwest, Jerry grew up loving horses and horse racing, a persuading factor in his decision to move to Phoenix in 1996 and purchase Turf Paradise in 2000. Today, Turf Paradise is the third-largest sporting attraction in Arizona.