The Equine Therapy Centre at Hartpury has an international reputation in research and clinical practice involving equine water treadmills. Research work carried out at Hartpury has made a significant contribution to our current understanding of the physiological and biomechanical responses of horses to water treadmill exercise.

This evidence base has been used to develop the hydrotherapy programmes of many internationally successful sports horses as part of preparation for World Championships and Olympics, including that of the successful London 2012 and Rio 2016 British Olympic Gold medallist, ‘Valegro’.

The research team, led by Kathryn Nankervis, collaborate with Rachel Murray’s group at the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket in establishing best practice for training and rehabilitating horses using hydrotherapy. Most recently, this partnership completed work supported by the Petplan Charitable Trust on the international use of water treadmill exercise, with a view to informing future research direction.

The Equine Therapy Centre’s staff provide professional advice to dressage, eventing and racing clients on the use of hydrotherapy and treadmill exercise for horses. This includes advice and practical support to those setting up therapy centres and hydrotherapy facilities both in the UK and abroad.


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