Living in a natural environment, they roam constantly and are given to sudden bursts of speed and frolic. Such activities help keep horses toned and conditioned. However, many domesticated horses don't have the liberty to keep themselves physically fit. Because they're confined to stalls, runs, and paddocks, they depend solely on their caregivers to give them recreational and training workouts. Whether physical activity is provided via lunging, riding, driving, jumping, swimming, exercise devices, or through some other means, it's essential to provide your horse with the proper amount and type of exercise.
Your horse's body is a living machine that needs to be tuned and oiled regularly. By allowing your horse to exercise, you help it adapt to stress, maintain health, and rise to the physical demands you ask of it during competition or recreational activities. Exercise improves the horses's musculoskeletal system. This includes muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Muscles adapt most quickly to a conditioning program. Bones, tendons, and ligaments tend to adapt more slowly and are more prone to injury if you ask your horse to work too hard, too soon. Horse Walkers increase exercise demands gradually over time in order to give these bones and tissues time to adapt to the physical demands you place on them.
Regular exercise also promotes suppleness and flexibility. Like humans, many horses aren't equally supple on both sides of their bodies. However, through proper conditioning, it's possible to increase the strength and suppleness of the weaker side. Increasing the horse's range of motion on both sides can greatly enhance its athletic ability and lead to a more balanced, aesthetically pleasing performance.
Owners, trainers, and stable managers know how essential daily exercise is to the health and well-being of horses. However, providing that care can prove difficult at times. Riding, driving, and ground work are time consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive. That's why many equine operations have incorporated mechanical technology to help meet their horses' training and conditioning needs.
While hot walkers and treadmills have gained a firm foothold, unlike a hot walker, your horse's head isn't tethered. There is nothing for your horse to pull against or sidestep away from. He travels in a 50 - 70 foot diameter circle (depending on the size of the Horse Walker installed) restrained by safe, rotating gate panels attached to mechanical arms and surrounded by a safe, perimeter fence. The freedom allows your horse to use its head, neck, and back muscles in a more natural form. Therefore, it doesn't develop the unwanted, lopsided, or upside-down musculature that often develops when a horse is worked regularly on a hot walker. You can work your horses in both directions at a walk, trot, or canter, which insures balanced, uniform development of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems. The computer control panel provides a digital readout as well as automatic reverse and emergency stop.
Originally designed and engineered in Germany, the equipment is now manufactured in the United States by Elite Equestrian Products. The Elite Equestrian Horse Walker is constructed of hot-dipped galvanized steel, making it usable year-round. You can avoid oscillations in your horse's fitness program due to climactic changes. During off-seasons, your horse won't lose that all important bone, tendon, and ligament strength, which are much slower to recondition after a layup. The Elite Equestrian Horse Walker is also an excellent tool for warming up your horse prior to a strenuous workout and cooling him down slowly afterward.
Hans Kallenberger, President and founder of Elite Equestrian Products is dedicated to helping horse owners understand and find the proper way to exercise and condition their horses, regardless of the discipline. Like any athlete, horses need training but also exercising and conditioning to help them realize their potential.
As a horse owner, trainer, judge and instructor Hans has been associated with horses in one way or another since childhood. Born and raised in Germany, where the exercisers or horse walkers were first developed, he graduated with a degree in business and international banking. In 1974 he moved to the US to turn his extensive equine training from Germany into his life's work. First he started a boarding, training, and teaching facility in Dallas, Texas. While there, he established the Dallas Dressage Club.
As a Hunter/Hunt Seat Equitation judge, he has judged a large assortment of competitions throughout the United States. As a guest lecturer at various international veterinarian conferences, he had the opportunity to promote the subject of "Correct Exercising and Conditioning of your Horse." The understanding of the proper way to exercise and condition horses for various disciplines, led him to manufacture the Elite Equestrian Horse Walker.
The concept of working and conditioning horses with the help of a machine, moving freely and untethered is one which he has had many years experience in. He would love to discuss with you how he can help you get the most from your horses.
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