CASE STUDY 3
ISSUE: Use of a Water Treadmill for Yearling Prep
Press Statement x Ibis ’18’ Colt - Yearling
SOLD for $AUD50,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sales 2020
This colt was prepped for the Inglis Classic Sale 2020 Lot 191. He started his exercise program for the sales on the 23nd December 2019 – 4 weeks later than any other yearling heading to the sales.
This was to be an experiment. Would the treadmill condition the colt in a shorter period of time, resulting in a happier horse and less expense for the clients, and most of all, be a more beneficial program for the colt?
Traditional methods to prepare a yearling often involve 40 minutes trotting on a walker, trotting around in circles, and sometimes on an uneven surface. This puts unnecessary strain on young joints, resulting in lame horses during the prep period and at the sales. It can also result in further development problems and complications down the track. On top of that, these young horses are often fed enormous feeds which are very high in grains and not balanced. My aim is to find a better way to prepare the yearling for sale from a health prospective to presentation.
The colt started with 8 minutes a day on the ECB Water Treadmill and built up to 15 mins a day, with the incline on level 4/12, and the water depth mostly at carpal height.(Sometimes lower to create higher joint action and sometimes deeper to create for resistance.)
He was never put into a roller to develop his neck either. (It’s common for yearlings to have their heads tied down for up to an hour in their box to develop their neck muscles). The colt was only worked 5 days in a row and would then have 2 days off in the paddock. He was fed a simple diet of Fibre Fresh Protect, Hygain Growtorque, and Hygain Tru Gain, along with 40ml of KER EQ3 oil daily, plus a daily full hay net (slow feeders) of Teff Hay and one of Lucerne Hay, as I like them to have a choice and always something to graze on.
The end result was a superbly developed colt, well-muscled, brilliant coat shine and a very happy boy. He thoroughly enjoyed his sessions, often dunking his head half under water when he could and having the odd splash. What’s also amazing is it took him a whole 5 minutes to work out how to walk on the treadmill and after the first go, he never questioned going on it and was never bothered by the nappy!
He sold to a brilliant Trainer -Jean Dubois of Woodpark Stud in the Southern Highlands – and will have all the opportunity in the world to succeed.