Horse walkers have become an important part of modern yard management. With the increased cost of labour many more stable yards are utilising horse walkers to assist in the basic wellbeing of their horses. Horse walkers enable horses to be exercised without requiring direct supervision and can also be useful for reintroducing the horses to light work following injury.
Benefits of the horse walker:
• Controlled environment to warm up and cool down horses.
• Exercise multiple horses at the same time.
• Free moving exercise.
• Improves equine condition and stamina.
• Can be used to aid rehabilitation of injured horses.
There are several sizes of horse walker available, varying from four- horse units up to the ten-horse size. The basic principles of the machines are the same. They are divided into segments (one for each horse) which rotate sending the compartments in a circle. The speeds can be variable and may go up to trot. Because of the tight diameter it is recommended that horse walkers be used in opposite directions on alternate days or the direction of travel changed mid-session. This enables the horse’s lateral muscles to receive equal exercise.
The surface of the walkers can be concrete or synthetic, but many have been installed with a rubber block surface. The rubber blocks are resilient and provide a cushioned step.
Some horse walkers are dual purpose with the outer ring being used as the horse walker and the centre being an open or covered lunge pen. The lunge pen will normally have an all-weather surface with the horse walker having a rubber surface finish. A combined lunge pen/walker can be much larger in diameter and more expensive than a standard horse walker but does offer the advantage of fully utilising the yard space available.
Equestrian Planning Services are expert at obtaining planning approval for all things equestrian. Our staff are on hand to provide no obligation advice on your projects, we can tell you whether planning permission is needed and how best to achieve a positive result. Get in touch with one of our planning team today for more information.