Equine Swimming

Unique facility now open for everyday horse owners. Have fun, build fitness, recover from injury, lose weight; take the plunge with us!

2020 Updates & Information

The pool is now open following extended closure due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Swimmers who paid for three swims in 2018 or 2019 & did not use them can not use them in 2020. Block swims are only valid for the year they are purchased in.

Swims paid for in advance in December 2019 (as Christmas gifts) will be valid until the end of the 2020 season. They cannot be refunded.

Individual swims are £27 for the first swim & £22 thereafter.

Block bookings are now three swims for £60, which can include your first swim. Swims booked in this way are for the same horse swimming for each session.

If your equine is staying with us for training or rehabilitation swimming can be included in the package.

Covid-19 Announcement

Please take note of the guidance provided on site & respect social distancing. Preferably only bring one household member with you to minimise the number of people on site.

Be honest with us about your health & we will do likewise, this will keep us all well. Please bring gloves & hand sanitiser with you.

Initially only straight line swimming is available for individual swim sessions.

For new swimmers be honest with us about their character – distancing will become more difficult with equines who are struggling with the activity so we need to have a plan in place to help them swim safely.

What happens during a session

Our pool is approximately 25m long & over 2m deep. It is fed by a spring so the water is continually moving through the pool. Your equine will enter down a slight slope until she reaches her depth limit & is required to begin swimming. At the other end there is a slope, where she will gradually find her footing & walk out of the water. The handler is required to walk alongside her head allowing her to swim but guiding her in a straight line as necessary. The vision from in the water is impaired so the handler is encouraged to use their voice during the swim.

Our mares demonstrate what is possible in these videos;

Swim Demo with ‘April’

Swim Demo with ‘B’

Suitable for all

Swimming is suitable for the majority of equines. They must be well handled and lead well; they must understand the pressure from the headcollar when in the water.

Swimming is hard work, however this is how the respiratory & muscular benefits are realised. The weight bearing capacity of water means that their body can move freely & heart rate rise, but with no impact to their joints or feet. Swimming does require the equine to raise her head to a slightly strange angle but the straight line of our pool & continual forward motion means that her body is as normally aligned as possible for the activity. It is not as stressful on the head & neck muscles as some smaller pools which are not a straight line.

It is especially beneficial to those recovering from laminitis or injury. However, if your equine has been on box rest or has been diagnosed with a heart / circulatory / respiratory condition preparatory work may be required so please speak to us. You may also like to speak to your vet / physiotherapist.

 

 

Is it safe?

We consider swimming to be safer than many other equestrian activities; we have endeavored to cover all eventualities & there is minimal risk to equine & human if the guidance is followed. We operate the sessions with safety of the equines and humans as paramount.

Equines are required to wear a well-fitting headcollar, & we provide a rope halter to go over this. We suggest that shod animals wear front boots to protect their lower legs. The person handling your equine must be over 14 years old, be able to swim, is required to wear well-fitting boots with a non-slip sole & will be issued with a life jacket. Only the handler is permitted to cross the safety lines of the viewing area. (There are safe areas for photographs to be taken should you wish to do so).

Safety notices are displayed in the building & the handler will do a trial walk to ensure they are happy with the layout & footing.

We regularly check the water for submerged objects & bacteria.

How long does a session take?

Our approach to entering the water means that the equine chooses to swim. Therefore breathing & swimming rhythm will be good, as there is no panic. We will not hurry an equine into the water.

For your first session you should allow plenty of time; it can take a while for your equine to become confident enough to enter the water. After a couple of sessions you will likely see a marked decrease in this time. We are committed to spending this time to ensure a safe & beneficial session. There is no extra charge for this time. Please see the videos to understand what is possible after a few practices.

How often can I swim my equine?

This is dependent on the individual equine so please speak to us to set up a programme for your equine.

For example if swimming is part of a training regime for a healthy horse, once a week would be an excellent incorporation. Alternatively if it is the only exercise a horse is getting due to injury, we would recommend building the swims up to two or three a week, & then decreasing them as other exercise is added into their programme.

When is the pool open?

Thursday to Sunday, during daylight hours.

Can I swim all year round?

The water is not heated, so we swim if the air temperature is not too cold. As the weather cools we have heat lamps for the swimmers to stand under after their exercise. In the warmer weather we find that these are not needed.

How much does it cost?

We have a couple of options, these are applicable to the same equine attending each session;

1) Three swims for £60 (paid for up front, for the same equine, valid for season purchased in).
2) First swim £27, swims thereafter £22.

If your equine is staying with us for training or rehabilitation swimming can be included in the package.

Where is the pool?

The pool is on White Lea Road, Roddymoor, Crook, DL15 9QN Grid reference NZ158975.