Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Walk This Way: Cool Hot Walkers Turn Barefoot Transitioning Into a Day at the Beach

For the past few months, I have been researching an article for Hoofcare and Lameness Journal about a company in England that is making what are basically conditioning surfaces for horses that are transitioning to shoelessness. I tried to visit the racing yard in Gloucestershire where these deluxe walkers are installed, but it didn't work out. The designers recently did me a favor and posted their DVD on the Google Video site, so I am link-posting it here for the consideration of all who lurk here and never leave comments.

Here's the deal: if you watch the video, leave a comment here! Just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of the post and a window will open up. You can use your real name (preferred) or just call yourself "anonymous."

I think the concept is terrific; it reminds me of Jean-Marie Denoix's work to identify surfaces for rehabbing horses to bolster their proprioception after layup. Denoix built a track of alternating surfaces, hard and soft, granular and solid, for the horses to trot across.

This video also makes me glad I live close enough to the ocean to ride in the real thing; one of the "surfaces" available is cold salt water.

The next question, of course, is: given the new applications of cryotherapy for laminitis prevention and/or recovery, might these spa walkers spawn a new subset of clinical mini-spas? If so, what might the optimum temperatute be? What are your thoughts?

If that screen doesn't work, try this link:

Note: I don't think you can download this video, you have to go to google's video site to do that, and even then you have to download the google video player. It's best just to watch it here, if you can, or there, if you can't.