Treadmills

Kylara

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Not sure if this is the right place or not!

Now I know that walkers are generally good for a leg stretch and can a few on at a time and are cheaper than treadmills, but they need concreting in and a large space (please correct me if I am wrong!). I am looking at opening a livery yard (part/full and schooling) and was thinking about getting something to help exercise and fitten up the equines!

First thought was walkers, but not every yard has one and they are hard to fit in and take with you! Also not so good at fittening, and lots of people don't like the circular repetitive nature of them. So I started looking at treadmills.

I was thinking a treadmill would be a great bit of kit to have as it just needs pluggin in right? And I would save up for a programmable one that has a changeable incline, but only need walking speed. Then if I needed to expand to a bigger yard it could easily come with me and it fits in a smaller space than a walker!

Is this the sort of thing people would like their horse to use if at livery/schooling livery? I know they are great for fittening, and even short sessions on a slight incline can be excellent for the horse.

Unfortunately I am struggling to find any pricing structures for treadmills anywhere though. I can find walkers priced from £4,500 upwards, but nothing about treadmills :/ Does anyone have any experience of them or their pricing? And what do people think of them in general?
 

ihatework

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I'd go to a yard with a treadmill in preference to a horse walker any day!

As a YO it won't be quite as easy for you, they do need supervising on the treadmill, whereas a walker you put a few on and can do other jobs at same time.
 

Kylara

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Great, that's good to know, I wasn't sure how people felt about them vs walkers (and obviously we can't all be as lucky as newmarket and have a fancy oval one!)

I don't like leaving horses unattended on a walker either. So wouldn't be too much extra faff really I don't think, and sessions would probably be limited to half hour/45 mins max on a steep incline, once fit enough to do so. I've known people forget about horses on walkers, and horses have bad accidents on them.

Additional question: do you think it would be something that people might travel for? So local horse people bringing their horses over for regular sessions? And if so what sort of price would people be happy to pay for that sort of thing?

And thinking aloud - if I did go for a treadmill would people be willing to pay a little more livery cost do you think, or do people still want everything for nothing ;)
 

bluebellfreddy

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I would have it as an option extra like lunging or schooling for horses you are not being payed to exercise. If you are looking to set this livery yard as a high end one (which I am assuming you are?) I would expect the livery price to be pretty high anyway, since you would be supplying a high quality service with high quality facilities (like good stables and arena).

I defiantly think people would come to use the treadmill!! People like anything that is low impact, like treadmills.
 

PorkChop

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I would much rather use a treadmill rather than a walker - seen them used, but not use one for my own horse but I would if given the opportunity :)
 

Kylara

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Great! Thanks guys, good to know people like them. It depends on which yard I end up renting really, at the mo there's a lovely barn (18boxes) on a big yard that would be fab, but seems to go through renters (meeting owner soon to have a chat), there's a smaller one (8boxes) that looks quite homely and is close to a small centre but the school needs fixing (but cheap rent!), and there's an even smaller part of a yard (6boxes) that sounds nice but would limit expansion and might be a bit pricey but won't know for sure until I view! So treadmill would either make an already nice yard more high end, a low end yard a bit better, or a medium yard a little higher end.

Either way I think it would be a good addition and I could take it with me if I go smaller and expand, and if I go for the medium one it would make good facilities even better!

It's all a bit tricky at the minute as everything has come along at once! If I go for the more high end yard then I could take on a friends int eventer and get her up and running again which would be great, but can't let that sway me! Just a bit worried about how frequently such a nice place has come up for rent...

But I think definitely save up for treadmill over walker!

How much do you think we're talking? And would people prefer a walk one or one that could also do trot?
 

ihatework

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I don't have any idea how much they cost to buy in afraid.

In terms of usage I think you would find most people interested in using it for walk/incline fitness work.

I'm not sure tbh if you'd get much interest in externals coming in to hire. Maybe a handful of locals but I can't imagine it would be financially viable.

In terms of using it for onsite liveries, I think charging for it would depend on how much your base rate is.

I can only speak for myself but if I had access to one then I'd use it probably once a week and tie it in with when I'm away/can't ride - this is then something I can leave YO to do. When I used treadmill on an international SJ yard we tended to put the horses in a 20-30 minute program max.
 

almostthere

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FMBS do make one but no price on their website. Maybe worth a query as although I suspect they won't be the cheapest it will at least give you a ballpark? I know the cost of a water treadmill is £££££ but I suspect that won't be relevant as an altogether different beast.
 

Fun Times

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My local livery yard which I visit quite often to use their facilities has one. It has gathered dust for the last three years or so. As far as I am aware, it hasn't been plugged in once in that time. The reason being that no one there feels "comfortable" using it in terms of having experience of them. Myself included - I am sure it would be great for building my horse's butt, but there is something about the concept that makes me nervous. Now, if there was a person there that was totally au fait with how to use it and deal with a horse that freaks out on it and they were willing to help me, then I would jump at the chance. My point being, your average livery client probably won't have used one previously and may feel nervous and unusure of the equipment. So if you invest in one, you would need to be prepared to help guide people as to how to use it if it is going to see much use.
 

Carlosmum

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I took the pony to use one this morning at a racing yard. Everything was done for me, pony was taken over by one of the lads, the main man was there & another groom. All I had to do was watch. I was very surprised by how well he coped after the earth started moving, the intention is to take him there regularly for a few weeks. I think if you were to set one up and offer it as service it would be essential that part of that service was providing grooms/attendants to manage the whole process, it needed at least 2 people with experience to operate it.
 

anguscat

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I took the pony to use one this morning at a racing yard. Everything was done for me, pony was taken over by one of the lads, the main man was there & another groom. All I had to do was watch. I was very surprised by how well he coped after the earth started moving, the intention is to take him there regularly for a few weeks. I think if you were to set one up and offer it as service it would be essential that part of that service was providing grooms/attendants to manage the whole process, it needed at least 2 people with experience to operate it.

Many many years ago (about 35!) I worked on a small stud in Montana USA. There was a treadmill in the barn. Regularly popped the stallions on it to work while I mucked out. They worked on it in walk and trot on maybe about a 25% incline. Never had a problem but note they were used to it when I arrived so have no comments about introducing horses to a treadmill. Putting the stallions on it was treated with no more ceremony than putting horses on the walker here. Stud owner seemed to regard it common ol'garden and left me too it (I worked there solo).
Happy days indeed!
Anyway I had no problems. It was useful and I've often mused about getting one.
 
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