Horse Exerciser Purchase Considerations
What to consider when purchasing a Horse Exerciser?
This is an investment that will improve the performance and health of your horses. It opens training opportunities to build endurance base, interval strength, and rehabilitation work at prescribed speeds, durations and reverse directions. It’s also an investment into your facility, improving the value of your property, and marketability of your equine services. It’s important to consider the following during the purchase process:
- Capacity you require – how many horses do you plan to exercise on this machine per day? In a given day, how many 30 minute to 1 hour sessions are you planning? Or if you are an endurance horse racer, how many 2-4 hour sessions are you planning per day? Make sure the manufacturer has built the machine for all day use, every day, common in competitive sport horse facilities. Purchase for your long term capacity plans at your facility. It’s easier to not use the capacity than not have it.
- Work Plan – do you plan to walk the horses or move them through trot and canter paces? It’s important to move into larger diameter machines if you plan work sessions at trot plus gaits. The same goes for rehabilitation work – larger turn radius means less stress on your horses.
- Set-up Location – The work flow of your facility is important to think about. You want easy movement from stalls to the machine and back. You may want a staging area if the stalls are further away as you move the horses through the machine. And if you have heavy rider traffic, make sure the machine location does not disrupt this flow. Power drops are also an important consideration. Many of these machines operate on single phase 220v power, and the closer the machine is located to the power drop, the less investment you must make in setting up power to the machine.
- Can weather disrupt your training plans? Make sure you have well planned drainage where you locate your machine. And consider if you need to make a greater investment for a roof cover or an indoor machine if sun, heavy rain or snow will disrupt your training plans.
- Be familiar with your local permitting requirements and use a local general contractor to help with your install to meet local requirements as applicable.
Understand the safety considerations the manufacture has employed in their machine. A horse exerciser machine is often a one time buy for a facility, so consider your future needs and purchase to these needs. We have worked with existing customers that underestimated their needed capacity, and later upgraded to larger machines, and even add additional machines. When purchasing a machine, we recommend keeping the following in mind:
- Buy a machine with an in-line drive train without belts or chains. We get requests to replace other manufacture’s bases to our set-up to eliminate reliability problems associated with belt drive and chain drive systems. Stick with motor/geared systems in your purchase requirements.
- Quick support for service. The machine becomes an integral part of the facility work activities and it’s important to get quick response for service needs.
- Reliability and outdoor use design considerations the manufacturer has incorporated into their machine
Horse Exercisers never replace good horsemanship and the real need for riding and training your horses for competition. A horse exerciser is an extremely useful training aid to build endurance conditioning, improve health and wellness and help with rehabilitation and recovery of your horses. And the benefits can be achieved by your trainer over a larger group of horses, without large labor investments in riders. Horse Exercisers are true time savers and help you meet your training goals with your competitive horses.
What are the Benefits of a Horse Exerciser over a Horse Walker?
Horse Walkers are staple training machines used at equestrian facilities. The machine tethers the horses to overhead beams, and carousel the horses in a circle. Many of the Walkers are 20-30′ in diameter, and larger models go past 60′ in diameter with up to 6+ horse capacities. The Walkers are useful and allow walking gait exercise. The machines have a relatively low purchase and install costs, making them an attractive training aid for equestrian facilities. The limitation relates to speed work and and restricted movement.
Horse Exercisers are an improved training aid when compared to Horse Walkers. The Exercisers operate without the horses tethered to the machine. This allows natural movement from walk, trot and through canter gaits. Eliminating the tethered connection between the horse and machine creates a few more benefits; namely, the horses’ can’t pull on the restraints to stall the machine or break loose from the machine. Without horses to tug on arms, the horse exerciser machine diameters can increase significantly, allowing less turning stress, making the machines ideal for rehabilitation work and faster speed training.