One of the most unique features of the Stonestreet Training Center is the AquaCiser; only two others exist in North America. The Australian built AquaCiser’s creation was born from having limited access to beaches or lakes to exercise horses. With its warm weather, it is perfectly suited for use in Ocala.
The pool’s circumference is larger than a walking ring and it has the capacity to train up to six horses at one time. The in-ground construction of the AquaCiser allows for easy and safe access by the horse, which enter and exit the pool via a chute. Ten different speed settings range training from a walk to the full extension of a trot with the water at shoulder level. To disable the natural vortex effect of water moving in a constant circle, the pool has “baffles”that are located on both sides of the horse’s path. Without these baffles, resistance effects would decrease as the water began to move in a circle from its own momentum.
The AquaCiser is filled with fresh water filtered in three steps. After passing through a screen filter, the water then moves through a glass filtration system that is not only eco-friendly, but also one of the most effective systems in removing bacteria. For the final step, the water is put through the E-Clear system that oxygenates the water to purify and sanitize without using any chemicals such as chlorine or salt, making the water safe for horses.
When it comes to training in the AquaCiser, the benefits are numerous. Water training is used for many reasons including keeping horses fit without having to train on the track, increasing cardio and muscular fitness, and for repairing soft tissue damage efficiently and safely. With the AquaCiser, there is about a 70% reduction in concussion, or impact, compared to track training. Because the horse is not suspended in the water, the only muscles developed are those used for racing, not swimming. This highly efficient training means that the horse builds fitness faster and, in the case of a horse recovering from injury, returns to regular training sooner.
When introducing a horse to the AquaCiser for the first time the horse is led into the pool and walked by a handler for two to three days. Once the horse becomes comfortable with the process, he or she is then tied on to the lead gate and works out while the operator observes from the control center.
While the invention of the AquaCiser does bring water training capabilities to those without easy access to a beach or lake, the technology takes this training up to the next level. Safety and efficiency are qualities that are immediately noticed, but one of the most important aspects is that it creates a low impact workout that horses enjoy.