A recent study has examined the effect of recurring inclined water treadmill sessions on equine epaxial muscle development. The results show that consistent resistance training on a water treadmill significantly contributes to the growth of equine thoracic back profile musculature.
the effect of incline water treadmills on equine muscle growth and development
Summary and key results:
Over four weeks, six horses completed 24 sessions on ECB water treadmills. Each horse walked for 15 minutes per session, with water at the midcannon level and the treadmill at a 4% incline.
Back traces were measured at 3cm and 7cm ventral to the dorsal midline at T5, T9, T14, and T18, before the first session and then weekly for 4 weeks. Results showed a significant increase in both the rate of growth and size of the epaxial muscles starting at week 2 and continuing to week 4.
The study concludes that consistent use of the ECB water treadmill in an incline setting has a significant effect on muscle hypertrophy. When used consistently, the treadmill proves effective for strengthening and developing the epaxial muscles of a horse.
Read the full published article here for further detail on how the ECB water treadmills were used and the overall findings of the study.