CAFRE students visit the Irish Equine Rehabilitation and Fitness Centre

Aimee Donaldson (Banbridge), Rebecca Reddin (Dublin) and Emmee Matheson (Banbridge) testing out the treadmill
Aimee Donaldson (Banbridge), Rebecca Reddin (Dublin) and Emmee Matheson (Banbridge) testing out the treadmill

Students studying the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horse Management at CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus recently had an industry visit to the Irish Equine Rehabilitation and Fitness Centre (IERFC) in Ballinderry, Co. Antrim.

The visit was part of the Horse Fitness and Horse Rehabilitation modules which a selection of the students complete if they choose not to do the riding option.

The IERFC is a newly opened business run by Fiona Fitzgibbon, who is a graduate from CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus having completed the Honours Degree in Equine Management.

A huge focus of the IERFC is the new water treadmill which has been installed. The students were lucky enough to see a Shetland pony and Fiona’s vaulting horse on the treadmill.

Fiona discussed with the students as to how she will choose a programme to suit each individual animal’s needs. Fiona also explained the benefits of the treadmill for rehabilitating horses with injuries or prolonged issues and also how it reaps benefits for fittening horses. The horses can also work on an incline on the treadmill depending on each individual’s needs.

It was particularly interesting for the students, as on a side view of the treadmill they could see into the water thus allowing them to see for themselves how hard the horse has to work. They could also see how the treadmill would benefit the horse without loading their limbs.

Fiona also explained how each horses work out can be recorded on the treadmills own computer system and if necessary transferred on to a computer or laptop.

For further information on Equine courses at Enniskillen Campus, please visit the website www.cafre.ac.uk or contact them on Freephone 0800 0284291.

Alternatively, why not come along to the open day at the campus on Saturday 21 April at noon and investigate how Enniskillen Campus can be of benefit in securing a career in the equine industry. The teaching, practical and accommodation facilities will be on show and visitors will also have the opportunity to speak to the staff to discuss your own career choices.