Horses training on a treadmill:

Local horse owner prepares for start of harness racing season.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 10:10 AM EDT
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It been a week of talking about running and treadmills. We continue that topic this evening, but this time it’s not humans are training on a treadmill but horses.

Neal Grass):” We built a treadmill to start getting some miles put on them. We are unable to get onto the track to much snow and the cold. Unable to get it cleared so we said let’s build a treadmill and start getting some miles on them.”

Every winter can a difficult time to train horses in Northern Maine. Grass stables has a small track on their farm, but it is not feasible to keep it cleared off in the winter for some training trips. The solution, build a treadmill.

Grass:” We wanted to build one for a couple of years, but just didn’t have the time. I have seen other horses and trainers do use them throughout the states. it seemed like the right thing for us not being able to get onto the track.”

This is American Flight getting in his steps on the treadmill. The Horse is not going at race pace, but is just conditioning and strengthening the muscles

Grass:” When you first start them out you don’t want them going to fast. It gives them a steady pace.”

Grass and his wife Sharon have six horses who they plan on racing this summer. They have been utilizing the treadmill as a training tool and Neal says the horses have been very good about getting onto the machine.

Grass:” We have been running six of them on it and they all seem to go on good. We got one that backs off it a little bit tough, but they seem to be doing pretty well on it.”

Now that it is warming and drying up they were finally able to get on their training track this week and are starting to do some light jogging.

Grass:” This week we are able to get onto our track. Probably the middle of next week I will be taking them down the Bangor to start training them down on a big track.”

Races at the Bangor track will begin in early May and Grass hopes to have all six horses race ready. He thinks that there will be an abundant amount of horses in the State to race at both Cumberland and Bangor and later this summer and fall on the fair circuit.

Grass:” Cumberland last week on Friday and Saturday and 12 races on the card both days and this Friday and Saturday they have 12 races on the card as well.”

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