“Three different vets said this cutting horse would never be sound enough to compete again,” remarked Jere Kleinpeter, owner of Oasis Equine. “The owner decided to put him through our rehab program to make him as comfortable as possible, and a follow-up MRI showed the initial injury had healed completely. He competed for the first-time last month and placed!” The pride in her work and the joy in celebrating this success is eminent throughout Oasis Equine, a Fitness and Rehabilitation center for horses which is based in Paso Robles, CA.
Many of us have trudged alongside our equine partner, hand walking our friend back into shape after or through an injury. It is time consuming, yet so vital to the rest and recovery phase of bringing an active horse back into work. What if someone could not only do the hand walking for you, but could add aquatic therapy, cold saltwater spa soaks, plus jogging and even cantering into the therapy prescription? Oasis Equine can.
How Oasis Equine Got Started
As a professional and college competitor on Cal Poly’s Rodeo Team here in SLO, Jere was known for taking great care of her horses. She noticed that she had not only a knack for keeping her horses sound and winning, but a desire to help others gain a competitive edge through optimal fitness and rehabilitation of their equine athletes.
As a result, she focused on developing a business offering this service as her Senior Project. After graduating from Cal Poly, she attended a top-notch Equine Rehabilitation program in West Palm Beach, Florida. She then moved on to Texas to work in the rehabilitation program at one of the nation’s leading vet hospitals. Yet, SLO called her back. As Jere thought through what she wanted to do, she put up a Facebook page offering her services just to see what would happen.
She got three responses right away. Three responses from people who knew her and knew what great care she provides her horses. Investing her savings in some equipment, and doing the work out of her landlord’s beautiful facility in SLO, she got started. Jere worked out a plan with each vet and each horse returned to its owner healed, rehabilitated and fit for more fun. The business was born.
Now Jere operates her business out of Paso Robles where she moved Oasis Equine Fitness and Rehabilitation Center to a facility offering a free-flow exerciser, an underwater treadmill, and a cold saltwater spa. Jere has an amazing team of people at the facility, and she added more equipment so she can treat issues and injuries with a variety of services based on plans developed in conjunction with each horse’s veterinarian. There is also more room for more horses here with a 40-stall barn and 25 shaded outdoor pens.
Equine Rehab and Fitness Therapy Services Offered at Oasis Equine
Oasis Equine Aqua Therapy – Splish, Splash on the Underwater Treadmill
Additional stress on healing tissues slows the getting-back-to-work time for a horse in rehab or coming back to fitness after a being laid up. This is where the underwater treadmill comes in. Depending on how the water level is set, between 20-60% of the horse’s weight is buoyant in the water while using the underwater treadmill. This results in a low-impact environment, and the bonus is that water resistance increases overall muscle, limb and body strength. It is also possible to adjust water height to target range of motion and muscular development in specific areas. So Voila! The underwater treadmill is a game changer to an equine rehab or fitness plan. Oasis Equine has an Aquatred underwater treadmill along with a Cold Saltwater Spa.
Oasis Equine Cold Salt Spa – Cooling and Healing
Ice baths for star athletes are all the range these days. What about your star equine athlete? What if your equine partner could soak in a cold saltwater spa? Lower limb issues which involve slight trauma or more serious tendon and ligament issues will benefit from a cold saltwater spa soak. Oasis Equine offers this service via an in-ground saltwater tank with jets where the water temperature is maintained at 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Oasis Equine Eurociser – Walk, Trot or Canter Free-Flow Timed Exercise
Sometimes the rehab or fitness plan involves timed exercise at more than one gait. The free-flow panel walker, also known as a Eurociser, provides a horse with a “stall” to be in so there is no pulling on the halter or forcing the horse’s head to remain raised. Instead, the horse is gently pushed along giving it the opportunity to move collected and build up muscle at all three gaits. Oasis Equine provides customized Eurociser exercise as part of a horse’s rehab or fitness plan.
Oasis Equine – A Variety of Additional Healing Therapies
Every horse is unique and every injury is specific to each horse, so more options are sometimes called for in a horse’s rehab or fitness plan. Oasis works with the horse’s own vet to come up with the best plan to meet the rehab or fitness goals of each horse. This plan might include other options such as Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF), Shockwave Therapy and Cold Laser Therapy. In addition, massage treatments, shoeing, teeth floating and other services can all be arranged during a horse’s stay at Oasis Equine.
A Specific Plan for Every Horse
Every horse is unique and every plan is put together with a veterinarian specific to each horse. Time spent at Oasis Equine can be a week to months depending on need and results desired. Jere has found that horses competing at high levels of demand do well to come to her for a week or two to cross-train without being ridden to be refreshed and ready for a big event. Many owners take advantage of using Jere and her skills to keep a horse going while they are on vacation or to give them a jump-start on getting fit again after time off.
Jere has had success where others doubted: “I had a mare come in to get fit after a severe injury in which she gloved her hind limb and sustained some damage to the tendons. The vets were very cautious, saying they thought she would probably only be broodmare-sound. We worked out a plan for her, and she responded well. The mare went back to her owners after two months and set an arena record their first competition!”
Yay, lucky us in SLO County and beyond to have a full-service equine fitness and rehabilitation center right here. Jere and her crew will take excellent care of your equine friend. So if you are looking for rehab with results, go with the O! . . . Oasis Equine.
Photo Credit: Sharon Jantzen except where noted otherwise.