Grand Prix Dressage rider Brett Parbery has been an Activo-Med rider for more than 8 years and is a passionate advocate for the therapy. But Brett has used more Animal Therapeutics products than just the rug. As a respected dressage rider and trainer Brett has been a part of the setup of some of Australia’s most impressive rehabilitation centers and has learned of the benefits of our range of large equipment. We caught up with Brett to chat about the product range he’s used and why he’s such a firm believer in equine therapy.
As a former rider for Mulawa Stud Brett was initially introduced to the Activo-Med range by the successful stable. “The biggest thing I feel is that the horses feel more relaxed and more responsive to the aids” Brett tells us. “They’re not pushing against you which means you can get on with the job.”
Brett has been a successful dressage rider and trainer for more than 20 years winning over 30 individual Australian Championships across all levels including 4 x Australian Grand Prix Champion. Now training his team of young horses Brett has spent his riding career focussing on producing supple and relaxed horses. So how does the Activo-Med system slot into his team’s training routine? “The rug will go on all the horses before we ride them as a way to warm up and relax.”
“Any horses working above advanced should look at the rug. These horses are working hard with a lot of collection. Any horse that’s being asked to train with that much intensity needs to have some help to recover and the rug offer’s that.”
Brett tells us that while all horses should be using the rug there are some horses that benefit even more. “The hotter shorter more bulky types definitely improve with the rug. At a show you can put the rug on these tense horses and it just chills them out a little bit so you can get on with it.”
When Brett decided to turn his focus toward dressage he decided that if he wanted to be one of the best, he had to learn from the best so, at the end of 2000, he moved to Europe. This is why Brett likes the German technology and engineering behind the Activo-Med products. “It’s state of the art,” Brett says. “The PEMF is a big asset of the rug compared to a lot of others.”
Brett is an advocate for more than just the rugs. When he became a rider for the world-class Willinga Park he was pivotal in the property’s setup. “I had a chat with Terry (Snow – owner of Willinga Park) and I said let’s get all of this stuff, I know it works and I know it’s great, let’s get it all in here.”
It was from here that Willinga was fitted out with:
- Two Activo-Med Therapy system rugs
- An Aqua Treadmill
- A Combi Floor which includes controlled vibration, PEMF and a convenient weighbridge.
- An Equine Solarium.
“I know the guys here at Willinga Park love it.”
When at Willinga Park Brett incorporated the large equipment therapies including the water treadmill into his training. “We used it a lot,” Brett says of the water treadmill. “It really works them over their back.” Brett also used the water levels to help target specific areas where his horses needed strengthening. “Taking the water up higher for horses with sensitive legs or down to their mid cannon bone helped to really get them to lift their legs up.”
“The water treadmill combined with the rug treatments was a really good combination and complimented our training.”
So does Brett recommend the Activo – Med range? “The proofs in the pudding, you can feel it in the horses.” We’re not sure there is higher praise from such a well-respected rider and trainer like Brett!