Tennessee has a proud history with horses, but what happens when these majestic animals are injured?
The Equine Hospital and Rehab Center at the University of Tennessee allows horses to participate in a specially designed workout program.
A horse named ‘Hatcher' has a torn ligament which is an injury that could stop Hatcher in his tracks.
Dr. Steve Adair, Director of Equine Performance at the University of Tennessee, explains Hatcher's workout regimen.
“Were trying to get him back into shape without over stressing the tendons and ligaments, so they won't re-injure themselves.”
Inside the rehab center a narrow water filled runway looks more like a bath, but it's actually a treadmill.
At the University of Tennessee's new $20-million-dollar Equine Hospital and Rehab Center, horses like Hatcher are treated more like human athletes.
“You think of humans, were now able to offer the same kind of care to our equine athletes,” said Dr. Adair.
The care the university offers goes beyond rehab. The facility has all the bells and whistles of a hospital but they are only for horses.
Veterinarians and surgical teams work together treating diseases and repairing animal injuries.
Veterinarians say this is the only rehabilitation center in the country where the rehab is done with vets side by side with animals, at all times.
A horse doesn't have to be injured to go to the facility, horses, like athletes, need to prepare before an event.
Haley Gassel, a horse competitor said “You want them to perform at their best ability, and when they jump that big, you want them in the best shape possible.”
Any of the 200 thousand horse owners in Tennessee that compete with their horses can receive conditioning at the facility.
Veterinarians said Hatcher's rehab is going perfect. In 30 days, he will return to Middle Tennessee, stronger and healthier than ever.