Highlander Training Center


Shannon Ritter

Director HTC Fitness & Therapy Center

Shannon Ritter named Director for HTC Fitness and Therapy Center 

Ritter brings a wealth of industry experience and exceptional horsemanship skills to her new role at Highlander. Her resume includes having served as the Rehabilitation Manager at prestigious WinStar Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, as well as having been a successful Thoroughbred trainer on her own and an assistant trainer to Elliott Walden. Ritter also rode professionally as a jockey for eight years.

We are proud to have Shannon join us at Highlander Training Center as a key member of our leadership team.

All Fitness & Therapy Center activities will be conducted by a skilled and experienced staff in collaboration with veterinary guidance, involvement and direction.


CET Premier Cold Saltwater Spa - more Information here

The CET Premier Cold Saltwater Spa is a self-contained cold salt hydrotherapy unit used to lower the risk of and treat lower leg injuries. The spa is aerated and chilled to a constant 35 - 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


The hyper-cooled saltwater reduces inflammation and reduces the limbs’ temperature. As the leg gradually re-warms after an approximate 15 minute treatment, the blood flow gently increases to the affected area. Cold Salt Hydrotherapy is used to treat and lower the risk of a multitude of injuries. 


The soothing salt solutions act as a hypertonic poultice, reducing heat while having a natural healing effect.

Aqua Icelander water treadmills (both in-ground and above-ground units) - more Information here

Aqua training is a power and endurance training, without the weight of the rider. The Aqua Icelander is not just offering you this, but also the possibility to train specific muscle groups. By moving in the water, horses are getting power training without the high pressure on their tendons and skeleton.

Also the way of moving is different. By moving against the pressure of the water horses start automatically using more their back muscles and rear part muscles which gives them stronger top line, more balance and coordination in all movements.

Walk is the excellence gait for aqua-training, because muscle groups will be evenly and balanced trained. The intention is that the horse is having a no load and relaxed training. Their mind is fresh, the body is loose and their walking position is straight. Aqua Icelander water trainer is a unique supplement to the daily training and rehabilitation for sport horses of all kinds.

Courtesy of Aqua Icelander

Two (2) Stalls with VitaFloor vibration plate floors  - more Information here

Vitafloor has developed a horse vibration plate that provides whole-body vibration, which has been shown to aid in equine back muscle development. Vibration plate therapy can lead to improved performance and even prevent injuries and speed healing, according to research in the journal Equine Veterinary Education. A Vitafloor vibration platform was used to conduct this research.

In humans, whole-body vibration has been shown to improve muscle strength, stimulate blood circulation, and promote relaxation. NASA has used it to help astronauts maintain bone density and muscle tone in zero gravity. In equine studies, reduced chronic back pain and improved postural balance during horse rehabilitation were noted. Using medical imaging, it was found using a horse vibration plate can improve symmetry of the m. multifidus muscle of the horse’s thoracolumbar spine. Stronger muscle helps stabilize the spine and improve posture, balance, and motion. Vibration therapy has also been used to treat tendon and ligament injuries, decreased bone density, bucked shins, and arthritis in horses.

A vibrating floor for horses must be large enough to accommodate the animal. Other aspects of the machine to consider include magnitude, measured in g-force, which indicates the intensity of the up and down vibration. Frequency, which indicates how many times a plate moves per second, and duration of treatment are typically adjustable functions.

Courtesy of VitaFloor

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy - more Information here

What is extracorporeal shockwave therapy for the horse?

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) has become an emerging new technology for treating musculoskeletal problems, soft-tissue injuries and bone injuries in horses. ESWT is non-invasive, used to stimulate healing to return horses to a level of fully sound, useful activity without recurrence of disease.

From outside the body (extracorporeal), the machine generates high-intensity shock or pressure waves, which pulse to a specific site within the injured tissue. Though its actual mode of action is still in dispute, it stimulates and accelerates the healing process, essentially combining an immediate analgesic effect with a reduction in inflammation, neovascularization in soft tissue and osteogenesis in bone.


According to Dr. Scott McClure, DVM, Iowa State University, a leading researcher in the field, it can be used to treat various conditions, such as suspensory ligament desmitis, navicular disease, saucer fractures, bucked shins, bowed tendon, sesamoid fractures, stress fractures and vertebral spinal pain (kissing spine lesions).

Regenerative Laser Therapy - more Information here

Once considered career ending injuries are being met with renewed confidence and optimism around the globe. SOUND® brings the ground-breaking RLT Vet Regenerative Laser Therapy to equine medicine. With RLT Vet, lame and injured horses have shown improved outcomes with lower incidents of injury recurrence.

PEMF- more Information here

PEMF stands for “Pulsed Electromagnetic Field” Therapy. A PEMF device creates a gently pulsing electromagnetic field which restores health of horses at a cellular level by stimulating cell metabolism.

PEMF might seem like a new technology in North America, but it has been used throughout Europe and other countries for more than 50 years. 2000+ studies have proven the benefits of PEMF and it is a widely used therapy for improved wellbeing and enhanced performance of people and animals (including dogs, cats, and show, race and pleasure horses) around the world.

Equine Acupuncture - more information here

The benefits of acupuncture have been widely recognized and integrated into Western veterinary and human medical practices. In November 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a panel of scientists to review the effectiveness of acupuncture. The result was the first formal endorsement of acupuncture by the NIH, stating: “There is sufficient evidence of acupuncture’s value to expand its use into conventional medicine and to encourage further studies of its physiology and clinical value.”

Acupuncture is a sought after treatment by horse owners due to its demonstrated safety and minimal unwanted side effects. It is well tolerated by most horses and provides a drug-free approach to address musculoskeletal pain that can enhance equine performance. This is particularly attractive for competitors who must adhere to show association-mandated prohibited substance policies. Aside from the needles, acupuncture does not require any specialized equipment, making it easier to perform in a variety of environments than some traditional methods. 

Forging Champions


5247 Texas Highway 19 South. • Sulphur Springs, Texas 75482

(903)485-8440. •

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