FITNESS & THERAPY CENTER
FITNESS & THERAPY CENTER
Highlander Training Center
Offering a complete suite of services for the care,
therapy & fitness of your Thoroughbreds.
Director HTC Fitness & Therapy Center
Director for HTC Fitness and Therapy Center
Holmes comes to HTC from a ten-year tenure as a veterinary technician at Equine Sports Medicine & Surgery (ESMS), a state-of-the-art equine medicine and surgery facility with 12 full-time veterinarians. While at ESMS, Holmes worked closely with Dr. Ali Broyles, DVM, DACVS-LA who also serves (since 2019) as the attending veterinarian at Highlander.
A native of Weatherford, Texas, Holmes is a lifetime horseman as well as an accomplished farrier. His tenure at ESMS included extensive experience in racetrack, surgery, ambulatory and clinic environments. He has a high level of expertise in sports medicine and equine lameness issues.
“We are very pleased to have Dakota join the Highlander team,” said Jeff Hooper, Chairman & CEO at Highlander. “We have seen first-hand over the past four years his expertise with horses. He is well-versed in the technologies and treatments and good old-fashioned hands-on horsemanship that aid in the early-detection, evaluation, and treatment of equine injuries. I am confident that our clients will enjoy their interaction with him. He’s a down-to-earth good guy who always puts the horse first.”
Dr. Ali Broyles of ESMS echoed the sentiments expressed by Hooper. “I am very pleased for both Highlander and Dakota,” said Dr. Broyles. “It has been a pleasure to work with him every day during his time at ESMS, and now with him being on the Highlander team, it allows us all to maintain a high level of communication and consistency in the care of horses in the Fitness & Therapy Center. It’s a win/win for clients, Highlander, ESMS and most importantly the horses.”
“I’m very excited and ready to get started,” said Holmes. “Highlander is a special facility with a top-notch team – from management, to trainers, riders, grooms, therapy center staff and facilities maintenance people. To be in a leadership role at Highlander is a dream come true, and I look forward to contributing to their growing success and positive results for the horses in their care.”
"Benefits of Therapy & Fitness Programs
for Thoroughbred Racehorses" -
Dr. Ali Broyles & Dr. Larry Bramlage
All Fitness & Therapy Center activities are led and conducted by a skilled and experienced staff in collaboration with veterinary involvement to develop and execute the best therapy program for your horse. Our team will also provide ongoing communication to you regarding your horse's progress.
FITNESS & THERAPY EQUIPMENT/FEATURES
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 treadmills at HTC are designed to relieve stress and promote healing and fitness. They have been proven to be powerful tools for rehabilitation, training and conditioning of horses.
Our in ground and above ground Aqua Icelander water treadmills allow a horse to exercise the same muscles, tendons, and ligaments used when working out on the track without concussion of the track's surface.
The buoyancy of the water displaces approximately 40% to 45% of the horse's body weight – while contact with the treadmill and force of working against the water still generates sufficient stress to promote bone density and encourage muscle development, while minimizing injury.
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 a horse vibration plate can improve symmetry of the 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.
This whole-body vibration treatment has been shown to have many benefits for horses such as:
Increase in muscle size, mass and suppleness
Reduces joint inflammation
Reduces back pain
Lower incidence of injury
Increases hoof growth (especially beneficial for founder and laminitis)
Reduces signs of stress
Increases bone density
Speeds up soft tissue healing after injury
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.
Centurion Therapulse IV Blanket-
Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field Therapy is widely and effectively used as a non-invasive treatment for pain relief. By stimulating and regenerating cell tissue, it is a highly popular form of therapy for muscles, ligaments, bone repair, wound healing and blood revitalization. Portable battery operated blanket has 10 embedded coils to treat withers, shoulders, back, stifles and hind quarters.
Nebulization is great for respiratory issues in horses. It can be used to treat for coughs and excessive mucous as well as being an excellent delivery system for respiratory medications.
VETERINARIAN CARE & SERVICES
All Fitness & Therapy Center activities are led and conducted by a skilled and experienced staff in collaboration with veterinary involvement to develop and execute the best therapy program for your horse. The HTC Fitness & Therapy Center provides comprehensive equine veterinary care through our partner Veterinarians.
HTC staff is here to consult with your racetrack veterinarian or surgeon on the appropriate course of therapy and rehab for your horses. We are also extremely fortunate to have several highly qualified attending veterinarians as valued members of our overall HTC team.
Leading the attending veterinary care at the HTC Fitness & Therapy Center is Ali Broyles, DVM of Equine Sports Medicine & Surgery. A graduate of Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Broyles is a boarded equine surgeon who trained at the prestigious Rood & Riddle veterinary hospital at both their Lexington, Kentucky and Saratoga Springs, NY locations.
A few of the specialized services offered at the HTC Fitness & Therapy Center include:
Portable Digital X-Ray
Dynamic endoscopy permits examination of the upper airway under racing conditions and can diagnose abnormalities that may only be detected during high-speed exercise. Overground endoscopy allows the horse to be tested in the location and the environment they are used to, allowing evaluation here at HTC at the speed and in the conditions the horse normally performs. The scope is inserted and kept in place with a purpose-made bridle fixation system and a specially designed saddle pad holds a battery pack and video recorder to power the scope and record a video of the exam. The horse’s regular tack is used over the system. There are many upper airway abnormalities that can cause poor performance but may appear normal on resting endoscopy. Dynamic endoscopy provides greater sensitivity in diagnosing upper airway obstruction and in turn provides the veterinarian the most information for a confident treatment recommendation. Examples of dynamic upper airway conditions that may appear normal on resting exam but can be diagnosed with overground endoscopy include early left laryngeal hemiplegia, intermittent dorsal displacement of the soft palate, vocal cord collapse, nasopharyngeal collapse, intermittent epiglottic entrapment, and epiglottic retroversion.
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.