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Specialized Rehabilitation for the High-End Equine Athlete

At KESMARC, cutting-edge therapy is the every-day approach


A horse takes a few laps around the swimming pool. KESMARC owners Kirsten and Hub Johnson say aquatic therapy greatly boosts sole and hoof growth by enhancing blood flow to the hooves.

When horses arrive at the KESMARC (the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine Rehabilitation Center) in Versailles, Ky., their owners don’t expect them to get the “same-old, same-old” approach to rehabilitating an injury.

That’s because at KESMARC, unorthodox approaches to rehabilitation are the norm. And — based on the success KESMARC has had over 2 decades — it’s more accurate to describe those approaches as “cutting edge,” than unorthodox.

During more than 20 years, owner and partners Kirsten Johnson and Hub Johnson have developed a program that includes equine swimming therapy, Aquatred equine treadmills, a solarium, an equine exercise gym and equine hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

They are nothing if not innovative when it comes to devising ways to help their clients and now offer their approach at two centers, havingrecently opened KESMARC-Florida, located in Morristown, Fla., just outside of Ocala.

Top Equine Athletes

The vast majority of the horses brought to KESMARC are high-end equine athletes. While many are from the Lexington and Versailles area, others are brought in from around the country, as well as abroad. The partners say the average stay is about 90 days.

During that stay, an individualized program is put together for each horse, in cooperation with the horse’s veterinarian. In cases when a horse is brought in that does not have an equine veterinarian…

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Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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