Horse Gym USA founders Henrik and Mikala Gundersen knew they’d come “home” on their first visit to the horse-centered community of Wellington. Successful dressage rider Mikala and show jumper Henrik, with their line of advanced equine fitness treadmills, seemed to fit perfectly into Wellington.
Ten years later, the couple has become well-known for their riding talent in Wellington’s international venues of the Global Dressage Festival and Winter Equestrian Festival, their love for and dedication to equestrian sports, and their effective Horse Gym USA equine treadmills and equipment.
Even after a decade of success, the Gundersens still clearly remember how it all began. “We were on vacation and went through Wellington to visit a friend, and immediately fell in love with the town,” Mikala recalled. “Because of the flat country and small paddocks, we figured there would be a need for our treadmills here.”
Henrik noted that it was slow in the beginning. “Many riders thought their horses couldn’t learn to go on a treadmill,” he recalled. “Or they thought it looked dangerous. Horse treadmills had been common in Europe for many years, so our first clients were mostly jumper riders who competed in Europe and recognized the treadmills from there.”
Just like they do when building relationships with their Grand Prix mounts, Henrik and Mikala were patient in building a relationship with the horse community. They let their own horses’ high levels of performance do the talking for them.
“We were — and are — both international competitors and trainers. We use all the Horse Gym USA products in our daily programs,” Henrik explained. “I think it gave the treadmills credibility when we could show how we utilized them in training our own horses. People saw how well we did and how fit our horses looked.”
Recently showing off the effects of Horse Gym USA treadmills was Mikala Gundersen as she finished the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival show series as the top money-earning rider of the entire season.
Actively demonstrating the benefits of Horse Gym USA in the show ring certainly seemed to work. Since the Gundersens’ company took off in Wellington 10 years ago, they have gained a large customer base that includes riders of all levels and disciplines, as well as veterinary and rehabilitative facilities.
“We started out with a walk treadmill for horses, and now we have the spa, the water and the relax as well. Initially, we worked primarily with riders and a few veterinarians, but now we are working with more veterinary clinics and equine rehabilitation centers because we can offer a line of beneficial rehabilitation equipment. It’s a win-win. Horse-care professionals, like a rehab center, benefit from having all their products come from one reliable manufacturer, while we have proven ourselves as the leading supplier in the industry,” Henrik said.
“Ten years ago, a treadmill was a unique addition,” Mikala added. “Now, it is an accepted standard in therapeutic and rehabilitative care.”
The Horse Gym USA Relax is a warm up, cool out and zero impact conditioning tool with a floor that moves in a three-dimensional motion to keep a horse standing square while facilitating the effects of the vibrating element. The dry treadmill model, Horse Gym USA Walk, has recently upgraded its design to included controls at the horse’s head, more cushion in the floor, higher sides and a longer belt. The all-in-one Horse Gym USA Water treadmill, like those used by respected Florida equine veterinarians Dr. Fernando Cardenas and Dr. Brendan Furlong, can fill from a few inches of water up to a horse’s shoulder, and can also be used dry with an incline. The new Horse Gym USA Spa is a stainless steel therapeutic cold saltwater spa for soaking, icing and bandaging legs.
“We have used the Horse Gym USA for so many years that we don’t need to prove anything,” Henrik said. “Just take a look at our results and our horses, and try a Horse Gym USA for yourself.”
ABOVE: Henrik Gundersen (left) and Mikala Gundersen (right), founders of Horse Gym USA, are celebrating 10 years in Wellington.