Byline: JIM GALLAGHER
IT USED to be a dog's life - but even pampered pooches never received treatment like this.
That other four-legged favourite, the horse, is now being spoilt and indulged in a way that would make us humans jealous.
At least, those that are in the hands of father and son horse trainers Eamon and Mark Delaney, who are based near Julianstown, Co Louth.
The pair have brought into the country a E60,000 giant horse jacuzzi, invented in Australia, to soothe the aches and pains of our equine friends.
The machine blasts salt water on to the stretched, pulled and bruised legs of racers, jumpers and hunters, speeding up their recovery.
And while they are getting this first class treatment, the horses enjoy a bit of classical music - or even some good old rock and roll.
"The horses love it - sometimes they get so relaxed they just fall asleep," said Eamon, who hit 65 last week but who has no plans to retire.
Son Mark, 31, said one of his footballing pals was so envious he even had several goes in the spa himself after bruising sports encounters.
Until now injured animals were traditionally treated to regular walks in the sea, salt water or even in rivers.
"But getting horses in their boxes and driving them to the sea is very time-consuming," said Eamon.
"As soon as we heard about this equine hydro therapy spa we knew it would work because it uses water that is even saltier than the sea, and the cooler keeps the temperature at between 2 and 4 degrees."
Injuries treated include pulled muscles, torn ligaments and bruised shins from galloping on hard ground.
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