Mussel Gain

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Mussel Gain

This is a discussion on Mussel Gain within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Weight gain on barrel horse

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  • 1 Post By Aesthetic
  • 2 Post By BlueSpark

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    03-27-2014, 08:50 AM
Mussel Gain

I just have a question about mussel gain. My main barrel mare at the ranch right now is about a 14 hand quarter horse. ( sorry I can't remember her exact height but I know that she is about 14 hands). She is already huge. She is rounded everywhere her chest and hindquarters are huge and perfect with a lot of mussel. But I want her to gain a little more. She is used a lot because she is the fastest barrel horse at the ranch right now and she is also the main barrel horse. Are there any exercises or anything I can do to get her to gain even more mussel. And any exercises to get her in even better shape than she is already would also be helpful. I want to know you guys tips and exercises thanks!!
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    03-27-2014, 08:57 AM
Green Broke
I'm no western rider, but I'm very very keen on cross training any horse, not just sport horses, to use muscles to their best advantage and to keep their minds a bit saner!

My dressage horses all jumped once a fortnight (free jumping, or on the lunge, I don't jump). A friend would hack them out at a good pace. Up hill work is VERY good for building muscle and stamina.

What is her current weekly/daily workload? How often is she worked, and how much food does she get? I'm no nutrition expert, but the more energy she burns, she'll need to replace if you want her to gain and not lose.
    03-27-2014, 09:01 AM
Where would you like her to gain muscle? Her hindquarters, shoulders, chest, back? Wherever you'd like her to build there are different exercises. I Work my horses all over.
Do you have a picture of her, preferably a confo pic so we can see what you'd like to build on her?
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    03-27-2014, 09:05 AM
She gets worked about 3-4 days a week. She lopes walks and trots circles. She trots and lopes the barrel pattern also. I do all different kinds of exercises with her. No specific workload a day. I also barrel race her at rodeos and shows. But not every weekend though. As I said she is the fastest and main barrel horse at the ranch so she is used a lot. Lol I also will take her on trail rides a good bit or I also ride the trails and dirt roafs aroumd the rsnch with her a lot also. So she gets free choice hay and great feed. But there is no definate amount of workload for her. It all depends what thd barrel races and dayd throw at us.
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    03-27-2014, 09:10 AM
Green Broke
Like I said, I'm no western rider... but what about other exercises to keep her flexible too? There are so many schooling patterns you can use like serpentines and decreasing circles that help with balance, rythm and listening to you.

Try and mix it up as much as possible for her. When I ride, my aim is always to put in as many schooling patterns as possible, in all gaits. I never go whole school unless there are so many horses that it can't be helped.

Leg yielding, backing up, transition work etc are all great things that, although they seem small, will refine and help her as a general horse not just muscle.
    03-27-2014, 09:37 AM
Ok thanks for ur help
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    03-27-2014, 11:57 AM
Green Broke
Trails will keep her fresh, and lots of hill work will develop her back and hind end.

Lots of trotting will build strength and endurance.

You never want to focus too much on one specific thing, or you'll end up with an unbalanced horse, so mixing it up as other posters have suggested is very important.

Totally off topic, and don't take this the wrong way, but its muscle, not "mussel". When I read the title it sounded like you were collecting shellfish(Just a funny mistake, spelling is not my strong suit either)

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