Building muscle?

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Building muscle?

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    09-14-2010, 06:59 PM
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Building muscle?

So, I'm not 100% that this is the right place to put this but here's to hoping!

So, as you all probably know by now (haha) Lacey moved to my neighbor's house this last weekend and her new pasture is super hilly. I was working her a little today (we went on a short hand walk through my neighborhood and then back to her pasture where I briefly lunged her at the walk just to give her work to do) and I noticed that she seems to be having a little bit of a hard time with the hills, muscle-wise. She kept trying to trot up the hills and then coming down the hills she was all on her forehand, not rocking back on her butt at all. So, I assume that means she needs to build muscle.

How long do you think it should take for her to figure out the hills if I continue to take her for a hand walk everyday and then lunge her at the walk in her pasture? Or are there any good exercises I can try with her to help her figure the hills out?
She is 25 so I don't expect miracles, muscle-wise, but with the way she was maneuvering (or wasn't) over the hills today, I hesitate to want to ride her in her pasture yet, just because she seemed to be having enough difficulty with just her own body (which I understand, I find those hills tough too). And then, I'd like to ride her around the pasture first, before attempting any trails from her back, just because she's the way she is. I have no issue hand walking on the trails but she tends to be fresh when she hasn't been ridden in a while, if you know what I mean...
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    09-14-2010, 10:49 PM
So she doesn't overstrain herself, maybe show her the easy way to go down the hills. Lead her in a zig zag fashion so she doesn't walk straight down. It's far less stressful on her joints until she's had time to build up muscle. Be patient. Just walking around out there will build muscle very quickly. I'm actually surprised to hear she's trotting uphill. That's the hardest gait for a horse to do uphill. She'll be a muscled girl soon enough. Just keep an eye on her for any muscle strains. Keep and eye on her legs. Check for any heat or swelling just to be safe, but it sound's like she's settling in nicely.

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