Building muscle on my mare's topline
   

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Building muscle on my mare's topline

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    04-28-2010, 09:31 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Building muscle on my mare's topline

Through the tail end of her pregnancy, my mare Freyja lost some weight/muscle off her topline. She didn't have a lot to start with, she was malnourished when I got her, I got her in good shape through riding her by the end of fall, but now she's lost it again. Since delivering her foal on April 5th, she's already picked up a good bit of weight, her ribs have disappeared, but her spine is still more prominent than I would like to see. Her hindquarters have filled back in decently behind her hip, but from withers to loin she's still pretty prominent. She's sleek and her coat shines like she's been polished, just glowing with good health, and hasn't limped a step in several months (she had on again/off again soundness problems last year). I'm really anticipating starting to ride her again. I want to give her a full 30 days after she foaled out, but I also don't want to throw a saddle on her and start riding when her spine is all bony. I've always heard the best way to build a topline is riding varying terrain at a walk, and lunging a lot. She doesn't lunge - I didn't bother to teach her when I got her (D'oh) and she's clearly never been taught - not sure that's something I want to tackle while she has a baby at heels, either. (she is the type of horse that's so laid back you have to wake her up to move. She has very little "go" to her) Any other tips, or should I just pad her well and start riding her little at a time?

This picture is older, from shortly after she foaled, so her ribs are not visible anymore, and she's more muscled over her hips, but her back looks pretty much the same.
     
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    04-28-2010, 10:38 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Riding will help. Use a good shock absorbing saddle pad, like a Skito or ThinLine, and work her long and low. Lunging with side reins set low for 10-15 minutes 1-2 times a week would help too.

For her feed, I woud feed her extra amino acids. You can do that in the form alfalfa pellets/hay/cubes or a supplement. Uckele makes a good one called Tri-Amino.
     
    04-28-2010, 11:01 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
Riding will help. Use a good shock absorbing saddle pad, like a Skito or ThinLine, and work her long and low. Lunging with side reins set low for 10-15 minutes 1-2 times a week would help too.

For her feed, I woud feed her extra amino acids. You can do that in the form alfalfa pellets/hay/cubes or a supplement. Uckele makes a good one called Tri-Amino.
Thank you! I actually still have bookmarked the link you sent me before for the thinline pad for Claymore - however I ride Freyja western and her pad is a professional choice air ride. I could put a different or additional pad, I've got a few plain/oversized fleece pads as well. Is there something comparable to the thinline that you would recommend for western saddles?

Curious why the addition of amino acids? Her current diet consists of pasture, free choice timothy/alfalfa mix hay, plus she gets 2 qts Nutrena Safechoice and 1 qt Nutrena Life Design Mare & Foal both morning and night, plus Smartpak Smartflex II. Between the hay and Nutrena she's getting a pretty good dose of alfalfa in there.
     
    04-29-2010, 11:10 AM
  #4
Yearling
I was reccomended backing up hills 3times a week and hey slowly but surely building muscle
     
    04-29-2010, 01:25 PM
  #5
Foal
I have heard that Progressive has a couple great supplements. They are Progressive Top-Line Enhance and Top-Line Xtreme. They are a bit pricey, but I have only heard great things so far. I think I will start a thread on here to see what others think of it. Exercise is a part of building a good topline but I am a pretty firm believer that great nutrition is VERY important part.
     
    04-29-2010, 04:22 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyhorse    
Thank you! I actually still have bookmarked the link you sent me before for the thinline pad for Claymore - however I ride Freyja western and her pad is a professional choice air ride. I could put a different or additional pad, I've got a few plain/oversized fleece pads as well. Is there something comparable to the thinline that you would recommend for western saddles?

Curious why the addition of amino acids? Her current diet consists of pasture, free choice timothy/alfalfa mix hay, plus she gets 2 qts Nutrena Safechoice and 1 qt Nutrena Life Design Mare & Foal both morning and night, plus Smartpak Smartflex II. Between the hay and Nutrena she's getting a pretty good dose of alfalfa in there.
Aminos help build muscle, but it sounds like she's getting plenty in her diet already.

ThinLine makes a western pad. The half pad could be used over your pro-choice pad.
ThinLine Saddle Pads - Western Pads - Western Half Pad - Arete Equestrian - Half Chaps, Skito & Supracor Saddle Pads... - (Powered by CubeCart)
     
    04-29-2010, 05:33 PM
  #7
Yearling
Holy cats that saddle pad is expensive! Is it really worth it?
     
    04-29-2010, 06:22 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by draftrider    
Holy cats that saddle pad is expensive! Is it really worth it?
It's less than my pro choice air ride pad was. I'm all for spending a little extra on very good quality tack if it's going to help Freyja out - she's finally sound after a very long time and a lot of rehab, and I don't want to even slightly risk anything that's going to be detrimental to her soundness at this point, she's such a very, very nice ride and I want her to be usable for a long time! To me 100 bucks for a pad that I will probably get a lot of use out of for a lot of years is worth it.

Luvs2ride, thanks so much for the link, I've put in my order! (Actually, I ordered it from Valley Vet Supply, they had it for 85 bucks plus free shipping)
     
    04-29-2010, 06:58 PM
  #9
Trained
TYpical broodie they lose muscle over their topline. It's not a case of some magical solution and POOF she has a fantastic topline. Its the same case as with any horse that's been out of work for some time, working forward and low into the bridle allowing her to stretch that back. Walking up and down hills is excellent, they HAVE to use their back to do that. Give her a solid month of just walking, walking absolutely everything, then introduce some gradual trotting, again nice and low, forward and into the bridle. There is absolutely no use in riding her with the intention of building topline if you're just going to let her poodle around, so make sure those hind legs are working hard.
     

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