Maintaining topline in an aged horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-06-2010, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Maintaining topline in an aged horse

I have a 21yr old QH gelding who is in excellent health. I still use him as my primary trail horse. Just this past month I have noticed his withers appear to be more prominent, as though he is starting to lose a bit of mass up top. His back along his spine still looks great.
He is on free choice hay, and gets 3/4 of a coffee can full of senior extruded feed once daily.
I was wondering if there was anything I could do pro-actively to help maintain his topline as he ages.
I board him, and generally am only able to get out 2x a week to see him.
Any tips or suggestions are much appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-06-2010, 05:11 PM
Green Broke
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Just age. Work will build up the muscles but some older horses start loosing a lot of muscle mass starting with the topline. A lot of trotting and hill work. Make sure you have some good padding and your saddle fits good. Make sure you have his teeth checked for wear.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-06-2010, 05:23 PM
Green Broke
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Location: Some times Llanelian - North wales, sometimes Hull in East Yorkshire (UK)
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work him properly in a correct outline making him use his back muscles properly.

That is the only way to stop it deteriorating.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #4 of 5 Old 11-07-2010, 08:36 AM
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Location: Illinois
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Qualtiy Protiens and amino acids help along with making him use himself properly

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-07-2010, 08:50 AM
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Agree with the other posters - steady, correct work and a good diet is really the only way, and some loss of topline muscle is inevitable with age.

Riding 2X a week it's going to be hard to do - is there someway you can get someone else to work him a couple more times per week?
maura is offline  

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