Need to build muscle...
 
 

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Need to build muscle...

This is a discussion on Need to build muscle... within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horses backs that muscles just develop only on mid back
  • Encouraging a horse to engage

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    05-07-2012, 03:55 PM
  #1
Foal
Need to build muscle...

I posted this horse in the color thread as well, but I am in the middle of purchasing her. She's a small horse & 11, with a little narrow chest and hardly any muscle at all it looks like. She used to be used to work cattle, but her owner now is new to horses and has just been doing alot of ground work....which is great don't get me wrong!! Any ideas on how to build her muscle slowly? We have alot of mountain trails around here but people keep telling me they might be too strenuous for her new horse.jpg
new horse 2.jpg
     
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    05-07-2012, 04:04 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Start slow. Get great fitting tack and do LOTS of trotting. Maybe for 5 minutes at a time, then walk till her breathing returns to normal, then trot again. Work her on hills, first walking up and down, then walk down, trot up. Ride as often as you can and gradulally increase the intensity and duration of the excercise.
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    05-07-2012, 04:35 PM
  #3
Foal
Hey mods I think this needs to be in the horse health thread, FYI. (maybe? Check me on this)

Anyway what a cute dun mare. Yeah when it comes to building muscle slow is the only way you "can" do it. I could suggest a vitamin B-Complex supplement, but that's usually for horses working under strainious conditioning and really, it makes your horse "hot." however the above poster was correct in general field conditoning. Walking and trotting up hill at a forward posting trot will go a long way to "foundation" conditioning your horse. She's a QH right? So shell have little problem developing muscle if done correctly. When I foundation condition any horse I will do 5 minutes walking, then 5 trotting forward, then end on walking again. Remember like people your animal needs to rest between moments of strainious exercise. Especially if they're not used to working so hard. As your horse becomes more used to working and has beter endurance (doesn't sweat so hard, even breathing, ) you can work the. Up to cantering. Cantering is a great way to condition a horse as it involves them engaging their hindquarters (unless animal is used to hollowing its back or striding behind your leg) and arching their back. A rounder frame means a better conditioned horse with a willingness and ability to work harder. However carrying a frame or carrying themselves takes time, and like with any out of shape horse, you are going to have some hard rides ahead of you until the animal builds the muscle needed to carry itself. That's why working in short periods with walking in between is important.
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    05-07-2012, 04:47 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyBlack    
However carrying a frame or carrying themselves takes time, and like with any out of shape horse, you are going to have some hard rides ahead of you until the animal builds the muscle needed to carry itself. That's why working in short periods with walking in between is important.
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What do you mean by hard rides ahead of you??
     
    05-07-2012, 04:56 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2many    
What do you mean by hard rides ahead of you??
When a horse is out of shape it has trouble carrying itself. The normal out of shape horse can do very little trotting (usually jegging in their case) and most likely fights against doing anything more strainious like a forward, extended trot. However this is what you want them to obtain to before you start cantering work. A forward and extended trot is developed by working the horse in continuous forward motion on a soft rein, encouraging them to seek contact and round themselves. This develops the correct muscles needed for any type of disapline plus strengthens their endurance and willingness to work as bending at the poll and rounding there back is more comfortable than hollowing and striding out behind you. (it actually burns more energy and uses more muscles to work against collection and when continually ridden incorrectly the horse develops the wrong muscles l, like horses with broached backs, that impede it from working.)

So therefor, when you ride the out of shape horse you have to have a strong seat driving forward motion, while encouraging the horse to engage from behind into a more rounder frame and taking a bigger step (extended trot) while not speeding up. (regulating the pace with ur seat). And this all adds up to some tough rides that will make both you and the horse sweat.
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    05-07-2012, 05:19 PM
  #6
Foal
SunnyBlack, that makes perfect sense to me about them carrying themselves;) It will b a bumpy ride til they have enough muscle to balance or carry anything I'm sure! And I may need to move it but I'm not really sure how??!
     
    05-07-2012, 05:38 PM
  #7
mls
Trained
20-30 minutes of long trotting in 5 minute intervals is a good start.
     
    05-07-2012, 05:40 PM
  #8
Foal
Don't worry, if the mods want to move the thread they will. It can stay here until then. I was just thinking that since this is about muscle health it should be more suited for the health thread than the training. But like I said, if the mods think it should be moved they will move it. :)
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    05-07-2012, 06:05 PM
  #9
Trained
Somethihg to consider....

I am sure she probably needs to be conditioned but she may never build big muscle. Some cutting, cowhorse and reiner bred QHs are flat muscled no matter their condition. I own one now, he is in great shape, lots of long trotting and up and down hills and no matter what doesnt build bulky muscle. His muscle gets more defined but not like my gray mare who has a lot of bulky muscle no matter her condition.
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    05-07-2012, 06:22 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyBlack    
When a horse is out of shape it has trouble carrying itself. The normal out of shape horse can do very little trotting (usually jegging in their case) and most likely fights against doing anything more strainious like a forward, extended trot. However this is what you want them to obtain to before you start cantering work. A forward and extended trot is developed by working the horse in continuous forward motion on a soft rein, encouraging them to seek contact and round themselves. This develops the correct muscles needed for any type of disapline plus strengthens their endurance and willingness to work as bending at the poll and rounding there back is more comfortable than hollowing and striding out behind you. (it actually burns more energy and uses more muscles to work against collection and when continually ridden incorrectly the horse develops the wrong muscles l, like horses with broached backs, that impede it from working.)

So therefor, when you ride the out of shape horse you have to have a strong seat driving forward motion, while encouraging the horse to engage from behind into a more rounder frame and taking a bigger step (extended trot) while not speeding up. (regulating the pace with ur seat). And this all adds up to some tough rides that will make both you and the horse sweat.
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Thank you for that!
     

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