Topline Work - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Topline Work

Hi, I have a mare who is due to foal in a couple months. Between her not getting ridden very often and being on a limited exercise and feed schedule, she has lost a LOT of muscle tone in her butt and topline. I'd love to hear some workouts on the lunge that will get her back to looking great. She used to have a dimple down her back and "butt cleavage" so I know she is capable of it! I just am not busy enough to ride her and she doesn't run around much anymore. Can't wait to hear some great tips!! Hope I posted this in the right place, sorry if I didn't!!!
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 03:03 PM
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Lunging her with a side reins & surcingle (properly adjusted) is a fantastic way to build muscle tone through the topline. However, I don't know if I'd work her during pregnancy... I'm no expert, but that seems like it may cause problems??

The hills were bathed in moonlight, the shadows not so stark;
Silver light reflected off his brown hide as he held me in the dark
– I love you, Mudpie!
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 03:13 PM
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Please do not start an exercise routine with her now. If she is out of shape and pregnant, that is a lot of undo stress.

I start working the mare when the foal is about two weeks old. Type of work depends on what kind of use or shape the horse had prior or during pregnancy.

I'd suggest start with lots of walking and work up to trotting. Once she isn't leg weary, you can add ground poles. But with the foal at her side, I would wait on any obstacles until the foal is weaned or can be held by a handler with a halter.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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She is used to a pretty hard workout and I have been riding her throughout her entire pregnancy, but am going to switch from riding to lunging for the rest of it. Thank you for the advice!!! I'll start lunging her with a caveson!!!
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by trainerunlimited View Post
She is used to a pretty hard workout and I have been riding her throughout her entire pregnancy, but am going to switch from riding to lunging for the rest of it. Thank you for the advice!!! I'll start lunging her with a caveson!!!
It is VERY important that the surcingle and side reins are properly adjusted, and I cannot stress this enough.

Here is a detailed guide to help you.





If you're curious about the equipment, here's a kind of guide for you.





Dover Saddlery, Jeffers Equine, and Smart Pak Saddlery are all reliable sellers of side reins and surcingles. Though some may be a bit "pricey," don't go for the cheapest one simply because it's more affordable. Read reviews, do your own research, and make your decisions only after you are well educated and can back up your choice with knowledge.

I don't know about working a horse during pregnancy, but should you choose to use side reins and surcingles, I want you to be adequately educated and prepared to do it correctly. :)

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

The hills were bathed in moonlight, the shadows not so stark;
Silver light reflected off his brown hide as he held me in the dark
– I love you, Mudpie!
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ty! I usually put draw reins or tie her reins loosely underneath her to let her give vertically, but I've been thinking of getting the balance training system out of horse.com, what do you think of it? I can post a link later, but am not at a pc right now. Ty for the info!
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 05:08 PM
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I have never used a "balance system," but I don't like the looks of it. It seems like yet another piece of equipment to compensate for a lack of proper training – I've also read a lot of bad reviews on it and products like it. I strongly recommend using the correct adjustment of side reins to promote proper self-carraige and therefore muscling and fitness.

The hills were bathed in moonlight, the shadows not so stark;
Silver light reflected off his brown hide as he held me in the dark
– I love you, Mudpie!
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks! I'll start looking around. If you happen to find a reasonable caveson and reins you think are pretty good, let me know!
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 06:20 PM
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Leather Elastic Side Reins - Statelinetack.com << These aren't the cheapest ones around, but they look like they're extremely high quality and will actually last, as apposed to breaking frequently, etc.

Weaver 10-Ring Neoprene Lined Nylon Surcingle - Statelinetack.com << This also looks like a high quality, affordable product.

:)

The hills were bathed in moonlight, the shadows not so stark;
Silver light reflected off his brown hide as he held me in the dark
– I love you, Mudpie!
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-30-2012, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I think I am going to leave it to your knowledgable advice and get both.
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