I did this last year, and I'd like to get everyone's opinion on the progress made thus far.
For history - Claymore is a coming 9 year old gelding I got 2 years ago. When I got him he had been shown under harness, but was not saddle broke. He had been used primarily as a breeding stallion and just stood around in the pasture with his mares. He was very fat and flabby, he had some muscle but in all the wrong places. He showed signs of having foundered repeatedly. He would sweat heavily with even the lightest work. He had a massive fat deposit in his cresty, cresty neck. He looked like jello when he walked.
For the first time since I got him, I am really happy with the shape he is in now. He still has some work to go getting conditioned in the RIGHT places now, particularly in his hip and hindquarters (darn all my flat ground). But he finely has actual withers. His neck is nice and shapely, it will always be heavy, but the huge crest fat deposit is all but gone. His feet have stopped splaying out under his massive weight, and he no longer has random, intermittent joint discomfort. Muscle tone wise he was looking a lot better last fall, but I did not ride as much over the winter as I had intended to, this year. My fault! So lots and lots of schooling in a collected trot is on the agenda for this summer.
The thing is, this horse is actually only 1/4 draft. His frame, underneath all that blubber, was big, but not super heavy. It was really unhealthy for him to be so fat.
When he first got here (sorry for the poor pictures):
Here is after 1 year (and discovering he was SUCH and easy-easy keeper that a grazing muzzle was a necessity):
And here he is after 2 years (taken today):