Could he ever look like this??

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Could he ever look like this??

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    05-14-2010, 01:19 PM
Could he ever look like this??

Hero is just getting back into shape - he has been with me for a year let me tell you it was a LONG one to even get him to where he is now, he was very ewed neck and skinny,

Just wondering if he has the ability to look like he does on the right? I'm a new horse owner so I don't know how horses muscle builds exactly - I know his neck got pretty thick before winter with a lot of riding, then he lost a lot over winter beind off 4 months,

Ok okay...I exaggerated a little! Lol but his neck just seems so dinky to me...weight wise I think he looks good.

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    05-14-2010, 01:32 PM
Did you photoshop that? Lol, how creative.
Your guy is a bit ewe necked and although you can definitely build his topline some it is a conformation issue and you won't be able to fix it completely. The more he uses the top part of his neck instead of the "bulging" underside he will develop more muscle and fill out. So just watch as you're going along in his training that he isnt using the muscles underneath, you don't want those to develop more. :) My paint mare is a bit ewe necked also and she would much rather use those under muscles because its easier. :)
    05-14-2010, 01:58 PM
Because he is built downhill, his neck is going to tend towards being a bit ewe-y. You have to really focus on getting him to lower his croup and work correctly to the bit - a great way to do this is by doing hills in a long and low frame and really making him stretch down on the uphills and really trying to compress his body and sink his croup on the downhills.

Good luck!
    05-14-2010, 02:03 PM
Thanks!! For right now our trainer has us doing lots of letting him trot around freely and getting him used to lowering his head with no contact, then we are doing lots and lots of poles getting him to put his head down and look - lots of hills/trails at our place I just gotta find the time to have someone show me around.
    05-14-2010, 02:11 PM
Originally Posted by madisonfriday    
thanks!! For right now our trainer has us doing lots of letting him trot around freely and getting him used to lowering his head with no contact, then we are doing lots and lots of poles getting him to put his head down and look - lots of hills/trails at our place I just gotta find the time to have someone show me around.
With muscle building - we need to really place the horse's body in the position it needs to be in to build muscle. Letting him trot around of his own accord is only going to build the muscles he finds easy to use and has already built up (read - the wrong ones). Not to mention it is quite counterproductive to the actual training of the horse - as soon as you ask him to actually do something with his body he's going to get pissy because he's used to trotting around however he would like.
We don't need to be mean to the horse - but he must understand that when you are on his back he is working for you and as much as it hurts (because he WILL be muscle sore) he has to put in a good effort.
Just putting his neck down is not going to build muscle - he has to be able to come from behind into a contact and round his neck from the base (which does also require a low neck). Then he has to be able to hold that for prolonged periods of time in order to build muscle.

Good luck!
    05-14-2010, 02:12 PM
Exactly what Anebel said. Hillwork is excellent for building up toplines. You can also do some work on the lunge line or with long-lines, if you know how to use them. Positive work with correctly fitted side-reins or even a Pessoa system could help him. Make sure you ask someone who really knows how to use them to help, though - especially with the Pessoa, because if you overdo it, you'll teach him a false "frame" which will lead to curling. It's a fine line! :)
    05-14-2010, 02:13 PM
Yes and that's what helps him - when I ask for more contact he just automatically drops his head but gets choppy in the hind , If I stay light with my hands and push him forward it helps him to naturally drop his head, and use his hind end.

Before I was just forcing him into a frame and the trot was really choppy
    05-14-2010, 03:30 PM
Yes, I agree with Anebel and Dantexeventer.

Right now it sounds like he's happy as a clam with no contact, but pick up the contact and he loses his impulsion as an act of defiance, thus becoming choppy and hollow. LEG! Push him up into your hands or else the work isn't going to help the muscles you want to improve, and ultimately you're going to have a hard time with other excerises as soon as you pick up contact.

While trotting have sufficent contact. Don't focus on him being supple until you've reached a steady rhythm (think of his haunches) in the working trot so that your horse is carrying himself. He'll probably be a challenge, and might even pull the reins from your hands, I'm guessing. But this is crucial: he must carry himself and drive into your contact so he's truly using all those muscles you want to target.

Do lots of circles, serpentines, etc and when you've reached the correct rhythm and impulsion ask him to be supple with your inside rein while keeping a nice contact with your outside rein.

Ugh, for a professional writer sometimes I have a hard time correctly expressing myself and hope that made sense.

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