Last September I rescued Phoebe, an Irish TB with a heart of gold. I absolutely love this mare and she has taught me so much about riding. Over the past 10 months I have had to do a lot of work to her teeth and feet and she was very underweight. Now she is competing at local shows and she is revealing parts of her past that we didn't know about through her performances. She loves to jump and recently showed us that she knows flying lead changes. Everyday my heart grows a little bit fonder :) I am concerned about her conformation, particularly her long back. I'm a little afraid she might be considered a sway back and I don't know how this might affect us in the long term. She is 12 and I plan on giving her a forever home, but I would like to have her to ride for awhile still too. Please offer your feedback. I have posted 5 other shots of her that follow this one to try to get different angles. Thanks for your help!
Thank you both so much! It's been a long 10 months, but every time that I look into those big, brown eyes I know that it has been worth all the work, time and money. The day she came off of the trailer I cried. Her previous owners, due to the economy, just put her to pasture, stopped feeding her, and basically walked away :( Once I got her back into some kind of shape, I started riding her and it's been love ever since. I have pieced together parts of her past, the biggest surprise finding out that she was an Irish born TB with some rather impressive bloodlines. We started jumping about 3 months ago, and I am almost certain that this mare has had extensive training over fences. She is very impressive, and is currently do very well on our local show circuit. Any advice on how to build some muscle along the topline? It is getting slightly better if I compare a timeline of pics. I try to work her doing quite a bit of long trotting in a collected frame. I have a feeling that she was allowed to go around with her head held very high and very hollow backed for a long time. Thanks again for your input.
Congrats to you for doing such a great job and for giving her another chance.
She is lovely , the only thing I can see with her is her neck is quite tiny and her back really lacks muscle but that is the only thing with her is muscle. Do alot of riding up hills that will really work up her muscles in her back end and her back ! Also do alot of asking her to disengaging her back end!
If you have access to fields with some small hills and slopes, walking and trotting on the bit will go a long way toward building up her topline. It's fun too! Pretty girl. Looks like she knows it the way she's looking at that camera.
I like the idea that both of you gave me for working on hills. We have one pasture in particular that I can work in when there aren't any horses turned out there. Guess we will add that to our routine tomorrow! Phoebe loves getting out of the ring so I know she'll enjoy it. And, yes, she knows she's a pretty girl and she likes all the attention that her new life offers. She always just stands patiently in the middle of the ring and watches me arrange and set all of the jumps for the day and then I go stand by the mounting block and call her and she comes over ready for our ride. Now that she is coming out of her shell she is like a giant (17 hh) puppy dog!
I think you'll faint when you see how fast trotting on uneven terrain builds up muscle. My horse turned into a stacked monster in 2 short weeks. I was actually glad when it got too hot to ride so he could get a few days off to de-muscle a bit. I'm lucky he's a good boy because he's wicked strong right now!