Building Neck Muscles.
 
 

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Building Neck Muscles.

This is a discussion on Building Neck Muscles. within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Building a neck
  • How to get a neck on a horse quick

 
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    11-10-2009, 04:23 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Building Neck Muscles.

Hi Guys,

Well I was wondering how do you get neck muscles. I know that for a horse to be a good dressage horse and be able to "tuck" their head they need neck muscle. So I was wondering how can I work on neck muscles, I have heard that lunging with side reins is a good idea. But I have not got side reins and I do not know how to use them, so I would like it if my instructor could show me.

She is doing heaps for Chinga and I at the moment and I know she is busy, so I would like to wait a bit.

Thanks Maddie.
     
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    11-10-2009, 04:33 AM
  #2
Foal
I have nooo idea sorry maddie!! I know how to get ass muscles!!
     
    11-10-2009, 05:04 AM
  #3
Green Broke
So do I Zoe, so do I. .
     
    11-10-2009, 05:21 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChingazMyBoy    
...Well I was wondering how do you get neck muscles. I know that for a horse to be a good dressage horse and be able to "tuck" their head they need neck muscle. So I was wondering how can I work on neck muscles...Thanks Maddie.
Riding correctly since it is using the back that develops the neck muscles. (If the horse just tucks its head the underside of the neck will build up - and dressage wants the crest of the neck - topside - to build up.)

Ride horse forward off leg into longer reins and encourage the horse to bring it's head low but use reins to bend horse outside then inside. NOT constantly just once quickly outside followed immediately by a quick bend inside and slight push forward into the reins by a light leg.

When you do the (SLIGHT) bending do NOT make the other rein loose - do when you bend the horse to the outside so you can see the edge of it's eye the inside rein stays at the same length it was pre-bend.

You should be able to do this at walk trot and canter. If horse is not pulling on reins or throwing head into the air then you should see a slight BULGE in the center of the neck (if he's giving over his back into the reins). If not you're not doing it correctly, if he is and you continue to ride him this way he'll develop the muscles you're talking about.
     
    11-10-2009, 05:45 PM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valentina    
Riding correctly since it is using the back that develops the neck muscles. (If the horse just tucks its head the underside of the neck will build up - and dressage wants the crest of the neck - topside - to build up.)

Ride horse forward off leg into longer reins and encourage the horse to bring it's head low but use reins to bend horse outside then inside. NOT constantly just once quickly outside followed immediately by a quick bend inside and slight push forward into the reins by a light leg.

When you do the (SLIGHT) bending do NOT make the other rein loose - do when you bend the horse to the outside so you can see the edge of it's eye the inside rein stays at the same length it was pre-bend.

You should be able to do this at walk trot and canter. If horse is not pulling on reins or throwing head into the air then you should see a slight BULGE in the center of the neck (if he's giving over his back into the reins). If not you're not doing it correctly, if he is and you continue to ride him this way he'll develop the muscles you're talking about.
Couldn't agree more.

Re: side reins. I love them, however they're not a miracle tool to develop a topline. The horse needs to have a solid understanding on how to give to the rein and work over the back to get any benifit from them on the lunge. They're also not a training tool to use lightly as a beginner, you need to have a solid understanding of how to correctly lunge a horse in a bridle and saddle in walk, trot and canter. You can flip a horse over backwards in side reins if you don't know exactly what you're doing!!
Once a horse has a firm concept of working into the bit without leaning, and working over its back, you can introduce side reins. You can get elastised or fixed side reins, I prefer elastised for horse's learning about being worked in side reins, as there is a bit of give in them, however in the more advanced horse I like fixed ones. If you introduce them too early and are not exactly clear on how to use them and what you intend to achieve from their use, you will end up with a horse that either sucks back from the contact and while it may look pretty and have it's head tucked in, that's not correct and will compramise your ability to train the horse to any higher degree of dressage as it will not take up contact on your reins. The other result is that you will get a horse that hangs onto the rein, hollows and goes onto the forehand.
Don't think side reins will automatically build top line. All that will build top line is a good diet, correct and consistant work, and perserverance. Hill work is great for building back muscles, work the horse in trot up the hill in long and low (no not on the forehand with it's nose on the ground) and it will be stretching it's back and developing those muscles absolutely necessary to achieve collection and further dressage work. Without these muscles your horse will also struggle to jump ;)
     
    11-11-2009, 03:03 PM
  #6
Yearling
I would also like to know how to build neck muscles, because my mare Night Heat has a weak topline, for one) she is abit thin and two) she has not been worked much. So I would like to hear ideas. = )
     
    11-11-2009, 04:34 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valentina    
Riding correctly since it is using the back that develops the neck muscles. (If the horse just tucks its head the underside of the neck will build up - and dressage wants the crest of the neck - topside - to build up.)

Ride horse forward off leg into longer reins and encourage the horse to bring it's head low but use reins to bend horse outside then inside. NOT constantly just once quickly outside followed immediately by a quick bend inside and slight push forward into the reins by a light leg.

When you do the (SLIGHT) bending do NOT make the other rein loose - do when you bend the horse to the outside so you can see the edge of it's eye the inside rein stays at the same length it was pre-bend.

You should be able to do this at walk trot and canter. If horse is not pulling on reins or throwing head into the air then you should see a slight BULGE in the center of the neck (if he's giving over his back into the reins). If not you're not doing it correctly, if he is and you continue to ride him this way he'll develop the muscles you're talking about.
I'm counfused about the bending part, although I only read it quickly. So your saying riding him on a lose rein with leg to push him on works?
     
    11-11-2009, 06:37 PM
  #8
Trained
Not a rein with a loop in it, you need to keep a contact on their mouth, but ask them to start stretching out into a longer rein. It's tricky if you go straight into a long rein and expect the horse to stretch into it, so start with a shorter rein and get them working their back, so leg, transitions, leg yielding, etc. until the horse starts to work it's back and reach for the rein. Give the reins out a little and if the horse stretches out to reach them (while still carrying itself and not rushing forward or falling on the forehand) you know you're on the right track, until you'll be able to give the reins right out almost to the buckle and have the horse stretching to meet the contact with a loose, swinging back... THAT is long and low and will assist in building up your horse's topline.

Also, what do you feed him? If he's only on hay, it's a bit harder to build muscle, so put him on a good quality, non heating hard feed ;)
     
    11-11-2009, 08:23 PM
  #9
Green Broke
He gets corn, calm proformer, oat and chaft and wheat and chaft. Then he gets a biscuit of hay with that. So I want to start by giving him a little more rein then usual and get him to bring his head lower.

So instead of having him look like this:




_/

I want


-----
     
    11-11-2009, 09:27 PM
  #10
Trained
Yep I understand what you want to acheive, it's what everyone wants ;)
As said many times above, leg leg leg, transitions, circles, figure of 8's, lateral work (leg yield is excellent), hill work etc. Don't hang off his gob, seesaw on the reins etc and you'll be on the right track ;)
Get yourself a good instructor who will teach you to ride a hrose into the bridle rather than pull its head down or let you ride him around like a giraffe, much more effective than having someone try to teach you over the net because we need to be there while you're riding to tell you what to do as you are doing it!!
     

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