Building a topline - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virginia
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Building a topline

Hey, everyone! I'm just beginning to lease a horse that I will probably own in the end (if the PPE goes well and we're still good together). I only just checked him out yesterday and I fell in love. The downfall is that he's a bit underweight and lacks muscle because he hasn't really been worked since they've been using their already-trained and experienced horses. So I was wondering what type of exercises (and about how long) would be beneficial to help build up his muscles and topline.
I already know about doing hill work but what other things can I do?

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post #2 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 12:38 PM
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I'd love to learn new ways to work my guys top line as well.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 02:35 PM
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I Second the sub!
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 05:07 PM
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Do y'all have access to cavalettis? And any hills to ride on?
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 05:51 PM
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I have in the past used side reins and lunging. Started on a really loose reins, and then gradually shortened them. Didn't lunge a lot, started slow and the gradually increased. Long and low work.

Last edited by Mochachino; 04-06-2013 at 05:54 PM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 05:52 PM
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Subbing! I've heard about hills but I would like to know of some things to do in the arena!

Intermediate Rider~Learning Equitation and English Pleasure~Interested in Eventing
A horse will tell you everything you need to know about him, if you listen.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Virginia
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Yup! We have cavalettis at my barn that can be positioned at different heights. We have a few small hills too. How long during each ride should I spend on going up and down hills?
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 09:21 PM
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Up his grains and pellets... Hay contributes to belly, grains to topline. My ancient pony was completely devoid of any fat or muscle across his topline when I got him - his old owners attributed it to age. I realized that he wasn't able to eat hay very well so put him on a alfalfa pellets and senior feed mash. His topline has filled back out nicely and he looks great. He's very old so no workouts for him... just good food and pasture turnout.

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Nelson Mandela
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 09:38 PM
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Umm.... I wouldn't change Anything in his diet- and always feed more hay/forage, than concentrated grain rations....... But that's a whole other thread!!!!!
Lots of long and low work is great- I do mine without side reins. When I use cavalettis I place them low- 3-6 inches off the ground , at the trot, start with one, than work your way up to multiple in a row.... It will encourage them to lower their head/neck and lift their back
Belly lift exercises on the ground are great too :)
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-07-2013, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virginia
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The barn owner where I am usually consults with a nutritionist about what a horse should be getting fed so I'm not worried about that. She is really good and I know the horse will gain weight if he comes to live at my barn :)I was just hoping to hear about exercises that would be beneficial.

How do you encourage the horse to keep a lower head over the cavalettis? The horses I've ridden all pop their heads up going over them
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