Soo my horse Sunny needs some muscles.. ha.. So I was wondering if I could see you horses before and afters of muscling, toplines, ect., just so I can get all excited to see what Sunny will look like with some work:)! Thanks!.. Id post pictures but Im kind of busy at the moment:)! I will try later!:)
I hate to bring you bad news, but if your horse is not thin or in poor condition, his muscle is more a product of genetics than of work. When horses are worked hard, they get much firmer and more defined muscling, but the actual bulk of muscle is mostly genetic. Good hard work gives you much more 'muscle tone', tucks up a horse's belly and tighten those muscles a lot, but conformation is much more a product of genetics.
Most vets would differ that he looks better in the lower pic - too fat. We've gotten to used to seeing and associating fat as being healthy but horses are prone to the same issues as fat people ie fat build up around the organs. My vets horses were all slim, slimmer than the top pic.
If you look at teamfires horse, you can actually see muscles on the legs in the first picture vs the second picture you can't. I like my horses to have some meat on their bones, but a little less than the second picture
Agree with Cherie, muscle mass is mostly genetic (though lack of good care/feed can cause a horse to remain smaller than they would have under ideal conditions), all that work will do is give you tone and definition.
For example, this mare looked like this when she came to me as an unhandled 3 year old. A little pudgy and soft.
And this was her nearing the end of her training. Many people would look at her and say "OMG, she's so skinny", but she wasn't skinny at all, she was just extremely fit at the time. She could easily lope 5+ miles without even breathing hard. She didn't get bigger, she just got stronger and fitter.
Here, you can really see the definition in her shoulder, she looks like a racehorse in that respect