Building Muscle

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Building Muscle

This is a discussion on Building Muscle within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    • 1 Post By katec1991
    • 1 Post By Corporal

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        11-21-2013, 09:53 PM
    Building Muscle

    I am trying to build more muscle on my 2.5 year old filly, Breeze. I know hill work is a big thing to do to help build muscle and a good diet... but is there anything else I could do, like lunging at a trot in a smaller circle, just walking her around, etc???

    What I will be doing a lot of this winter is taking her into the ditch, making her walk and trot up and down the small hill (the ditch) through the snow (it is is soft enough) and feeding her this:

    -hoffmans minerals

    She will get this daily, I usually feed it to her at night, as I don't have time to go there in the morning. Is there anything I can add to it, to help build muscle?

    I will also be lunging her at a walk and trot a lot, with and without the saddle (as soon as I find a girth that will fit her), but I don't really lunge her at a lope, as I don't want to put to much stress on her joints, as she is still young.

    Is there anything else I can do?
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        11-22-2013, 11:36 AM
    I wouldn't do anything more just because she is so young... muscle will come as she matures. Don't stress her out too much or it can cause problems later.
    Corporal likes this.
        11-22-2013, 12:20 PM
    Agreed. Focus, instead, on ground schooling for obedience which will REALLY pay off later on, ESPECIALLY for halting and turns on the haunches and turns on the forehand.
    Give her lots of turnout so that she can get and maintain being limber and lots of fresh air.
    beau159 likes this.
        11-22-2013, 12:50 PM
    Super Moderator
    It's a little bit like asking a 15 year old to have the muscled body of a 25 year old. Even the fittest youngster would not have the same muscly look of an adult, in the case of humans, and I would guess it holds somewhat true for horses. No?
        11-22-2013, 01:21 PM
    I like to trot circles I find 4 barrels and will line them up so there is I barrel then about 15-20 feet then another barrel about 10 feet then 10 feet then 10 ft.

    Should look similar to these astrix.

    * * * *

    I will use the far left barel as "home" and will do ever widening circles in sets of 2 so 2 around the firs barel and home barrel, then two around the middle barrel and home barrel and then two around the far barel and home barrel. Once I have "grown" out to the third barrel I will "shrink" in. Then I will go the opposite dirrection around the barrels "growing" and "shrinking" In sets of 2. After a week I will bump it up to sets of 4 then after a month sets of 5. I essentially use this as either a warm up or cool down after or before a real work out for my wifes barrel horse you will be suprised how fast it will start to tone a horse. Now considering your horses age you may stick to 2 repetitions for a while.

    Now I do most of this work in a round pen so as Im doing these circles I use the outer sides of the round pen as the outer extremeties of my circles. You could do the same by adding to barrels to the side like below:


    * * * *


    Hope this is helpful.

    For some reason when I entered it the astrix lost my original spacing but the first and second barrel should be about twice as far apart as the second, third and fourth barrel.

        11-22-2013, 03:12 PM
    Thanks, and I don't do much with her. She is on turnout 24/7 now, not in the barn at all. I usually only lunge her for 5-10 minutes, and I do a lot of other groundwork for short periods of time like:
    -flexing the head and neck
    -backing up
    -moving forequarters and hindquarters
    -being patient and standing still
    -staying out of my personal space

    A session a day is usually about 15-20 minutes, no longer. Sometimes I will spend hours out there, but just hanging around, sitting in the hay and doing stuff to 'bond' with her.

    I only work with her in nicer weather, so if it is too cold, I don't do anything but feed her.

    She is not over worked, and probably not worked enough, so that is why I am wanting to boost up her training to get her ready to start.

    I do saddle her sometimes, but with a lightweight english saddle, whom I am trying to find a girth for, that fits her. Although I have saddled her with a light western saddle, that she has had no problems with. Since I have gotten her, I have saddled her maybe 4-5 times, and have had cats sit on her back, but that is it. I will be saddling her more often through the winter, to get her ready for it in summer, when a rider will be added.
        11-22-2013, 03:52 PM
    Ahhh. My bad, I assumed she was broke under saddle. Disregard my comment.

        11-26-2013, 03:47 PM
    Sounds like you have the right plan. I'm not stressed bc my 7yo QH still needs work. Since his bones are set and since I've started horses before, I know what to do and I can safely begin a rigorous program with him. Your youngster has LOTS of time and she isn't a pasture pet, so you don't need to worry about all of the work that you haven't done with her.
    You didn't mention trailer training. If you haven't worked on that, then make that your winter focus, as well as perfect foot manners. =D

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