Building a topline? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-25-2012, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Building a topline?

How to build a top line up? For a barrel horse? On the ground and in the saddle?
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-25-2012, 10:56 PM
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Subbing. I was going to ask the same question :)
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 08:18 AM
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Two things you need are exercise and proper nutrition. Some will disagree but nutrition is most important.

Using our horses as an example, they don't get much exercise besides some light riding on the weekend. We were told by a "nutritionist" to use a certain feed which would help build their top line. The reason I say it that way was because she was a rep for that feed. Granted it did help but when we took our horses off it, they lost the top line just as quick as the feed put it on. Since then, we've fed them beet pulp which works even better. During the summer we don't give them hardly any but they keep their shape.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets View Post
Two things you need are exercise and proper nutrition. Some will disagree but nutrition is most important.

Using our horses as an example, they don't get much exercise besides some light riding on the weekend. We were told by a "nutritionist" to use a certain feed which would help build their top line. The reason I say it that way was because she was a rep for that feed. Granted it did help but when we took our horses off it, they lost the top line just as quick as the feed put it on. Since then, we've fed them beet pulp which works even better. During the summer we don't give them hardly any but they keep their shape.
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I'm not sure how feed can make a top line? Especially beet pulp - it's fed as a roughage.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 10:07 AM
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back your horse up, back,back, back, back. It works really well. Of course there is lots you should do, ride collected and rounded, canter work, even drag tires, do hill work. But one of the best things I have found is backing your horse. :)
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets View Post
Two things you need are exercise and proper nutrition. Some will disagree but nutrition is most important.

Using our horses as an example, they don't get much exercise besides some light riding on the weekend. We were told by a "nutritionist" to use a certain feed which would help build their top line. The reason I say it that way was because she was a rep for that feed. Granted it did help but when we took our horses off it, they lost the top line just as quick as the feed put it on. Since then, we've fed them beet pulp which works even better. During the summer we don't give them hardly any but they keep their shape.
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My mom and I went to a clinic on Tuesday night and a nutritionist talked about how important feed is, and how it can build their top line. What type of feed do you use for your horses? It seems like a daunting task to pick out a good feed. =P
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 10:35 AM
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all of our horses that are being worked recieve a feed twice a day, morning and night. A mixture of beet pulp, black sunflower seeds, mineral, power 2000 and some barley.

I agree, good nutrition is paramount in a healthy horse and their ability to build muscle. It's like people at the gym, the ones who are in the best shape are the ones who eat healthy, excersize regularily and do a well rounded work out.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
I'm not sure how feed can make a top line? Especially beet pulp - it's fed as a roughage.
Like I said, I'm going from our horses as an example. They all have a good top line, even our hard keeper has kept good weight and his top line this year.

All we feed our horses is good quality hay, beet pulp, and a very small amount of sweet feed in the beet pulp.

The expensive feed we tried, I think was Pro-Choice Balance but I'm not positive since it was several years ago.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 04:46 PM
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Trot them up hill as often as you can, it should help muscle them up a bit.

When you are sitting a top a horse, you are that much closer to God.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 04:53 PM
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We once took in a rescue who needed a lot of work on his topline... This is what our vet told us to do.

Backing up work with HEAD DOWN. If their head is up, they're not exercising the muscles of their back during this exercise.

CAVALETTI POLES, at the trot (start at a walk), make the horse put its head down and pick up its feet higher... Or else it bumps the poles and knocks them over. (The horse has to put its head down to measure how high s/he needs to pick up his feet.)

From there, we set the poles in a circle so the rescue could be lunged over them without the rider getting exhausted (he was in too poor of shape for riding). Healthy back also means healthy belly muscles!

Nutrition is also a must, as already stated above.

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." (H.G. Wells)
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