Building Up A Top Line

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Building Up A Top Line

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    01-20-2013, 03:57 AM
Building Up A Top Line

Hi all!
I've had my gelding for almost a year now and this summer we are going to be competing in local hunter/jumper shows. Right now we are schooling around 3'3" (of course we do grids of little jumps, not all big stuff) and this summer we are showing 2'9"-3'. Before I got my gelding he was used as a lesson horse so was not ridden 'correctly' and built up muscle in the wrong places (underside of his neck mostly). When I bought him he didn't have much of a top line at all, but we've progressed pretty far. He was also pretty cranky because he was an overused, burnt out lesson horse with a sore back. Now that we have gotten more used to each other and working well with each other I really want to start building up muscles in his topline. I am going to attach some pictures so you can see what I mean. I know a way to get them really 'using themselves' is to ride up hills but unfortunately up here in snowy Maine all the hills are pretty slick. So I guess basically my question is, what are some good exercise/things I can do to help him use himself and build up muscles in the right places?

Here are a few pictures:

This is where we were before:

Heres where we are now:

As you can see he's built up well everyplace but his neck.

And just for fun, a few shots of him free jumping.

Thanks! :)
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    01-20-2013, 07:14 PM
Correct muscle is only built with correct riding. I would suggest the book 101 dressage exercises, even if you aren't a dressage rider, there are GREAT exercises in there to develop muscle, balance and rhythm.

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