Need advice on building a horse's topline. Details inside. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-08-2012, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northern California
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Need advice on building a horse's topline. Details inside.

Hello everyone,
I just got a new paint mare as a rescue. She is 9 years old and is NOT underweight (of course I'm still trying to add weight to her) She does however lack a topline. This is a bit of an understatement. She has no muscle in her back at all. I am wondering what kind of exercises I can do with her FROM THE GROUND!! I am 4 months pregnant and am unable to ride anytime soon. So the ideas that I have so far are:

Lunging in side reigns to encourage natural balance and topline build up
"Carrot Stretches" to help her loosen up any tightness
Transition work on the lunge line.
Hill work
And lots of backing up.

Does anyone have any comments on the above, or anything to add to them? I will upload a picture of her that I have now...but I will be taking a better picture of her whole body standing square, and will upload it tomorrow. That way everyone can get an idea of what exactly needs more muscle.

As far as health goes, she got really depressed with the passing of her pasture mate and stopped eating. This is how she lost all the muscle. Once she bonded with another horse she started eating again and the weight was put back on her (still a little thin for my taste) But she still wasn't being worked at all. I am hoping with the correct exercising regime she will build the muscle just as well as she put the weight back on.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Just please don't tell me how bad she looks, I am aware that she looks thin, but she was a rescue that I've had for a week, so I am working on it.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-09-2012, 12:27 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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She doesn't look too bad to me, honestly.

I think all of those things are great! Add belly rises to your list though! Horse Back Care

Also, if you can, see if you can ground drive her in a surcingle or in a saddle or whatnot. It's like riding but on the ground more so than just lunging.

Make sure you research it thoroughly and perhaps ask a trainer for some help since it can be complicated. But it's VERY handy dandy!

Also feel free to check out these threads:

Stretches (and muscle building) for your horse

HorseHelp: Building up your horses back, In-hand and Under Saddle

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Skyseternalangel is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 03-24-2012, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northern California
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Hello guys,
just wanted to give an update on Tia's topline and it's progress. With normal work and stretches she has already made a bunch of progress. Still got more to go, but def better.

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-25-2012, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southwest Missouri
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Tia does definitely look much better. You have made great progress with her.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-25-2012, 10:23 AM
Green Broke
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Location: Oregon
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She looks great! I rescued a TB and still struggle with this. Here he is before and then a bit later.

nvr2many is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 03-25-2012, 11:09 AM
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She looks much better, and has a lot of potential.

I don't really have anything to add with what you posted. There's something I do with my gelding before I get on, but I'm not sure how to explain it clearly, so I'll keep looking for a link or video to what it is.

In later time, when you can ride, once she develops a softness to the bit, a lot of long and low riding, will really finish off everything.

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
DejaVu is offline  

exercises , muscle building , rescue , topline

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