Wrongly Muscled Neck - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 07-31-2008, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Wrongly Muscled Neck

Ruby's neck is a bit of an 'upside down' neck. She has more muscling on the bottom than the top. I know it's a long process to correct that, but how exactly do you do it? By having her carry the correct frame? What should I start out doing with her? I felt the muscles on the side/bottom of her neck and they were much harder and more pronounced than the muscles on my other horse's neck. I don't really know WHY it's like that. But I really want to correct it. Thank you in advance for anyone's help.

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post #2 of 13 Old 07-31-2008, 10:35 PM
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Show a picture?
That would help me understand where she needs the muscle.

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post #3 of 13 Old 07-31-2008, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Sure! Here's a couple. Not sure how good they are, but they're the most recent of her.




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post #4 of 13 Old 07-31-2008, 10:41 PM
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Do some major collection work. Round her neck out. That may also just be genetics...

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post #5 of 13 Old 07-31-2008, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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The problem is...I need like specific instructions because I have never done collection/impulsion work with her.
I have recently been working with her on tucking her head. I tried impulsion today. I gave her contact on the reins, she gave to the bit, and I gave her leg. I think I felt her getting more underneath herself but I'm going to need someone to watch and tell me if she is. I just don't know if that's doing anything. Because tucking her head like that...she could be mainly using the muscles underneath and that's going to make it worse.

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post #6 of 13 Old 08-01-2008, 07:37 AM
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that (usually called ewe neck) is caused by the horse carrying their head and neck up...the muscles devolpe to help the horse carry their neck in that high of an angle.

Riding the horse in the correct frame will help, but also teaching them to go long and low (have their head line up with their back...sorry really bad at describing things)

"A ewe neck is counter-productive to collection and proper transitions, as the horse only elevates head and doesn’t engage its hind end. The horse's loins and back may become sore"

"The sunken crest often fills if horse ridden correctly into bridle. However, the horse's performance will be limited until the proper muscling is developed."

(two quotes taken from wikipedia)
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-01-2008, 09:33 AM
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A really good warm up exercise is to open your hands really wide, and alternate squeezing your hands, as she starts to drop her nose let the reins slide through your hands so they are as long as they can be (or as long as you feel comfortable having them) as she is doing this you are going to think of lifting her up with your seat (engage your keagle muscles [lower abs] and sit tall. What you are also going to do is encourage her to pick up her walk, nice and energetic. Once she has mastered it at the walk, then you can try a trot.

This is going to stretch her out and help her develop her back muscles, its also the starting.. I hope this makes sense, feel free to ask for more clarification if it doesn't. :)
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-01-2008, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Sonny - Yeah, I know it's called an ewe neck but I don't want to admit it. Haha. But see, on trail rides she always carries her head 'western pleasure' style. It's only when she wants to faster that she raises that head and fights the bit. Even in the ring she really doesnt do that. Can you just describe the 'long and low' part again?

Steph - I think that makes sense...but when I let the reins slide through my fingers, I think she'll just raise her head again.

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post #9 of 13 Old 08-01-2008, 12:31 PM
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Working in a frame and making her stretch into the contact will be the only way to fix that. You can use side-reins as well.


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post #10 of 13 Old 08-01-2008, 02:01 PM
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Steph - I think that makes sense...but when I let the reins slide through my fingers, I think she'll just raise her head again.
Only let the reins slide through when she has contact, so when you feel her start to put pressure on the reins, let her take the reins. And if she puts her head up, try not to shorten your reins (it depends on how long they are and how high she raises her head) just keep at it, im sure she'll get it :)
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