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SonnyWimps 09-28-2008 09:32 AM

Training/excersize schedual to get rid of hay belly
Okay I've been trying to get rid of Sonny's hay belly for a while, but to now avail! Any ideas on a good training schedual until winter that I can do to get rid of his hay belly or part of it? I'm not worried about him loosing weight in the winter because the BO throws in 2-3 round bales in the pasture so they always have something to munch on, and she seperates them so if the bullies go to one hay bale the lower horses can move on to another one.

I can't get up there every day...the days I normally go up are:
Wednesday (depending on homework)
Saturday (depending on if I go to church that night)

I ride bareback so I don't particaully just want to gallop him in random pastures lol, and I want to slowly build up to hard work since I normally just pleasure ride with him and haven't really worked him up to a good sweat since I started boarding at the new stables.
He's at a good weight other than the hay belly lol

iridehorses 09-28-2008 02:27 PM

Sonny, the only way I know is to ride. A lot of trotting and transitions. You may need to go back to a saddle again for a while unless you can sit his trot without one.

I don't think there is a short cut - just work. You may need to cut back some on his feed or hay. It's really like a human diet - proper quantities of feed and the proper exercise. Walking is OK but you need to really build up a sweat.

QuarterPony 09-28-2008 02:52 PM

I'm all with iridehorses, but I have to add one thing -- and many people can do this in winter, too:

Lunging, lunging, LUNGING! The lunge line should become your and his best friend for awhile -- trotting, trotting, trotting!

Really make him work; build up a sweat. Feed a little less if you like. After awhile, his belly should start getting smaller... and smaller... and *smaller*


Otherwise, I believe iridehorses summed it up!

prbygenny 09-28-2008 07:17 PM

Quarter Pony where in MN are you from? And were you at Anna's open house Satr. night?

SonnyWimps 09-28-2008 07:39 PM

I can definately sit his trot with no problems. I ride bareback now mainly because now my balance is better bareback than in a saddle. Sad, huh?

It's really impossibly to cut down his food due to he's in the field with all the other horses and gets unlimited food. Not just hay, but grass also. He's off grain which is going to help, but I don't want to seperate him from the herd. He'd really hate me....he used to hate me for even seperating him for an hour while I even groomed him or rode him. We've gotten over that problem, but the only way to reduce his food intake is to move him.

I didn't think there was any shortcuts, and heavens I knew it wouldn't particually be a short path, but just something simple that I can remember, that won't bore my horse (he gets really bored easily, then he starts fightening with me), won't make him associate me with "work" (so something that will keep him entertained), and just something enjoyable for me lol.

QuarterPony, I'm anti-lunging. I feel that it just works the horse up more and gets them crazy. Also there are so many things that I'm working on with Sonny that I believe lunging would ruin the progress that I already have with him and future progress.

SonnyWimps 09-28-2008 08:13 PM

sorry for the double post, but was going to post a picture of him :D
From the fair from last month, but he had his hay belly then also hehe

jeddah31 09-28-2008 09:51 PM

Just lots of work.

Transitions, lots of transitions!
Legyeilding, especically in and out of a circle.
If you have any hills available hills are great

SonnyWimps 09-28-2008 09:59 PM

there are slight hills but not big ones....mainly just small 3 feet ones.
Transitions up, down, or both?

jeddah31 09-28-2008 11:12 PM


Originally Posted by SonnyWimps
there are slight hills but not big ones....mainly just small 3 feet ones.
Transitions up, down, or both?

transitions up and down..

make saure he's responsive to your aids and really get him moving off your leg, then ask him to make a downwards transition with your seat and weight. It'll engage his hindquarters and get him thinking as well as it being good exercise.
Do you know what the beep test is? It's kinda like that in horse terms

luvs2ride1979 09-28-2008 11:36 PM

I agree, transitions, trot work over poles and up hills, canter work in a lowered frame (but still moving out from behind), and some belly lifts!

Do 2 belly lifts on each side before and after your ride. Use your finger tips/nails and push up in the center of his belly (you'll see a mid-line under there, and a "soft" slightly swirly spot). Push up hard until you see his back arch. If it doesn't work, move around to a different spot, or look under to make sure you're on the mid-line. If he still resists, use the curved part of a hoof pick (not the pointy end).

Trotting over poles and canter work really helps, IME, the most. Work on a big circle at the canter, going from true bend to counter bend in a lowered frame. Hold the counter bend until he relaxes, then back to true bend. This will work his topline and his underline. Building topline will help support his belly and make for a more athletic horse. Work him in a lowered frame, encouraging him low, not forcing him, but keep his gaits ground covering and moving out. If he slows down too much, he can topple on his forehand and get strung out behind, which will have the opposite results.

Do you have a Dressage trainer near you? Some Dressage lessons might come in handy for you. They will teach you better balance in your saddle too, no matter what kind of saddle you're using.

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