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Topline? Show me!
New horse-owner here, still learning the ropes. I was doing groundwork with my horse yesterday, under the supervision of the owner of the riding school where he's agisted. The school-owner remarked that a particular exercise would be good for my horse because it would help develop his topline.
Okay. So being the ignoramus I am, I asked her what that means for the horse. She told me that the topline muscles are the ones that are good to build up for... um, reasons. :? Something like... those are the muscles he needs to have strong when he's being ridden? I think it was something like that. (Sorry, I'm really very new at this!)
In any case, I see folk here on the forum talking about horses' toplines all the time - this horse has a great one, that one's not so good. I gather it's something that's quite visible when the horse has a well developed topline... right? I gather it would be a good thing to know how to recognise and see, in my horse and others. So I'm asking you fine folk, who have waaay more experience in these matters than me (not hard!) to SHOW me! It'd be awesome if folk could post some pics of horses with great toplines (and some with less-good ones for comparison), and explain to me what I'm seeing there and how to recognise it myself.
Bring on those toplines, good and bad, and Edumacate me! :grin:
Ok.... building topline is good as it build the muscles of the back to allow the horse to eventually collect and carry itself and its rider properly. As horses are not designed to have a weight on their back, if they do not engage certain muscles it can cause all sorts of problems. These are not suck a biggie if your horse is dragged out the paddock once a month for a ride, but if it is in regular work it is something that you do want to build.
Here is my horse GK when I first got him.
His withers are quite prominant, and across his spine (the longissimus muscle) is quite small and not really developed. He also has a bit of a hunters bump over his sacroilliac joint (the highest part of his hindquarters)
Fast forward 18 months, here is GK now
His withers are not so prominent, his back muscles have grown and "plumped out", and his bum has rounded more. He does still need more topline, but there is a noticeable difference.... especially when riding bareback :shock: it is A LOT more comfortable now :lol:
These two have good topline
Here is my horse Bo, on the day I got him after 3 years in a paddock looking like a pregnant broodie... :)
He has no topline.
Heres Miss anne. first 2, no top line. the rest are while we've been building up her weight and muscle.
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