Help With Topline
I have a 2001 TB gelding. He is by no mean skinny, I felt for ribs last weekend and hes got a nice amount of fat over them and a hay belly from winter. He can appear thin though because he has a bad topline. Hes been off work since 2009 due to an SI injury but cleared to go back to work slowly now. I wondering though if there is something I can add to his diet to help or if its just a matter of building muscle. I will try to get pictures over the weekend when I go out.
For feed he is currently on free choice hay/water/mineral and gets half a waterbucket of beetpulp, oats and complete feed (mixed together it equals this amount)
Some rice bran might help, in combination with the right kind of exercise, of course.
How many times do you feed a day? Free choice hay 24/7? What all exercise is he getting now?
Hay is free choice 24/7 and our grass is also starting to come in so hes been munching that too. I was feeding him the beetpulp/oats/pellet mix 2 times a day. Had to move him and his pasture mate due to too much snow here and I think at their new place shes only feeding them it at night. I really cant be too picky about it till he comes home. She took them both in within a day or so (had an emergency where there was so much snow overnight that they walked over the fence in the morning, moved them the next day) Also she didnt charge me the first month since we brought our own hay for two months and their grain. Shes also giving me a break on the second month. Its a very low key place. Shes never even fed beetpulp till my guys moved there so its more extra then shes used to already.
The only exercise he gets right now is out in the pasture. We are waiting for the snow to melt. Even then I will only be able to work him MAX twice a week till they are home in a month or so. When he goes back into work it will be very light stuff. Mostly walking the first couple months with a little trotting so he doesnt re-injure himself. No collection a loud (unless he does it on his own without asking) no lunge line work, tight circles etc. We are pretty limited on what we can do for the first year back into work. Most likely wont be working on collection till next year. MAYBE get to a canter this year. It was a long healing process and I dont want to start it all over again or put him in that situation.
Makes sense.. probably just a matter of building muscle. Horses with deminished topline can appear thin or skinny but aint.. my horse was like that-- was fat but lacked muscle- she appeared skinny but when i started riding her she filled out nice. :)
Im gonna say- when you get into the trot work youll notice the topline change more. :)
Here is a photo of him I took yesterday. ignore the sweat/saddle marks. We were doing some lunge work and asmall bit of riding before the pictures.
It's a matter of building muscle. Topline is muscle.
He has very little topline.
I agree. I find it very hard though with him building muscle. I know its not 100% my fault as his previous injury really limits him on what I can allow him to do. Im really worried about him re-injuring himself as it took a lot of time and rest to heal it and honestly, I most likely wouldnt even know if he did re-injure himself as it was extremely hard to detect.
I do the carrot stretches with him and leg stretches. The tummy lift if very interested, I never knew about that. Ill have to try that one.
When I was out this past weekend we worked on lots of long and low work. He was pretty hyped up because one of the new mares at the barn is his "girlfriend" and he was mad he wasnt with her. Once he calmed down though he did get moving better and started reaching out from under himself. We were able to do some walk and trot work on the line, a bit undersaddle and I also let him be in the outdoor arena for about an hour grazing to himself and played at liberty with him a bit.
Of curse cant post all that without pictures... =)
Heres a couple working on the line, a couple at liberty and the last one just for fun is him and his ladies. They are new to the barn (although we've only been there a month) and the herd leader was bossing them around bad. Flint all of a sudden stood up to him and keeps the girls safe now.
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