Exercise/Strength Training Suggestions
Hi! I have a 13 y.o QH. He's the only horse I've ever had, although I've had him since he was 3.5, so I have limited knowledge. Last year he suffered an apparent ulcer and lost 100 pounds abrubtly, then subsequently had several bouts of lameness due to problems related to chiropratic issues. I've been working with a vet to put weight back on him, and he has finally gotten back to a good weight. I've had a chiropractor out to work on him and gotten a new farrier. I really need to come up with a good plan now to gradually build up his musculature (from nothing). He lost a lot of muscle during this debacle. He is currently not entirely safe to ride on trails and I am partially disabled and not able to ride him 'vigorously'. I am also right at his weight limit and currently dieting to get lower to reduce stress on his back.
The chiropractor suggested starting with poll flexion and surcingle lunging. I could use some suggestions on duration and repetitions and how to ramp it up. I don't want to coddle or hurt him.
All my best,
Walking and trotting in hand and under saddle is a great start. Try twenty minutes of walking and ten trotting, broken up and with some rest breaks built in if he needs them. If he can't handle that yet, just back off a little. Let him tell you what he is ready for. Just make sure he gets worked at least four times a week. Do you have pictures? We love pictures.
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Pictures of My Baby
I'll get a current one of him later today. But, for comparison purposes, here are two - you'll know which is which. One is him before the ulcer looking buff and handsome. One is him at the worst during the ulcer crisis looking emaciated. Poor baby. :-(
Pics Attempt Two
Took me a while to figure out the picture posting thing..
Can you see the pictures?
He looks like a really nice guy. It might help you keep track of his progress to take a picture on the same day every week. That's what I do when I need to make a change to any horse's body, whether it's muscle or gaining/losing weight. When you see them every day (at least, this is true for me) it is so hard to gauge how they have changed over time.
I haven't used a surcingle before, but a trainer did use one on him before. I'm going to see if the trainer at the barn can walk me through it.
Are there any hills where you live? Hill work is great, even if you just lead him up and down at the walk.
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