Building topline...where to start?
I know that trot poles and hill work are great for building topline, but I would assume those would be for horses that are at least slightly fit. I also know that tummy lifts help. I love scratching a horse's stomach (I love the face a lot of them make) so that's easy to do.
So where should I start with building a topline in a horse that has had minimal riding time in the last few months? I just got his horse and am switching his feed over to pellet/beet pulp mix and trying to keep as much hay in front of him as possible. Hopefully that will help fill it in. I also read that protein is good for filling in the back, should the amount of protein (14%) in the grain be sufficient? Is there such a thing as a protein supplement, and would that be something to look into?
I am an expert lunger, so any lunge exercises I can do?
Sorry no help just subscribing. Im interested in some of the ideas people will have because I don't have any hills or trotting poles to work with.
Hill work!!!!!! I start all mine with weeks and weeks and weeks of hill work at a walk. We start with a 20 min hack out and as thier fitness builds up we increase the length.
I brought stan back to work after 2 years of field rest (6 months of which was spent in a stable on full box rest). Started him with 15mins of walk up hills and built it up to 2 hours before starting trot work.
Hill work only works if you have the horse working properly in an outline.
ETa there is a big difference between topline and FAT. top line is muscle and takes time to develop properly. DOnt feed him too much protien as you invite lammi
Correct work in an outline or lunging in a passoa also helps. Bending, stretching and working long and low
You can find out how to do a lot of different stretches on youtube! I think they are very helpful.
The only way to build top line muscle is to ride the horse in a connected working gait. Ride the horse correctly from back to front on the bit. Long and low seems to have the best bang for the buck. Trotting on uneven terrain does wonders. Small rolling hills are perfect.
I heard boggy sand is good as well :)
I wouldnt suggest that RedTree, it put an awful lot of pressure on the tendons of the legs.
MyBoyPuck. I'e found when It comes to hills it is a case of the bigger and steeper the better! I live in a mountain range and all my in work horses have had fantastic topline simply from walking up and down these hills.
I'm sure the big hills work wonders too Faye. I wouldn't know because my state is mostly at sea level. I just know, when I started trotting my horse around on the rolling hills in my area, a short two weeks later I had built a machine. It worked wonders. Also, if the OP's horse is out of shape, I'd think start small and work up, literally maybe? (heh heh)
Can you explain why it would put pressure on their legs?
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