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Natbos 09-13-2011 04:52 PM

exercises to build back?
i have a swayback and yes i know it can't be fixed. she is 22 and has no muscles especially in her back and withers. I'v read several things saying it can be lessened by building the muscles in her back. my daughter is only able to ride her twice a week. and then its a mile ride to the arena, work a bit then back. so i would like to get her on a daily lunging routine. It would be a small area in my front yard but i think possible.she carries her head kinda high, and i'v read stuff saying use side rein then been told there bad use a chambon but there only for people that have experienced with them, so can anyone give me some advice on what i should do, what i can try, if i should use them to drop her head, if it will help build up back muscles. i'v tried the tickle belly and it doesn't work on her she won't lift. what else can i do? and we don't have any hill available either at least non that wouldn't take a 1/2 hr to get to and a ride down a busy highway.what do you all think?

tinyliny 09-13-2011 06:23 PM

lunging her over very small cavaletti or ground poles will force her to lift her feet up higher, which required abdominal muscle . That's the muscle that she needs to build to support her back.

Transitions help. Stop and start. Believe it or not, stopping pretty quickly, firmly and hopefull, balanced, requires a fair amount of abdominal engagement.

Teach her to step up with her front feet only up onto a good solid pedestal or drum. Then , if you can work on teaching her to step her hind around with front feet still on it, like a circus horse.

Cocoa 09-13-2011 06:57 PM

I have heard that dragging a hoof pick (a smooth plastic one) across their belly right in the middle with a little pressure will help them work back muscles they don't use otherwise. Apparently it can make quite a difference if you do it several times a week. Im currently trying it on my gelding and there is actually a bit of a difference 2 weeks in, also he seems to really enjoy it!

Poseidon 09-13-2011 07:07 PM

This lady explains back lifts really well. I can do it on other horses just fine, but Abby gets really annoyed when I do it to her (though she will do it fine for someone else). Picky, picky.

But I've heard doing it daily for a few weeks greatly improves topline.

It's a bit long, but she goes over several other stretches.

Natbos 09-14-2011 12:56 PM

I'v watched that video and my horse responded to non of it. Didn't do a thing but sit there very annoyed she did slightly brace when i did the tail pull at the very end. i think i will try a hoof pick, maybe a curry comb or something but i have doubts. The ground poles sound like a idea, she has a problem not picking up her feet, she's always tripping.what are the distance for the poles? what about the high head carriage when she trots is there a good way to get her to lower her head to help build it up?

Natbos 09-17-2011 12:03 AM

tryed the hoofpick and the curry both didn't work

Saddlebag 09-17-2011 09:20 AM

Natbos, set up obstacles of different heights and lunge her over at the walk. Have one just below the height of her knees. This will make her drop her head to step over.

azhorseluvr1222 09-18-2011 02:47 PM

To OP, I also have a horse that is lacking in topline, a little bit swayed but mostly undermuscled, he is a 10 year old TB. Now I have to forewarn you, I haven't done it myself as I have not been taught properly yet and its definately something a expierenced person should teach. Long Lines, my trainer did it with Ben and he kept his head out of the air and was working " long and low", streching out and licking the lips for the first time ever. She had great success with it and she said it would greatly help with back muscles over time and get rid of the bulgy neck muscles underneath and carry his head better. I want to learn this so badly but we are working on just reg. ground work and lungeing for now, she does it with him though. He responds really well too and his topline has changed nicely. Agree with the poles too, Ben is a tripper I think because he gets lazy but now not so much and he actually moves out in every gait instead of tripping over himself. Sorry that was incredibly long, just thought I would share my expierence : )

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