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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Not sure if this belongs here but worth a shot... Was looking for exercises to build neck muscle in horses? My OTTB has quite a thin, skinny neck- I am usually only able to ride him once a week, but know someone who I trust yo get out there more and work him. What exercises would be helpful in achieving that nice, cresty neck- think 'Working Stallion Neck'. He is only young (5) so nothing too strenuous! Thanks, Holly
 

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Remember unless you know that true, real birth-date what you think of as a 5 year old may only be a just turned 5 in actuality. There is a huge difference in being a just 5 or coming 6...
This horse is still maturing so give it some time to do so...
But, unless you have a stallion you should not be having the testosterone that can create the large jowl and heavier neck...
As foxhunter said, riding from behind is what develops the muscular carriage to carry the horse properly.
Its very hard work for one learning it, to train those muscles so go easy on the workload given the animal.

:runninghorse2:...
 

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The neck WILL develop enough strength to do whatever it needs. Which is not much. What value to riding OR the horse is a thick neck?
 

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TB and heavy cresty neck to me just don't go hand in hand. These are all current TB stallions. Long, lean necks. And that is with testosterone levels that your horse as a gelding just isn't going to have.



Riding once a week is also not going to build muscle.
 

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What has already been said. Consistent, correct work over the back. Such work would consist of long and low work, transitional work etc, but your horse won't immediately be able to do all that work and you don't want to force it because then you won't develop the topline (what you want), but the underline instead. At first he may only be able to go forward into the bit for a stride or two, and you need to build on that each time you or your friend rides. It can take anywhere from 3-4 months to see some small muscle building on the neck with 4 or more days a week of correct work.
 

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TB and heavy cresty neck to me just don't go hand in hand...
To use a human analogy: I'm a 60+ year old guy. I run, do pull-ups and push-ups, ride horses. I'm reasonably fit. Would love to lose another 10 lbs but not going to hold my breath. If I did lose another 10 lbs, I'd be 5'8" and 140 lbs. Would NOT win a bodybuilding competition, but I'd be pretty fit.

That is my genetics and hormones at work. A few days ago, I ran 4 miles. Got home and it was 104 degrees in the shade.

Now...suppose I went to the gym 3 days a week and did bicep curls out the yin-yang. I'd get somewhat bigger biceps, but probably not much. I'm not a mesomorph. I'm "designed" to go distances. In horse terms, I'd be more Arabian than Quarter Horse.

And if I did get bigger biceps, so what? What sport could I play that depends largely on bicep size or strength?

So it makes more sense to figure out what sports I'm built for, and enjoy those sports - and let my body do what it is going to do. I've spent more than enough decades dieting to know my body tends to win out in the long run.

Like QtrBel says, a thoroughbred is bred for speed. And a gelding is going to be lower on the hormone scale for muscular necks regardless. Hills, sand, transitions, turns - they will all build up strength and agility. But they probably won't give a thoroughbred a 'Working Stallion Neck'. And I was never going to be Arnold's stunt double....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So as well as understanding the fact that he is a young thoroughbred gelding, just keep working him all over? Human analogy- we often hear we can't lose weight from just one spot specifically. I think I understand, Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So keep working on collection and using his hindquarters as well? What your saying makes sense anyhow... Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you- I wasn't quite expecting a HUGE neck, just as a demonstration (you know that nice line of muscle at the crest some horses get...). He is coming on 6 in 4 weeks (planning his birthday!). I think you are also commenting on the targeting of specific muscles, and just keep working him all over and his neck will develop good muscle like the rest of him :) Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OOoooo I've never thought about this before, but it's an amazing idea! Using all his muscles is what I've been learning from this thread, so working them evenly sounds like a perfect situation! Thank you!!!!!
 

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Using muscles evenly....remember what you do to the left you also do to the right.
Just like humans horses are also left or right side dominant.
Once you figure out which is your horses dominant side you then also need to watch carefully you make him work sometimes more to the weaker side as that side will not muscle as fast or as well as the side he chooses when at liberty to lead with...
You need to keep a balance appearance in building muscle and coordination...that is not easy but is achievable.
:runninghorse2:...
 
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