muscle bulk?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by dmaequestrian dmaequestrian 1 year, 5 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • dayna_pochron Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0

    i have a thoroughbred, he has a slight ewe neck at the base and just has an all around small neck. he has a small, oddly shaped hindquarters. i am doing high performance hunters with him which is a conformation class. i was wondering, how can i build muscle in his neck and hindquarters?

    Thunder15
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    The best way to build up his hind quarters and his top line (including the neck) is with a lot of trotting. A LOT! But you need to get him to step under himself in a good frame.

    Thunder15
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    This is a before and after with Thunder. It took 6 months of him learning to step under himself and build stamina. One you get him on the bit he will step under better. Half halts are hear for that. Also use treats to make him reach around. Get him to touch his chest, his shoulder and then the center of his body making him flex his ribcage. That will go a long way to getting him supple and building muscle

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    In addition to the other recommendations, Smartpak Muscle Mass helped my older boy. He went from looking like a scarecrow (no neck, no chest, no hindquarters, no topline) to pinning in conformation classes. Of course, good overall nutrition and proper exercises are a necessity.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Palladia
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 9

    First, learn to get him “on the bit.a’ This will go a long way toward helping with his neck, and making him “through.” Then, trotting up long hills will do the work on the hindquarters, and help him learn to push more from behind. Work into both slowly, and it will build him up.

    lil_judd
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 15

    OK I’ll give you the correct training for this.

    1, you need to take your horse out on the trail and climb hills. Every day. Up and down – Up and down – Up and down until you’re so sick of it you can’t go on. And you’ll still have to keep on. You are to do this at a walk!!!! Climb climb climb I learned this well over 30 years ago when I had my first young stallion with a huge neck and a weak hind end. I have since always climbed my horses and have always had super strong hind ends. And perfectly shaped. So – out on the trail with the two of you and start climbing those hills.

    2, the neck. That’s flat work. Lots of long and low at a trot. Frequent tempo changes, every three strides from working to collected to working to collected. To this add half-halts and gait changes. Walk/trot trot/canter walk/canter. Frequent changes. Think ultimately four + on a 20 meter circle. But, to get a correct neck you have to use “long and low”. You need to ensure you engage his hind end as the hind end is what will power up the horse and push the force through the horse through the neck. I recommend some Dressage lessons for the two of you. Tell the Dressage trainer what you want, to fix the neck and that you need to learn how to get a correct long and low so that you can fill in the neck and then raise the neck for correct carriage for your classes. This is not upper level Dressage – this is regular Flat Work. A good trainer should know what you’re asking for.

    I can promise you that this will fix your problems. Now it’s in your hand to decide if you want to actually fix your horse or do some silly fast fix which is no fix. Correct work and within months you will see your horse change.

    Also, I want to point out that uphill trotting is shown in studies to be a sure way to wear out your horse and not actually recommended.

    Climbing a hill at a walk is far more body building for them. I also highly recommend Power Walking your horse for 2 hours at least once each week. This is done on the trail. Power walking means you’re actively walking your horse forward for the two hours. Not for you to be chatting with your best barn buddy which the two of you are out on the trail ride. You are to actively make your horse move out and forward.

    Good luck from someone with horses with great necks and hind ends.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Not everyone has any hills available.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Chris
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 15

    In addition to the exercise advice offered by others, take a closer look at your horse’s diet. Some years ago, I attended a seminar at which an equine nutritional expert stated that, contrary to popular belief, “proteins don’t build muscle, minerals do”. I’ve seen huge and rapid positive changes in several horses with various problems, with the only change being an excellent mineral supplement (my favorite is Hiland’s Big Sky). The same expert advised against ever offering “treat-type/flavored” minerals free choice.

    Consider having your horse evaluated by an equine chiropractor/body worker to make sure that spinal misalignment/chronic cramping isn’t contributing to your problems. Does your horse bend/flex/turn easily to both sides? Can your horse comfortably perform barefoot (if not, check out a trimming specialist)? I (as a barefoot trimmer) have seen some strange conformation issues resolve in short months when such issues are successfully addressed.

    Final suggestion–make sure you feed your horse at ground level to help with the ewe neck thing. Feeding higher (especially with hay nets) does not keep your horse’s head/neck in a normal grazing position and can contribute to development of ewe neck over time. Perhaps lots of time spent confined to a stall resulted in what you’re seeing–nothing better for a horse’s body/mind than 24/7 turnout with friends!

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    To help build more muscle, back up a hill a lot of times. If your horse is not laterally soft, your horse wont be vertically soft to build the muscle. To get your horse laterally soft you pull and release at the same time, but don’t release all the way. Pull and release your horses neck around until your horse is not pulling on you or making you pull its head. You want to do this on both sides of the horse. Collecting your horse will definitely build muscle. When you collect your horse up, you will need to change leads every now and then. When you have your horses head like in picture 2, you will need to release the pressure to reward you horse, so your horse will get better and enjoy it.

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    I forgot to add that when you are collecting your horse up, you need to give your horse a little nudge with your feet to keep him going.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Pulling is not as effective as having the horse bend, stretch and flex on his own (treats help a lot with this). A horse cannot collect himself without muscle, and I, for one, do not like to see the head behind the vertical. It constricts the throat and accomplishes nothing. The horse should reach for the bit, not be pulled back to it.

    Just my opinions, based on 57 years of experience.

    It is never the horse's fault

    FoxFire FoxFire
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    There are a lot of great suggestions here! I’d like to give you one more idea – walk and trot poles to help your overall topline condition. My horses live in my backyard and I have a great arena, but no hills or trails unless I haul out. So, as a part of our regular warm up we do cavaletti and poles. Encourage your horse to stretch down as much as possible. Hope this helps!

    HorseyGal
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 6

    I once had a mare in similar shape. I did the carrot stretches making sure to go side to side, chin to chest, etc. I also rode her up and down a lot of hills.
    If you don’t have any hills where you live, try doing some cavaletti exercises with him. That is very strengthening, helps get his legs under him. Go online and lay out the poles on the ground at the recommended distances according to gait. Putting those poles on the ground will help him a great deal.

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    Joe-Joe said, Pulling is not as effective as having the horse bend, stretch and flex on his own (treats help a lot with this). A horse cannot collect himself without muscle, and I, for one, do not like to see the head behind the vertical. It constricts the throat and accomplishes nothing. The horse should reach for the bit, not be pulled back to it.
    Just my opinions, based on 57 years of experience.

    I am saying that, Your NOT pulling, you are massaging its neck around, treats do not help some horses (all horses are different). Personally, Years of experience means nothing if you have not learned the right stuff that ACTUALLY is effective. The horse should give to the bit, not make you work harder. Trust me, the things that I said before works. My horses have nice muscle tone. There is many things out there that don’t work it just distracts the horse from working out the problem and the rider is just trying to make the horse happy or there is different ways to do it but it is not the right way (or not the natural way) of building muscle. The stuff I said before does work, my horse built muscle in just a month or so of working, but it does depend on the acceleration of the horse, rider, or both. Cause some people DO NOT know how to ride even if they have been riding for a long time.

    CocoZ_0326 CocoZ_0326
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    I would say that you need to do LOTS of trot work and I mean lots! My horse stuck he foot through the wall and was off of jumping for a month, I had to do lots of trotting to help strengthen her leg again, also trotting is the hardest thing for a horse to do and it builds the most muscle😉! But you will have to get him to carry himself and get on the bit and moving forward from your leg. Horses get board very VERY easily so when you are doing trot work I would highly suggest do different trot exercises like figure 8s, serpantenes(look it up if you don’t know what it is), changing direction as much as possible, and maybe even trot poles and cavaleties at the trot😌I would say trot poles would be very good bc he will have to pay lots of attention and pick his feet up! The trotting will absolutely help build his hindquarters! It really helped with my mare and she has been all nice and muscular from all the trotting we do👌🏻! Hope this was helpful😉

    Have a nice ride❤️

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