Advice on how to build topline with no menage please

Tronk

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6 January 2012
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Hi everyone, would just like some advice from all you very knowledgeable horsey people please! After a couple of months of little/no work my boy has lost most of his topline. I am just bringing him back into work and would like to know the best way to build topline with no school/arena/menage. This obviously means no lungeing at the moment as field like a bog! I was thinking of hiring a school once a week/fortnight but what should I be doing in between? I am in Lincolnshire so there is a distinct lack of hills nearby! He is in good condition and doesn't need more feed IMO - just work of the right kind.

Advice please!:)
 

056775

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17 December 2012
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No real hard core advise but even with a menage I do most of my schooling out hacking.

Even if there are no hills - road work will still help and you can practice lots of exercises

Roundabouts and turning right offer great chances to "check" your out line on the bend! I also find stationary cars as almost as effective as training mirrors for checking posture!
 

DressageDiva1962

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I've never used a school to build up topline...plenty of walking on the road, hills do help, a good fitness plan and working on an outline to build up a good topline, I've always been a firm believer that topline comes from work.
 

Tronk

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I've never used a school to build up topline...plenty of walking on the road, hills do help, a good fitness plan and working on an outline to build up a good topline, I've always been a firm believer that topline comes from work.
Thanks DressageDiva. Is there any website/resource to find a general fitness plan? It seems there are hundreds for humans but zero for horses! I've always done a vague kind of couple of weeks walking, then building in trot etc but would like a proper plan like you would have if training for a 10k run? But maybe I'm just a bit OCD;)
 

Maesfen

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Basic fittening plan from scratch is six weeks walking (marching, not slopping along!)
then introduce trot for 1 minute every mile of the ride for 2 weeks; then for 2 min's every mile for another fortnight; then 3 min's every mile for a week; then 4 mins every mile for another week then you can start introducing canter with the same timings (i min every mile) Those minutes for each mile can be broken down to 30 seconds a time when you start.
I'm taking it that your rides would be a minimum of 4 or 5 miles at the start increasing so that you're eventually out for nearly 2 hours and doing 10 - 12 miles a ride at least if not more.

If you work him correctly, always balanced, not allowed to slop along except for the last mile home, you should soon find him muscling up correctly even if you don't have any hills although once you've almost finished the trotting stages it would be very beneficial for his wind if you could box somewhere at odd times; you'd be surprised how a hill might catch him out even if you thought he was pretty fit by then so well worth the effort if you can.
 
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Tronk

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6 January 2012
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Thanks everyone - some reassurance I'm going the right way! And thanks Maesfen for the fitness plan - no excuses now!
 

HardySoul1

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12 March 2004
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Not criticising anyone, but if the horse is working at least 4 or 5 days a week think you can safely get to canter stage in less than 12 weeks unless vet advice to contrary. I would expect normal horse to start cantering in half that time.
 

PolarSkye

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I've never used a school to build up topline...plenty of walking on the road, hills do help, a good fitness plan and working on an outline to build up a good topline, I've always been a firm believer that topline comes from work.
This. You can school out hacking - leg yield, shoulder in, shoulder fore, etc. on a track and hills are fab for engaging and building up the back end . . . you can encourage stretching, collection, changes within the pace, etc. all while hacking.

P
 

olop

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25 May 2003
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Buy a huge sack of carrots and do lots of carrot stretches, have helped my boy no end :)
Left and right stretch to the hip, between the legs and up at the sky, hold for the stretch for 5 seconds at a time :)
 
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