How do I Build My Horse Muscles ?

 Of course, every horse owner regularly thinks about building up muscles and how to properly build up and support their horse's muscles. Especially after longer periods of illness, it is important to train the muscles to keep your horse healthy for a long time.


How does muscle building work?

Actually, only regular and constructive training helps. You need a lot of patience and perseverance, because muscles don't grow overnight. The muscle also needs a recovery time between workouts of about a day, just like humans. A healthy muscle can only grow if it can alternately contract and relax, and this can only be achieved with regular breaks. 

That's why you shouldn't ride through the poll for the entire unit, but let the reins be chewed out of your hand again and again so that the horse can stretch and stretch. Of course, you can't even train and then not do anything for several days at a time, because you can't build up that way. Regular, daily training appropriate to the horse's circumstances should take place.

What equipment do I need?

Another important influencing factor is the right equipment. When it scratches and pinches, the horse moves in an unnatural and poor posture as it tries to avoid the pain. If the saddle then also presses on exactly the places where muscles should be built up, the fiasco is perfect. The saddle crushes the muscle, so to speak, so that it cannot grow at all, but rather shrinks.

Muscle building exercises 

I've had good experiences with pole work when building muscle. It's a great change from the otherwise repetitive dressage training and has clear advantages. The horses have to concentrate more and lift their legs higher, thus activating the entire musculoskeletal system. Plus, they're having a lot of fun! There are countless ways to set up poles. You can only put them one behind the other, but you have to pay attention to the respective distances in the gaits, or you can increase them with the help of wedges on one side. Alternating the wedges on different sides makes the horse concentrate more and raise its legs higher. Of course you can also lay whole constructions with rods. Crosses, rows, L-shaped etc. There are no limits to your imagination. You can do the whole thing riding or lunging. When riding, you can also practice great lateral movements with poles. That relaxes the horses immensely.


If you don't have poles available or you don't have a riding hall or a place at the stable, you can also train great in the field. Well suited are hilly, uneven places where the horses have to exert their hindquarters. This not only promotes surefootedness, but also physical condition. Steeper climbs where the horses really have to "climb" are also good. However, again, in moderation! It's very strenuous at first and you shouldn't overtax the horses, but rather start small and increase slowly.


In the arena you can ride exercises such as going backwards or lots of transitions. The most suitable transitions are trot-gallop and canter-trot. When backing up, the horse has to arch its back, when transitioning from trot to canter, the horse has to tighten its abdominal muscles in order to be able to jump. When transitioning from a canter to a trot, the horse has to sit up and tuck the hindquarters under properly so that it doesn't fall onto the forehand and run away from the rider. Many horses tend to "run" because they fall on their forehand and try to keep their balance.


Supplementary feed


I have also had good experiences with supplementary feed . The muscles clearly build better than if I leave it out. There are also a wide variety of types that support different parts of the horse's body. Of course, additional food alone is useless and you shouldn't overdo it. You always have to feed an adjusted amount for training and not try everything wildly, as this can also damage the horse under certain circumstances. My recommendation is therefore to only feed small amounts of additional food and in connection with adapted training.


horse muscle anatomy


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