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exercises to build hindquarter muscles?

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  • exercises to build hindquarter muscles?

    Hi Cothers-

    I am looking for some suggestions for good exercises to help build hind end muscling. My horse has a sad, scrawny, weak hind end!

    He is still green- he was started in late december- so nothing to complicated. He w/t/c steers, stops, and just this last week he jumped his first crossrail! Although I would prefer to stick to flat/poles rather than jumping exercises for now.

    Currently I am doing a lot of trot and canter poles, and just introduced slightly raised trot cavalletti. We are also working a lot on transitions.

    Unfortunately our ranch is totally flat, no hills, and I don't currently have access to a truck/trailer to haul to do any hill work.

    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

  • #2
    Depending on where they are in their flatwork, I love counter-canter work for getting them fit and working through the hind end. If he's strong enough to hold it through the corners, great, but if he isn't, that's fine too.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks! We will try adding some counter canter.

      Any other suggestions?
      It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.


      • #4
        If you can trail ride through the woods and up and down hills it will do wonders for him. One hour in the woods is worth at least 2 weeks in the ring, even if you are just walking.
        Man plans. God laughs.


        • #5
          downward transitions, rein-back, that should also help build up the hind end. Keep in mind you don't want them to fall on their face when you ask for canter to trot, trot to walk, etc.


          • #6
            Have you considered rig work with your horse?

            The pessoa (and similar) rigs in Dover Saddlery are fantastic ways to build both hind end muscle as well as a correct top line.

            We use them all the time and they have helped many of our newer or greener horses build the appropriate muscles without the stress of a rider on their back.

            In mounted and rig work do lots of transitions as well as stretching work. Focus on lifting/rounding the horses back up and sending them forward to create a true hind end engagement.
            ~*Little Miss Sunshine*~
            aka Superfreak, Sammie, Samantha, and The Pants


            • #7
              I am surprised no one mentioned this yet!

              Starting on the ground before you get on back your horse three sets of 15 steps.

              Do this everytime you ride --not only will you develop great gaskins but you will help their back and my farrier who strongly recommends it for keeping check ligaments strong.
              My farrier is a competive roper and his horses feel like our jumpers , and then need strong hind ends. I also back when I am on but like the whole ground thing cause they use they're back differently when you are not on.