Muscles and movement

For your horse to perform while staying healthy, it's important to strengthen your horse's muscle development. Whether it's a recreational horse or a sport horse, building muscle is vital to your horse's health. As a rider, you should therefore be informed about muscle development in your horse and know how you can best promote it. In as little as four to eight weeks, you can make a big difference to your horse through effective training. A combination of training, breaks and appropriate feeding is essentia l. Of course, your horse will not become a pure muscle package after just a few training sessions. Therefore, you should focus on long - term, sustainable training when building up your horse's muscles. It is not only the quality of the training that is impo rtant, but also that you give your horse enough breaks to recover. Muscles grow during rest periods and not during training, as some people think. Accordingly, it makes no sense to do intensive weight training five days a week in a row. On the contrary, su ch an approach can even damage your horse's health in the long term and permanently. A rest day does not mean that your horse should stand in the box all day. Loose training on the lunge line is recommended. Just two to three training sessions a week shoul d be enough to achieve your desired result. Start slowly and only increase your units later. The horse's body needs some time to get used to the new load, especially in the beginning. Many horses experience muscle serenes after intensive Training. You kno w how uncomfortable this can be and you don't want to put any additional stress on your horse in this situation. You should therefore observe your horse after a training session that has been particularly demanding and, if necessary, extend the training br eak. You can recognize sore muscles in your horse by the fact that he reacts sensitively to pressure, moves stiffly and shows little motivation. You know your horse best and should give him a short break to recover. It is also important to stretch your hor se regularly. About every 10 minutes you should lead your horse to stretch. When doing this, you need to drop your horse's neck so that his mouth is almost touching the ground. The neck should be stretched straight and long so that the back and legs are al so stretched optimally. Through regular stretching, tense muscle fibers are stretched, lengthened and become flexible again. In this way you can also prevent tension in your horse.


In order to train particularly effectively towards your goal, you should se t training stimuli during the training. You can think of these stimuli as a signal for the muscle. It is now stimulated to grow. You set training stimuli by slightly exceeding the performance limit of your horse. It is important that you do not overtax you r horse, but only demand a little more. You should know your horse very well to be able to judge something like this. After that, a break for your horse is indispensable. You can stimulate training, for example, by slightly increasing the training length. However, you should continue to increase the speed only slowly.
The walking pace is the most important gait in muscle building. It is the most natural way for horses to move. In nature, wild horses spend up to 16 hours a day foraging and cover up to 30 kil ometers. They move mainly at a walking pace. Other gaits such as gallop or trot are used in nature only as an escape reflex or out of overconfidence. Training at a walk is therefore very effective for maintaining and also building up muscles. As a rider, y ou should therefore make sure that your horse has enough movement independent of the training. Your horse should be out in the pasture as often as possible. The lack of movement in the box is not good for your horse. In the pasture with his peers, your hor se moves and builds up muscle mass unnoticed. The pasture should offer your horse at least 20 meters to gallop at a stretch. The uneven terrain puts additional stress on muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. This also helps stabilize your horse's connect ive and supporting tissues. A ride with your horse through the forest also offers a varied coordination training. Different ground conditions and climbs challenge your horse and let him gain self - confidence. Muscle building training does not mean that you have to ride your horse directly all the time. Effective interval training can also help build muscle from the ground on the lunge line.
The nutrition of your horse plays a very important role in muscle building. Muscle growth can be targeted through nutri tion. It is the decisive factor in building, regardless of whether it is a recreational horse or a sport horse. Essential amino acids, which form proteins and are an important basic building block for muscle building, are found in the feed. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body itself. If only one of them is missing, the horse will break down proteins from muscles, causing the muscle to shrink. So make absolutely sure that your horse gets all the essential amino acids. They are basic requirem ents for any horse. The most important source of protein for a horse is hay. You should therefore make sure that your hay is of high quality. Excess hay offers little protein, so you should avoid it. Linseed, alfalfa hay and soybean meal are other importan t sources of protein for your horse. However, you should also adjust your horse's protein needs based on his housing conditions, horse breed, health status and your training goals. Performance horses, just like professional athletes, need an especially pro tein - rich diet to continue to perform excellently. If your horse is not getting enough protein from a diet, you should add a supplement to mix in with the main feed.