By CYNTHIA HODGES – If a horse has a low, weak back, the rider can improve his topline by combining exercises that will strengthen the muscles in the back and then relax them. If the rider uses half-halts and driving aids correctly, the horse will raise his back. The rider then can keep the horse’s back up by maintaining a steady contact. This will strengthen the back muscles and improve the topline because the horse is lifting and rounding his back.
From this position, the rider then encourages the horse to “chew the reins out of the hand” by slightly flexing the horse’s head to each side. The rider should let the horse lower his head and neck as much as possible. Allowing the horse to lower his head relaxes the muscles of the back, which is necessary for developing a strong back.
After this exercise, the horse should be allowed to walk on a free rein for several minutes to further relax his back muscles before resuming the strengthening exercise of lifting the back.
READ MORE ABOUT CYNTHIA HODGES