How To Help Improve Your Horse’s Topline


It’s hard to ride a horse without a top line because they’re usually weak, sore and unbalanced because they don’t have strong muscles to help move them forward. So I’m going to share with you a few exercises I’ve been using on my Thoroughbred the past few months to help gain weight and muscle mass. 


Many people think their horse raising its head or having a shortened neck is building their top line but it’s actually doing the opposite and putting stress on your horses body.

It’s very important to have a loose rein and let your horse stretch its head down because that’s helping them loosen up and build topline.

Exercise 1:

Building Topline At The Trot:

At the trot I use my legs on Phippen the whole time to keep him forward and he starts to lower his head and have a nice lengthy trot. I also do lots of serpentine, circles and trot across the diagonals.

Exercise 2: 

Encouraging A Soft Mouth:

My horse loves to raise his head and sometimes take the bit away so my coach and I have been working on that with him so he can engage his topline. If he takes the bit away we softly start to flex side to side to encourage him to give me his mouth back and to bring his head down.

Exercise 3:

Trotting Poles and Lateral Work:

Trotting poles are a great way to engage your horses topline because it encourages the horse to move forward and stay lifted and balanced. Lateral work is using leg yields encourages the horse to step under and engage their topline.


Thank you so much for reading! I hope these exercises help you with your horses topline!

Check out my Instagram: @Hannah_Equestrian and My business @TheOilyStable 🙂 



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