Applied Posture Riding - dressagehorses topline exercises

  • Introducing Weight Strength Training for Horses

    Introducing the APR Topline Weight Strength Training Program

    Strength training for horses has been traditionally done using hills, fast work, endurance work. Empirical knowledge has been the main form of application.

    The Equine Veterinary world is now investigating the benefits of applying Physiotherapy knowledge to the equine athlete for performance and for rehab post-injury.

    Humans have been using weights to increase muscle bulk, muscle strength, muscle endurance for years.  Physiotherapy research has endless studies to demonstrate the evidence for this.  Recent studies have now demonstrated the need for loading of the tendon for tendon health and strength (in humans). It is now known that athletes need to train cardio, muscle and now tendons in separate routines. Fast work to increase heart rate works the cardiovascular system. Repetitive and endurance work builds muscle strength and power. We now know loading the tendon with weight and working in dynamic (moving) and isometric (static) work in interval training repairs, and restores and builds tendon strength.

    Humans are able to do reps and sets on each limb or body part to isolate weight loading. A horse cannot do this so a horse needs to use their natural movement patterns (kinetic movement chain) to build strength. 

    I have spent many months learning these biomechanical Kinetic Chain Patterns horses use for movement. The walk is the most efficient pace to load a horse for postural and muscle group strength training. The head bob and the hind leg movement provide the best body part to load a horse with a weight in order to recruit more muscle fibers for each step taken.

    I have designed leg boots and a neck pad to carry variable weight loads to apply at the walk-in variable intervals of time to strengthen the whole horse.web 8 

    We all know the stronger an athlete is the better their performance outcomes are. 

    Having completed and still conducting home-based clinical trials with the great success my program is now ready to be introduced to the equestrian world. The program provides guidelines for the amount of weight and time frames used.

    The program products include a neck weight pad, two hind leg boots, 4 rope stabilizers, and a monkey strap. The package will include 4x 1.1kg bars and 2x 500g bars to insert into the neck pad and 12x 304gram bars (6 in each boot) in the hind boots.

    The neck pad and boots are lined with a grip mat and deeper rubber padding material to prevent slippage and provide comfort. The weight pockets are double lined and the boots have an enclosing velcro strap.

     

     

    APR Hind Weight bars web

    APR hind weight boots 2 web

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Neck pad fitted webweight bars for program web

     

     

     

    The neck weight pad allows you to vary the amount of weight applied to the training. I have also designed a weight collar. These are fixed weights and designed for easy application of the fixed weight. These are ideal for isometric training and maintenance work. These are still being produced for the market.

     

     You can now purchase this full package from my APR shop  APR Topline Weight Training Full Package

    You can also buy the APR Hind Weight Boots on their own. APR Hind Leg Weight Boots. The results will be slower and less effective to your horse's front end because you are only loading the hind end.

    Casey Compare photos webanatomy horse web

    This is a mare I started two weeks ago. (March 2020). She is already showing visual signs of muscle building. Casey has the Neck Weight Pad and the Hind Weight Boots applied. She is doing dynamic as well as isometric training. This also involves correct feeding as well as "other work". I am happy to consult, answer any questions if you are interested in this system.

    The weight training aims to deactivate the upside-down muscles and activate the correct working muscles of the horse.

    Once we have better strength the horse may well balance and perform better in their discipline.

    Strength training is valid for all horses for good health as well as performance.

    Humans have been applying this type of work for many years, finally, the equine athlete can benefit as well.