Introducing Weight Training For Horses

Introducing the horse world to the APR Equine Topline Builder System.

Using weights and resistance bands for strength and endurance training in humans has been applied for many years. I prescribe and design programs for all my patients. People can follow instructions and do sets and reps and measure their outcomes.ball photo final

The horse industry has traditionally used hills, poles, interval training, and endurance training for strength training. 

Many trainers incorporate reins, straps, tie-downs, etc. involving some kind of force to train muscle strength in their horse. As seen below in this picture of a horse with draw reins. This is forced!

We do not use these methods in human training 2

Any restraint such as side reins, long reins, draw reins can guide and or force a horse into a posture. The resistance is always along the line of the restraint. The restraint has two fixed points, but the horse can move in and out of the desired posture you want. The horse can also lean into the force.

 Therefore, the force can vary in the direction it is applied and the effect it has on the muscles.  The horse may well yield with the force and it may work.

However, many horses'   try and escape from the force, and often the wrong posture muscles trained.

 horse training 3Furthermore, your training may well be cruel, causing pain suffering for no advantage! I know many trainers are not cruel and have success with these methods.

This type of training to build a topline and force a frame does not work, is painful for the horse.

I would like to introduce and convert trainers to an application used in human training and apply it to the equine industry. My Physiotherapy education has given me the knowledge to apply specific weight training for horses based on the Biomechanical Movement Patterns the horse works with and applying interval and variable weight training sessions.

20191130 131124 web sizeWeights work against gravity and are not variable in direction. I have designed sessions to perform static work ( hold the weight still, used for self-carriage in dressage) or dynamic work (move the weight through a range for power and endurance in performance horses). Research has proven dynamic weight training builds muscle tone, strength, and endurance. Isometric or static training in specific intervals builds the collagen strength in tendons.

 I have designed and developed a system to build the neck and back topline muscles, the core muscles, the pelvic stabilizers, and hip muscles, all naturally. Self-carriage of the horse's neck on the chest and head on neck coordinate and develop naturally. This system builds symmetrical strength, endurance, and stability in the horse using gravity as the force and variable weights in variable increments and timing. Deactivating overactive muscles is also required.

The horse works the weights to build muscles in a natural biomechanical movement pattern. From a starting point, we can build the amount of weight the type of movement, and the interval of each session and between sessions. As the weight increases, the time reduces.anatomy horse

A uniquely designed equine leg weight boot and a variable weight bag for specific topline weight training for horses are proving safe, kind, easy to apply and most importantly effective and functional. The horse has no restraints, no pulleys and works their own body against gravity in both a static (isometric) and dynamic (eccentric and concentric) work pattern.

Physiotherapy research has much information on interval training for strength and tendon conditioning. I have been able to clinically apply this information into the equine industry.

This concept is ideal for equine rehab after an injury, for racing horses on a walker machine, for dressage and showjumpers to build an athletic body and for show horses to build and sculpt muscles and shape. 

The product is being clinically trialed at the moment with excellent results and feedback. Prototypes for the boots and the weight bag are being tweaked for ensuring comfort for the horse and ease to apply for the trainer. The guidelines for the 6-week program will be adaptable and require compliance for success.

If the program is followed correctly then your horse will become strong through his body, symmetrical with his movement, and build a functionally strong, good looking topline. Any injured areas may require detailed rehab sessions and more time. ( you need to consult your vet).

I hope trainers look at this system and begin to change the way horses are trained for strength, endurance, symmetry, and true self-carriage.

If you are keen to find out more contact me. If you are ready to jump in and change the way you strengthen your horse you can buy the complete package here APR Topline Strength Training System.

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