Wednesday, June 29, 2016


There's a problem with Theo's training.  I've been working away at it, trying to not let it bother me, but it's starting to become a critical issue.

What the hell is up with that neck?!?!

Not sure what I'm talking about?  Remember this picture?

Just look at it.

That is not okay.  And it gets worse when he's being less than cooperative for pictures.

Honestly.  That's not cool.  That is the broken topline that everyone screams bloody murder about in dressage articles.  I have that horse.  Uneven neck development is expected when taking a horse from being completely upside down to something approaching correct, but it's still embarrassing as hell.  We've only in the last couple months gotten to the point where I can work him consistently in a way that will add muscle where we need it and I know it's 6 months to reshape a neck, but it's really starting to drive me crazy.

I swear I'm not sawing at his mouth or jamming him into a false frame.  He naturally pops into a false frame and it's taken many months to break him of his habit of curling behind and evading my hands.  He still does it when he decides what I'm asking for is too hard.  We've been working so hard to get him to stretch into his neck and travel with a long frame and his nose poking just ahead of vertical.

That neck is okay!  I'm quite proud of that neck!  And with any luck, one day, his neck will look like that all the time.  In the meantime, there's some pictures I think I'll keep off of Facebook.  At least until I don't have that horse anymore.  I can only pray we have that in better shape before we head to New York.


  1. I want to do a muscle transplant on Stinker's neck. We are making progress but it is so slow.

  2. It will come. you are definitely heading in the right direction.

  3. I have to remind myself with Courage that even when I do reshape the neck, it's MUSCLE and so we see it in motion when he uses it.

    But hey, advantage of a very upside-down OTTB--he's either correct or inverted. We don't do false.

  4. Reshaping horses takes a LONG time... if you've got progress, you're heading in the right direction. I'm not reshaping so much as "waiting for maturity" (which feels a lot like Waiting for Godot) and getting horse through kindergarten while being a clueless adult ammy living in Greater Rednecklandia... and it's taking for-ev-er. Progress pics:

  5. I'm having the same silly crisis with my horse's neck right now. I just have to remind myself of the awful, horrible pencil neck he came with and that the dip in front of the withers WILL keep getting smaller and smaller. Why must muscle take so long to develop properly?? (Something I also ask myself about my own body all the time! :P)