Fat to Fit to First Level: Let’s Talk Rumps

There’s nothing horse people love more than a good rump.

Let’s talk rumps.

As in, mine is getting smaller and Kaliwohi’s is getting bigger. These are both good things.

This week, I’m including some photographs of Kaliwohi’s rump and topline. He is shedding out nicely and we are getting back into a regular routine. But as you can see, his topline development was lost over the winter and I need to help him rebuild it.

Lest anyone wonder if Kaliwohi has lost his wild soul by becoming a domesticated animal, just take a look at the first photographs from our round pen session earlier today.

As these two photos illustrate, when Kaliwohi is fresh, he carries himself with his head up, tail flagged, and spine inverted, which is typical of any “keen” horse and also very much the norm with wild mustangs. “The better to see horse-eating beasties with, my dear.”

What these two photos also show is Kaliwohi driving from behind and also reaching well forward, despite the “incorrect” alignments of the spine. I see some lovely extended trot in Kiwi’s future.

The next two photosillustrate Kaliwohi’s natural movement at present when he is relaxed and focused. Note he still has fairly good diagonal pairs and his spinal alignment is much better.

My current plan is to work him in the pen for a few days to start rebuilding his back muscles, and his rump, before adding my weight to the mix. We will use the hills of my East Tennessee home to help build up his hindquarter muscles to start working on lateral movements and the first stages of collection.

Kaliwohi turned five last October, so I feel his bones and joints, plus his mind, are all mature enough to begin regular work under saddle this season. I realize some horses win Triple Crowns at three years old. I realize some horses are showing Grand Prix when they’re hardly older than Kiwi. But, like many of you, I am not concerned about winning anything other than the grandest “grand prize” of all: a trusting, reliable, wonderfully educated riding partner, whom I can enjoy for decades to come.

Join me on this journey on Facebook: Fat to Fit at Horse Nation (page and group), and my blog www.appalachianchic.com.


Go riding.

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