how to build topline and muscle

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by mzgtr, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. mzgtr

    mzgtr Well-known Member

    Lack of topline affects strength, stamina, stride length and the power:weight ratio.Horses may lose topline due to low quality feeds, amino acid deficiencies, dental problems, metabolic disturbances and diseases. Lack of energy can be secondary to poor muscling, below optimum lean muscle mass and/or a simpleenergy deficiency in the daily diet – regardless of the cause, the bottom line isreduced work tolerance. Whilst oats provide energy, there are more advanced ways, in terms of safety, efficiency and delaying fatigue, of meeting energy requirements.

    Topline can be fat or muscle. Increasing ‘fat’ or‘cover can usually be achieved by increasing calorie intake; increasing muscle mass requires correctly profiled protein.

    Increasing ‘cover’ just requires an increase in calories. But it is important to determine what type of ‘weight’ you wish to increase – muscle, fat or both?

    To build muscle and cover, the glycaemic index and the amino acid composition of the feed are important – by reducing carbohydrate intake (grains, pollard, rice-bran etc) and fine-tuning protein (soybean meal, cottonseed meal, lucerne) intake we can reduce fat and build muscle mass.

    When assessing the ‘muscle building’ power of a feed, there are 3 factors to consider:

    1.Digestibility in the small intestine. Highly digestible feeds are rapidly cleavedby digestive enzymes to yield amino acids. Feeds not easily digested in the small intestine pass to the caecum where they are degraded to ammonia -increasing urea and ammonia levels and wasting amino acids.

    2.Percent protein is meaningless when assessing and comparing feeds. Horses require a certain number of grams of protein a day, not a percent. For example if a horse eats 1kg of a 20% protein feed – it obtains 200g of protein.If it eats 2kg of a 10% protein feed it again receives 200g of protein.

    3. Lysine and other essential amino acids must be present in the correct amounts to make muscle protein. If one is deficient, the ‘recipe’ cannot be made. A useful way to picture this is with an old-fashioned wooden water (or wine or beer) barrel. The shortest slat sets the amount of water the barrel canhold. Similarly, if each slat represents an amino acid, the amount of bone andmuscle a horse can build is set by essential amino acid deficiencies

    Physical strength comes primarily from the muscles, and to build muscles a high quality protein intake is essential.

    Protein-rich feeds, and exercise, are known to cause a muscle-building effect by stimulating the release of the hormones concerned with the uptake of amino acids by the body's cells. Potentially, the more amino acids are taken up, the more protein is produced - and the more protein is produced, the more muscle is laid down.
  2. Trojane

    Trojane Well-known Member

    Please name your source when you quote someone mzgtr. Ta.
  3. mzgtr

    mzgtr Well-known Member


    I just got so sick of people arguing about topline and muslce. I just decided to look it up.
  4. Wendy

    Wendy Well-known Member

    But wouldn't the horse need to have appropriate work?

    I can't see that diet alone would build up muscle.
  5. Trojane

    Trojane Well-known Member

    Yep. Otherwise we could lie in bed eating bacon & eggs and end up musclebound.
    (oh and horse too)
  6. mzgtr

    mzgtr Well-known Member

    Of course he would have to have work. I guess it is the same principles as humans. If you want to build muscle you work that muscle group and then you must provide the muscle with protein so that muscle is able to grow. (The quicker you want to build the muscle or the bigger the muscle or for quicker recovery time the more protein you would eat) - little unsure with this? but something like that, anyone is welcome to correct me

    So I guess it would the same with horses.
  7. Beanie

    Beanie Well-known Member

    If your horse has a good and sufficient source of protein in their diet and you combine it with correct work you will have results.
    Working your horse long and low will help a great deal to build the wanted muscles.

    -If your horse fails to build muscle then something is either wrong with its diet or you are not riding it properly to build up topline, hindquarters etc-
  8. jodles

    jodles Well-known Member

    I always thought good work built top line............until I changed to Gum nuts for my boy. His top line has never looked better, no dip in his back anymore and his loin is stronger so feed really does make a difference as well.
  9. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    gosh another thread that scares me !!!!

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