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Horses/Rebuilding shoulders


I recently got an OTTB. He came off the track with a bowed tendon, but had two years off and was given an ultrasound before I got him (everything was old and set). He was cleared by two different vets and ready to start back into training. I'm hoping to do dressage and low level jumping with him. I've noticed that because of his injury he has built up his right shoulder and tricep and lost lots of muscle on his left side (the leg that was injured). Because of this, he has a strange hitch at the walk. I had the vets check to make sure he is sound to be back into work, and they both said he is good to go. I'd like to start rebuilding the shoulder (and even the top of his leg on that side). I understand that it's not easy to target one muscle group in horses, but I'd like to just focus on rebalancing him. He is amazing and willing, so I want to start work the right way on him. I'm thinking of doing ground work with some balancing reins, but I don't know if lots of lateral work and circles will help too?
Any suggestions of things to try would be great!

Hello Stephanie,

Stick to the progress levels in the Classical System. Do Not focus on any one muscle area.  An all around, well programmed training schedule, based on the correct and proper progression through the levels will work, if anything will. Lateral work should only begin after one year of elementary ground work, and when the horse has begun collection.

For a better understanding of the classical system, please read my articles at on horse training, under my name.

If you focus on one set of muscles, you do so at the peril of others, which will defeat you before you begin.

Get the books I recommend at that site, read them, study them and follow them for correct training.


Dorothy K Morris


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Dorothy K Morris


I now live in Tucson, AZ. My expertise is in training and rehabilitating horses, and training riders for combined training for over 40 years, in Virginia and California. This includes dressage, cross country obstacles and show jumping. In my many years of experience and endless study of Classical theory, and my hands-on retraining horses,I have accummulated much knowledge of the different personalities of horses and how to approach their rehabilitation. At my age, I do not ride as much as I used to, but I don't see why I have to waste the experience I have. I can answer certain questions about starting young horses in English riding: dressage, jumping, cross country obstacles and basic equitation. I can help with rehabilitation of spoiled or difficult horses; however, many problems require sustained riding instruction/training and I cannot do this online. Some issues need to be observed to come to a correct diagnosis. If your problem is of this type, please find a qualified instructor/trainer. I cannot give riding lessons via email.


Experience in the area: Over 40 years of English riding experience, including Fox Hunting in Virginia where I earned my colors with the Blue Ridge Hunt, training young horses for hunting and/or eventing. Coached a rider from her beginning at Training Level Combined tests through her competition at two Junior International competition Three Day Events. She rode my horse that I also started and trained her to ride. This combination competed in the World Championship Three Day in Lexington, KY in 1978. I trained another horse (TB) through 3rd Level Dressage and jumping. He eventually competed at Advanced level Three Day. I have reschooled several horses with difficulties ranging from running away to running backward, to not allowing a bridle to be put on, to kicking out at the farrier, being "too much on the muscle over jumps", barn sour, etc

National Society Daughters of the Revolution (DAR)

Six novels (I am also a novelist)

Some college. Endless study of Classical Theory and training methods.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who of American Women, Who'w Who in America, Past Board of Directors FDIC-NACM

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