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Addressing the Hollow Area

woman and horse

When it comes to saddle fit, there are multiple factors, but presuming tree size & quality are taken care of, we’ll focus on those factors that nutrition can address. Often times phrases like “he’s just hollow alongside his withers” come into the conversation and owners attempt to address the issue by adding fat to the diet. The area alongside the withers is comprised of muscle, fat does not start to be deposited until the horse becomes a body condition of 7 or above (on a scale of 1-9). Knowing this allows us to address the issue by either ensuring enough amino acids are provided in the diet or by adding a higher quality source of bioavailable amino acids to the diet. This area of the horse’s topline can also be the most challenging. Typically horses will add muscle over their topline from croup and hindquarters, then over the loin and lastly the withers and back. Realizing each horse is an individual and does not follow the rule book is a great first step. If you are feeding a proper feed or ration balancer according to the manufacturers feed tag directions along with a quality hay, your individual horse may just need more bioavailable amino acids to achieve filling in that hollow area. We often address this by providing a supplement such as Topline Xtreme on top of our balanced diet with an extra pound of fat supplement to provide the calories the horse needs to break down the amino acids and utilize them to build muscle.