I thought the comparison between these pictures was interesting. It shows the changes and development in the musculature in her neck as her training has progressed.
This first picture was taken at Cadence's first show. I'd had her for about 3-4 months at that point, and you can see that she's not really soft up front and is bracing against my hands a bit. The other thing I notice in this picture are her stifles. My god!!
This next picture was taken a month or two later, and while she's clearly more through (working back to front, on the bit, supple, etc.) the muscling in her neck is still relatively minimal.
This is an awful moment... I'd just hopped on and was adjusting my reins so its a pretty awkward photo, but it was the only thing I could find that displayed a decent side view of her. We're supposed to see some developments in the muscling in this photo, but (and while some of this is probably the dreadfully awkward angle) I don't see all that much change, and a fair bit of muscling on the under side of the neck is also visible.
This was this past spring wen we were just getting back into work again, but the muscle groupings are still distinct, if not defined.
I don't have any dressage photos that are non-blurry enough to accurately portray the development of the musculature in her neck. Here we're attempting to halt for a photo, and Cadence is attempting to either eat grass, or go for a gallop. Either way, she was displeased. Still, that bulk on the bottom of her neck is gone & while this certainly doesn't show her topline in all its glory (she's not round, on the bit, etc. and is instead trying to GRAB the bit....) it does the job.
Anywho, I just happened to notice this while looking for a photo and thought it would make a decent post to fill the time when I'm not riding.