Low Back   Leave a comment

While passing this old horse a few days ago, I stopped to snap a picture of her low back.

Low back, hollow back, sway back — all names for the same condition.  Sometimes it’s caused by age, like this one.  The ligaments loosen, the muscle falls away, and down goes the back; especially if it was a bit long in the first place.

Other times, it’s congenital.  From the time a colt is born, you can see the problem, and it may worsen with age.  It’s not painful or debilitating, but it does make fitting a saddle difficult, and in severe cases impossible.  I remember seeing a Morgan stallion at the shows with an extremely low back.  If you stood behind him while a rider was up, you couldn’t see anything of that rider below the waist.  It looked pretty odd.

That stallion sired quite a few babies, though, and I can’t remember hearing about problems with them.  One of his sons was also a fairly popular sire, and he had a nice short back.  So maybe it’s not genetic — or not completely so.

The horse pictured above isn’t an extremely bad case, but you can still see half the ranch over her spine!


Posted October 2, 2012 by stablewoman in Horses

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