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!

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Posted October 2, 2012 by stablewoman in Horses

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