Short Back or Long? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Short Back or Long?

I have a horse who is close to perfect in every way, but he has a longer back by 2-3 inches. I have been told that it is a flaw and a blessing. Is shorter better? What do you guys think?
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Last edited by ginofalltrades; 01-11-2013 at 01:38 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 01:39 PM
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Flaw?

Generally taller Horses have longer backs, he looks pretty tall.

Ride in a Western Saddle and his back won't look so long

I think he looks nice


.

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 01:45 PM
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His back really isn't that long. His croup is a wee bit short, so it makes it look long. Any horse looks long-backed under an English saddle, even my short-backed draft cross.

A long back is a weak back, therefore it is considered a flaw.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 02:13 PM
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I see a long back, and what makes it long...is the long loin connection.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 02:13 PM
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Long backs can be weak as opposed to short backs. In my horse judging class, we considered long backed horses "family horses" since it looks like the whole family could fit on one. From what I remember, short backs are desirable on the conformation level, but I like long backed horses, as long as their backs aren't weak. I couldn't see a huge horse have a short back.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 02:23 PM
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I think the part of the long back being a "blessing" is that long backedx horses are often more comfy for the rider, and less of a challenge to fit to a saddle.

I think your horse has a long back, but more than that, I think his hind legs are camped out a bit. And the angle of hip is on the flat side. If you position his rear legs so that the canon is perfectly vertical, it will be behind the point of the buttocks, thus the camped out. And when he bring them under himself, he appears sickle hocked. This is really pretty minor.
But you can see that undersaddle, he stands a tiny bit camped out in back and there's a noticeable drop in his back. Since I am such a chunk that I weight half again what you do, I would not want to subject this horse to my weight on a daily basis.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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I agree that he stands under behind. I didn't like it at first, but now I like it because he tracks up really easily. In the photo's he has only been under saddle for a few months, he still has a lot of filling out to do ;)

Someone told me that as long as the horse wasn't too narrow through the loin with a long back, that it is easier on the horse to have a long back than having a short back because there is more surface area in which to carry the rider? Hmmm...
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 03:07 PM
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Long coupling which is weak.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Here is another photo that I just found. He has a long sloping sholder to a wither that is set back quite a bit. If you look at him from wither to loin, he isn't that long. So I am wondering, if a wither set back and long like that could be considered a flaw.
What do ya think?
Thanks Everyone :)
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-11-2013, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ginofalltrades View Post
I agree that he stands under behind. I didn't like it at first, but now I like it because he tracks up really easily. In the photo's he has only been under saddle for a few months, he still has a lot of filling out to do ;)

Someone told me that as long as the horse wasn't too narrow through the loin with a long back, that it is easier on the horse to have a long back than having a short back because there is more surface area in which to carry the rider? Hmmm...
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Nonsense. There must be as much surface area to carry the saddle on either a short or a long backed horse. The saddle must NOT extend past the ribs that are attached to the spine, into the area where the ribs "float" (help me out here, what number rib is that?)
So, the weight bearing area is exactly equal regardless of length of back.

The longer backed horses are perceived to be weaker because you are carrying the weight over a longer span, and engineering indicates that this puts more stress on the span because the middle is farther away from the supports (legs).
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