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This is a discussion on Swayback? within the Horse Conformation Critique forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Horse slightly swayback
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    03-22-2013, 05:27 PM

Ok, I am the first to admit I'm not an expert on conformation - I can see whentheres 'something' I don't like about the way a horse is put together, but I'm far from an expert.

Now, I picked up my ex-point-to-pointer a few months ago as something to keep me busy, to do some eventing etc with after my old eventer was pts. I was we'll aware that he was high withered, with a short back and the typical lack of muscling over the top, but with generally nice long legs (one front hoof slightly larger than the other but no other problems). My farrier and my instructor both looked at him and didn't comment on anything more than I'd noticed, and my saddler noticed his one sided muscling but again nothing else mentioned.

However, there was a girl made an offhand comment when I unloaded him for a lesson the other week that has been preying on me - she said he was swaybacked. I've worked with two swaybacked horses before, neither of which were like him, but I've just got it stuck in my head now... And very aware I'm not the best judge of conformation I thoughtid ask what you all think...

I am aware he still needs groceries and lots of work building top line, but do you think he is actually swaybacked or just high withered?
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    03-22-2013, 05:30 PM
Another pic, yes I know he's standing over himself a bit weirdly but ignore that, just look at the back.
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    03-22-2013, 05:31 PM
He's not swaybacked, he has high withers. Really now, have horse people become so uneducated that they don't know the difference between swayback and high withers?
Wallaby, Elana, Annanoel and 4 others like this.
    03-22-2013, 05:31 PM
Green Broke
I wouldn't call him swayback.
Elana and Wheatermay like this.
    03-22-2013, 05:36 PM
Thank god, I didn't think I'd have made that bad a call, but she was so sure of herself it really made me worry...

And SpeedRacer, I know I should know better but whilst I'm confident in a lot of areas I've never taken the time to learn properly about conformation, other than just noticing what looks 'wrong' in a horse... So I suddenly got worried. Thanks for backing up that I'm not a total idiot though!
    03-22-2013, 05:44 PM
Super Moderator
If he was sway backed it would make a high percentage of TB's sway backed too. I see a horse with high withers that still needs his topline building up - and you said that yourself so you must be working on it already
I think you're a worrywort like me and have lots of sleepless nights thinking of things to stress about!!!
Love to Geoff
minstrel likes this.
    03-22-2013, 05:48 PM
I'm such a worrier... When it's my horses anyway! Other people's, riding for clients etc, no worries at all, but my own I worry about every little thing, and comments like that really set my brain off! Thanks, I never even considered him being swayback until that comment, then I was suddenly, 'oh, his withers are *awfully* high, aren't they?' I should learn to trust my instincts a bit better! Thanks for backing me up :)
    03-22-2013, 05:58 PM
Minstrel, my comment was directed at the people who told you he was swaybacked, not you.

I figured you knew better, which is why you were asking!
minstrel and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
    03-25-2013, 01:42 AM
Nope... no expert... but I'd say high withers too. Would never think he was swayback. There is a way you can measure.... You measure from the highest point of the wither to the highest point of the rump, and use the difference as your comparison. Abnormality starts with contours greater than 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inches... copied and pasted some of this, lol....

Here's the link though. I used it a few months ago on a rescue we got.
The Truth about Horse Swaybacks
    03-25-2013, 02:16 AM
If you follow the back liine, I see a hint of a hunters bump. There's a very small dip in front of the pelvis, then the back humps up a very tiny amount, then back to a concave line toward the withers.

Not sway backed.

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