can you ride a roach back horse? What problems will it cause?
Also call kyphosis, a roach back can make a horse look like Quasimodo Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary
refers to a roach back as a conformational defect, "which does not affect performance but is unattractive esthetically."
I have several roached back horses in my shoeing practice, two of them being pretty extreme. One of these, the worst I've ever seen aesthetically, is performing comfortably and successfully as a Grand Prix level dressage horse. The other is being trail ridden and also appears quite comfortable.
Despite the reference from Saunders and despite the examples I refer to, I believe a roach back has the potential
to affect collection, limit range of motion, and diminish impulsion. Likewise, it can make saddle fitting an absolute nightmare.... Subsequently, I would be cautious about purchasing a horse that was roach backed, and I would not breed a roach backed horse unless I was absolutely certain that the condition was acquired rather than genetic.