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This is a discussion on Sway-backed? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Can you ride a sway backed horse

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    09-27-2010, 02:11 PM

Okay, there is a cheap horse I am looking at buying. She is supposedly 15 yrs old and is sway backed. The people said it wouldn't bother her (I want non-seller opinions lol). I wanted to get her becuase they said she rides easy and I wanted a horse I can work on light hands, proper seat, etc. to become a better rider.

What causes sway-back?

Is it painful to the horse, and will it keep getting worse?

Would you ride a sway-backed horse?

This is a picture of her:
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    09-27-2010, 02:15 PM
Wow, that's a really severe case if she's only 15 y/o!

Yes, it will get worse. No, I wouldn't buy her.

You can find inexpensive horses all over the place. You don't need to buy this girl. If she were mine, I'd retire her.

Is it painful? Maybe, maybe not. A vet would be able to tell you.
    09-27-2010, 02:17 PM
Wow. She's 15? Honestly, I would look for a horse that you can keep around for a while. If you were riding her a lot it seems like she would break down over time because of her back issue. Good luck on your horse hunt!
    09-27-2010, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the information. They said she was only 15, but you never know. She is probably older then. They also said she was really skinny when they got her becuase the previous people didn't feed her. So it made me feel sorry for her.

I'll leave her alone then and find something else.
    09-27-2010, 02:23 PM
Originally Posted by ChevyPrincess    
Thanks for the information. They said she was only 15, but you never know. She is probably older then. They also said she was really skinny when they got her becuase the previous people didn't feed her. So it made me feel sorry for her.

I'll leave her alone then and find something else.
Good plan.

Your heart is in the right place. Unfortunately you have to think with your head and your checkbook also.
    09-27-2010, 02:24 PM
Definitely a severe case. I always feel so bad getting on a horse with a sway back. :/ I feel like i'm going to break them in half, it just looks uncomfortable for not only them, but you .. definitely keep looking. You can find a horse with less problems for the same price, i'm sure. What are you looking for exactly?
    09-27-2010, 03:53 PM
Just an older horse that I can practice my seat at a walk, trot, canter, practice soft hands. Nothing special. Doesn't need to be registered, just an old, dependable horse. And also, my boyfreind could learn to ride on it and feel safe and have fun with horses.
    09-27-2010, 04:05 PM
Green Broke
I've had a couple mildly sway-backed horses and rode them, no problem. But she is a lot more swayed then they were. I've always heard that sway backs really don't cause a problem, but I dunno, she is more swayed than most!

Saddle fit is also a big issue with sway backed horses.

She is kind of the horse I would expect to find free to a good home. She is probably a real sweetie, just not a horse I would pay money for.
    09-28-2010, 07:38 AM
Green Broke
Wow, I agree, bad for only 15. I wouldn't buy her, unless you want to retire her and give her a happy non-riding home . Swayback horses can be ridden, but fitting a saddle properly so it doesn't cause pain can be a nightmare! And when they get that bad, they really shouldn't be ridden.
    09-28-2010, 08:58 AM
Green Broke
What causes the sway-back?
I have also wondered

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