Swayback Saddlebred Help *Pics*
 
 

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Swayback Saddlebred Help *Pics*

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  • How do you know if you need a swayback pad
  • Equine sway back causing balance problem

 
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    07-12-2011, 09:38 PM
  #1
Foal
Swayback Saddlebred Help *Pics*

So... first a bit of backstory. The horse pictured below is an American Saddlebred I have known for about 3 years now. I am moving away to college in about a month, and have arranged to buy this horse, as I have been working with him for a long time now and he is a sweetheart. :) He is about 9 years old, and before I met him had not been worked very much for at least a year. He used to show and surprisingly made quite a high-stepping little horse (I know this from his sale video). Unfortunately I have not had much time to work consistently with him until very recently, and I have decided to restart him "from the ground up" as he now has many holes in his training. So far in our groundwork and lunging sessions he is doing great. I do not ever expect or even want him to go back to looking like a show horse, but just a solid horse for pleasure/trail riding.

My main concern for this horse is his swayback. I know that they are common in Saddlebreds, and he has sported his since a foal. However, his has always seemed dramatic to me, and I would like some advice as to whether I can ignore this flaw or if I should be concerned. I have ridden him many times, and although he does not seem to be in pain from his back, he does thrust his head up and has never carried himself well since I have met him. However, I have traced this back to bit-shyness and bad experiences and am working with him to collect, keep his head down and balance himself instead of fighting against the reins. My hope is that once he learns to balance himself more and gets worked consistently he will develop more muscle and his swayback will become less dramatic. In the past when I have ridden him, I do pad up his back well to make sure his saddle fits comfortably. Any advice from people who have dealt with swaybacks before would be appreciated - I am not terribly worried, but I would hate to hurt him because I did not take proper care of his back!



     
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    07-12-2011, 09:58 PM
  #2
Started
This is called Lordisos. Not the typical "swayback" from old age, or old broodmares. Here is an article on it.


It is estimated that less than 1% of the horse population is affected by true lordosis, a genetic disease causing spinal deviations and curvature. Studies have shown that lordosis is an inheritable defect, seen most commonly in the Saddlebred, but any breed can be affected.

In affected horses, an incomplete development of the upper thoracic vertebrae is the culprit of lordosis. As a result, overextension of the joints leads to a growth and conformation defect. Horses can have a 5” or greater drop in their spine below the withers, and often the most obviously affected horses developed the condition very early in life.

Affected horses are generally appear “normal” at birth, but the defect develops between 1 year and 18 months of age. Once the process of spinal realignment begins, it progresses quickly, with a massive curvature in the spine able to develop in a relatively short amount of time. In contrast, late-onset lordosis can occur later in life, but is less commonly appreciated, and harder to differentiate between a true spinal problem, and the aforementioned muscle-induced swayback of older horses.

Despite the often startling appearance of a lordosis affected horses, it is remarkable to find that the horses with this defect function almost completely normally, and can leave productive, useful lives. Similar conditions in humans and small animals are usually synonymous with neurological dysfunctions, such as a lack of coordination and paralysis. However in horses, lordosis does not appear to affect any part of a horse’s neurologic or physical well-being.
     
    07-12-2011, 10:01 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyominggrandma    
This is called Lordisos. Not the typical "swayback" from old age, or old broodmares. Here is an article on it.


It is estimated that less than 1% of the horse population is affected by true lordosis, a genetic disease causing spinal deviations and curvature. Studies have shown that lordosis is an inheritable defect, seen most commonly in the Saddlebred, but any breed can be affected.

In affected horses, an incomplete development of the upper thoracic vertebrae is the culprit of lordosis. As a result, overextension of the joints leads to a growth and conformation defect. Horses can have a 5” or greater drop in their spine below the withers, and often the most obviously affected horses developed the condition very early in life.

Affected horses are generally appear “normal” at birth, but the defect develops between 1 year and 18 months of age. Once the process of spinal realignment begins, it progresses quickly, with a massive curvature in the spine able to develop in a relatively short amount of time. In contrast, late-onset lordosis can occur later in life, but is less commonly appreciated, and harder to differentiate between a true spinal problem, and the aforementioned muscle-induced swayback of older horses.

Despite the often startling appearance of a lordosis affected horses, it is remarkable to find that the horses with this defect function almost completely normally, and can leave productive, useful lives. Similar conditions in humans and small animals are usually synonymous with neurological dysfunctions, such as a lack of coordination and paralysis. However in horses, lordosis does not appear to affect any part of a horse’s neurologic or physical well-being.

Not to sound rude...but I am aware that a "swayback" is medically termed Lordosis. I have read that article before - I was hoping for some advice on how to best manage his condition from people with experience. I hate to say it, but linking me an article I can easily find with a 5-second google search wasn't very helpful. ._.
     
    07-12-2011, 10:18 PM
  #4
Trained
I would make sure he had regular chiropractic treatments and I would also work with a saddle fitter for sure.
     
    07-12-2011, 10:47 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviara    
Not to sound rude...but I am aware that a "swayback" is medically termed Lordosis. I have read that article before - I was hoping for some advice on how to best manage his condition from people with experience. I hate to say it, but linking me an article I can easily find with a 5-second google search wasn't very helpful. ._.
Well if you didnt mean to sound rude, it sure came off like that. I think the article was meant to help and to educate. You may have researched this, but your post did not reflect your education behind lordosis. I think being new to a forum, you may want to see the good in people before you bash their helpful advice. Otherwise you may find less people willing to help.
     
    07-12-2011, 11:00 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviara    
Not to sound rude...but I am aware that a "swayback" is medically termed Lordosis. I have read that article before - I was hoping for some advice on how to best manage his condition from people with experience. I hate to say it, but linking me an article I can easily find with a 5-second google search wasn't very helpful. ._.
That came off extremely rude.
Anyways, I had a friend who had a horse with the same problem. He functioned regularly. As he got older he was't able to be ridden due to his back. I think you should find a good chiropractor.
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    07-12-2011, 11:17 PM
  #7
Weanling
Find a good saddle fitter to help you with the saddle. You may have to invest in some different types of saddle pads/risers but if you shop around you can find some cheaper ones. To me, a sway back means that it is resulting from old age. My mom's 27 yr old qh has a sway back and he zooms around like a rocket all day. I know of another Qh with a swayback that's around 35, and she's being used for pleasure trails and doing just fine. My mom's qh is EXTREMELY comfy to ride bareback as well, you can try it out and maybe you'll be surprised. As I said, I only have experience with "old age" swayback-ness, and I think your guy has it as a birth defect. From experience I would say he's probably not going to be the best endurance or workhorse, but if you're looking for a pleasure horse I think you can get many good years out of him, as long as you take proper care.

You never know how long you'll have a horse. My four year old mare died last christmas and she looked 100% healthy. As long as he fits what your looking for, i'd say go for it =)
     
    07-13-2011, 12:18 AM
  #8
Yearling
I read something about Hill Therapy?
Maybe try that, also getting him to stretch his head down when being ridden (or when ever) brings their back up so that might help
Jumping them over barrels (layed on their sides) is also a good exercise to get them rounding their backs. I m not an expert but these helped a lot with my friend's National Show Horse who was swaybacked.

P.S. I love your avatar ilovemyPhilip
     
    07-13-2011, 01:08 PM
  #9
Weanling
The horse will be fine. You seem to need some manners though. Someone obviously knowledgeable posted and you jump their carp. Sad, cause the good folks like her wont post to help you. I know I wont. If you knew it was Lordosis, then why didnt you call it that? Its not a sway back.
Being RUDE is no way to get help.
     
    07-13-2011, 01:32 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Agreed that a sway back is NOT the same as Lordosis. Two different things.

You need a professional saddle fitter to help you find a nice fit for your horse.
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