Swayback, Upright Withers, Prominent Wither?

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Swayback, Upright Withers, Prominent Wither?

This is a discussion on Swayback, Upright Withers, Prominent Wither? within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How can i tell if a horse has a sway back
  • Predominant withers

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    10-02-2009, 08:23 PM
Swayback, Upright Withers, Prominent Wither?

Thought this would be the right place to put this...
What is the difference? How do you tell which is which? Extreme cases of Swayback I think everyone can tell, but what about slight cases and so on?
Conformation wise I know a bit, but I want to learn alot more! So thought this would be a good place to learn!

Does someone have pictures to show what each is? Thanks a ton!

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    10-03-2009, 06:48 PM
A lot of people say my horse [the paint] is sway-backed, but in reality, she isn't, and if she is, only to a very small degree. She has a long back and prominent withers.

This horse has really high withers. It's not mine, I found it online.

This horse has a sway back. Not a totally drastic one, but see the difference between this photo and the picture of my paint?
    10-03-2009, 08:48 PM
Ok from sway back to prominent withers....looks more like the sway back drops off much faster than a prominent wither....correct?

Riccil, do you have a conformation typed photo of her? So I could see?
    10-03-2009, 08:59 PM
Sway-backed horses often have a prominent "hill" from their rump down to their back. This horse is not mine, btw - found it on google.

Here is my 16 year old TB mare. I've heard people say she's sway-backed - but she's not, her back ties into her hindquarters much differently than the horse above. She's been a broodmare for the past 6+ years. She has pretty prominent withers, not real upright though. Since she was a broodmare all of her back muscles have been pulled down. We're working on losing the baby belly, building up back muscles and putting weight on her hind end. Once that's done her withers/back will look better.
Horses 9.2009 119.jpg
    10-03-2009, 09:04 PM
Originally Posted by SavvyHearts    
ok from sway back to prominent withers....looks more like the sway back drops off much faster than a prominent wither....correct?

Riccil, do you have a conformation typed photo of her? So I could see?
Um... that's the only picture I have of her square, I'll see if I have another one...

Is that better?

Oh, and it's more the "sagging" of the back between the withers and the top of the butt. See the horse with the high withers? His withers are MUCH higher than the top of his butt. And see the sway-backed horses? The withers and top of the butt are more or less even, but the back sags something fierce.
    10-03-2009, 09:17 PM
Ok so I am seeing a difference. I've been trying to figure out if my one horse is swayed, or just prominent withers...it's hard to tell just by looking at him in deal life. My fiance took my camera (claimed he'd return it) and "misplaced" it (in his words)....so I've been camera-less for a LONG time...so I have no picture of all of my horses :( :( so I can't post pictures and be like "here what type of back does he have?"
He'd better get me a camera for Christmas

Riccil, if I am correct my horse's back looks alot like your Paint's, maybe with a tad bit more of muscle (and fat). So maybe he does just have prominent withers...

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