One of my horses, London, has a sway back. I've been on the waiting list to schedule an older horse check-up with my vet. With that being said, I'm going to try to schedule an appointment with her about it, as soon as I get back from vacation. Anyway, if any of you have had experience with sway backs, advice would be greatly appreciated. I would just like to know of some exercises that could help improve it - even if it's only a little bit (because I know that it cannot be fixed ://).
The same exercises that build topline can also help improve a swayback, trotting over poles or up hills, anything that gets his head down and his back and butt really working.
Swayback horses generally can be ridden and used just like any other horse. The only main difference is you will need to have a special pad to help build up under the saddle to prevent bridging.
I am gradually starting to condition him to be ridden after some time off, so I'll be sure to get a pad for when I do start riding him.
What is everyone's opinion on belly-lifts?
You mean poking a finger under their belly to make them suck it in and therefore raise their topline?
For one, check your saddle fit. Unless the swayback is severe or the horse is otherwise uncomfortable they can be ridden like any other horse, just make sure your saddle fits the horses back. However, I'd usually deter any inexperienced riding a sway backed horse if possible as it is more detrimental for them to be ridden hollow than a standard horse.
Next, focus your workouts on the abdominal muscles when possible. Out of saddle you can do belly lifts and carrot stretches, under saddle you can do leg yields, leg yield circles, and hills.
Draftrider - Yes! That's exactly what I'm talking about.
Roro - Thank you for your help! I'm not sticking anyone else up on him, so there definitely will not be any inexperienced riding.
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