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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 19 year old Appaloosa. I've had him since he was 15 so I don't think this is an age thing. But I've noticed his backbone shows. He's not underweight, he is a thin build naturally but he isn't underweight. He doesn't have any back problems. He's healthy in every way. He had some extra weight on in the winter months and even then I could see his backbone. So I'm guessing it's a breed thing or just the way he's built. I ride him often. Does anyone else have a horse that their backbone shows? It's not super noticeable except certain angles you can notice it more.
 

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It's either related to weight or muscle or the individual horses build, it's not a breed thing though some breeds with a narrow bony build can have a tendency for it (say TBs). Not ideal conformation but likely the biggest problem it will cause is he may be hard to fit the saddle to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Saddles fit him fine actually. Thanks I was worried it might be something serious. He's very high withered too.
 

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What you are describing is not typical for an Appy, not even an older one. They don't tend to be thin either.

As Dreamcatcher suggests, good clear pictures would help a lot. Without pictures my first thought is he has become too thin:)
 
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Pictures would be good. My first thought is that he is undermuscled and lacking topline.
 
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Yes, pics are necessary. What do you mean by backbone? Spine? Where exactly is it showing? All along his back or only in certain areas?

Also curious because my mare's spine shows at the base of her tail. Just 3 vertebrae or so, only on the slump behind her rump. She's always been that way, and because it's so far back, it doesn't impede saddle fit. You say saddle fit is fine, but how do you know?
 

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I got ahold of some of my horse friends that are more experienced than me. He's lacking topline. Thanks for your replies.
 

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There are now several products available that supply the necessary amino acids to build that muscle. Even just out in the pasture 24/7 they get enough exercise to show an improvement though targeted exercise with the added supplement shows results faster if that is what the issue is.
 
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There are now several products available that supply the necessary amino acids to build that muscle. Even just out in the pasture 24/7 they get enough exercise to show an improvement though targeted exercise with the added supplement shows results faster if that is what the issue is.
Yep! Two of the horses at my barn have put on a lot more muscle since starting on this amino acid supplement. A huge difference in just a couple of months. Seems to help them put the right kind of weight on and use their food more effectively. https://www.equinetyproducts.com/
 

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Yeah, great that you recognise that he's not underweight despite the lack of 'topline'. Unfortunately many people see that sort of issue & just try to pack on more weight. I see many horses who are good or overweight with this issue.

Lack of topline may be purely from inactivity/lack of work to build muscle. It can be due to saddle fit causing the muscles to atrophy. It can be due to riding style, too much bit pressure, saddle pain, etc, causing the horse to work in a 'hollow' outline. I have a young race trained standie who is of that 'conformation'(gradually changing now) because they use overchecks, want them to go along with their head in the air. Or it can be due to a body issue. Pelvic or other issues can lead to the back being unable to develop well. For that you may find a chiropractic vet your best option. Or it can be metabolic - due to too much weight, chronically. Or IR or Cushings for eg.
 
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