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Discussion on Not a roach back .. but what??

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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 609
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 10:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Am still horse shopping and have come upon a nice gelding with the strangest hump in his back just in front of the pelvis. I don't think it's hunter's bump or roach back, but what the heck is it? It feels bony like it's his spine rather than swelling. He doesn't have much muscling on his topline and is recovering from being quite underweight; with a little more weight on him it would be much less noticeable



The current owners are clueless... I love the horse's personality, his experience level is right and he's adorable aside from this oddity.
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 610
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 11:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here's another pic, it is less noticeable from the direct profile view.

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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 611
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 11:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

One more pic .. you can see it is his spine, not a swelling.

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leslie645
Member
Username: leslie1

Post Number: 1226
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 4:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

He looks slightly roachback to me...
lovely colour...:-)
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leslie645
Member
Username: leslie1

Post Number: 1227
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 4:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

hmmmm, maybe his topline is just really under developed due to the malnutrition?
He looks to be in perfect weight now tho...so maybe with some work it would build him up?
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Stacy Upshaw
Member
Username: 36541

Post Number: 533
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 9:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Boy Shannon, does that look sadly familiar. My 12 yo Trakehner has this look to his spine - it comes and sometimes goes and intermittently causes unsoundness behind. Both vets that have looked at him when it is prominent said he was just shy of subluxing the vertebra. We have all wondered if he has radicular pain from it. Massage has seemed to be helpful at times. He developed the hump at age 8 when he was with a trainer during my second pregnancy. I showed up to check on him and was dismayed to see it, although he was working sound. I knew it was an oddity because I have been owned by him since birth. He was doing Second level dressage at the time, and I have since realized his conformation is not suited to the discipline. I would be cautious about this purchase given my personal experience - working him may not improve him. Before this problem arose I had a horse with unlimited potential who was never unsound, since its appearance I have a horse who is rarely sound long enough to be brought to competition fitness. Be sure to firmly palpate the musculature on either side of the area and note sensitivity. I will post a comparison shot tomorrow and will be interested to hear Dr. O's opinion about this conformational issue.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 24785
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 7:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The horse has a prominence in the dorsal lumbar area. This may be the horses conformation from prominent lumbar dorsal spinous processes and is not uncommon. You see such conformation on sound horses. However if this is an acquired swelling from trauma there may be issues.
DrO
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 612
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 10:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the feedback. I'm thinking with a little more weight/muscling this might level out but I have my doubts considering his weight is good now. I wonder why I have never seen this degree of 'hump' before ..

I am still feeling torn, one of those 'could be nothing, could be something' things. It would be easier if he wasn't so darn sweet. If I could put his personality on the last horse we looked at we'd have the perfect horse.

Stacy I'd love to see a pic of your horse for comparison.
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 6654
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Friday, May 14, 2010 - 7:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

There was a horse at the barn that had the "hump" there, it didn't effect him at all, he jumped 4 ft. easily. Hard call Shannon, especially if he is good otherwise.
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dustylin
Member
Username: dustee

Post Number: 49
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, May 14, 2010 - 4:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi - my mare - a 12 year old chestnut quarter horse has the same exact thing. It does appear to "come and go"....but, I have owned her for nine years now. It seems to "come" when I am extremely busy at work, and seems to "go" when I am diligently working her with a solid plan in mind. My equine masseuse has noticed it, but doesn't seem to have other horses with this issue. I have never found it to be a soundness type issue. More, I would say a definite muscling issue. Not weight issue - as she carries good weight - but more specifically when we are working long and hard - or not.
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Stacy Upshaw
Member
Username: 36541

Post Number: 536
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 12:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sorry it took me a few days to get back here - tried pics in a few different lights. Given Han's black summer coat, the prominence of the spinous processes looks less here than in person. He occasionally has heat in the last one before the palpable drop-off to what used to be his spine. Maybe your seller can give you more history on your hump, but this one was most definitely acquired vs. congenital and he is sensitive around it. When I can keep him sound enough to work, a stronger topline does improve the look, but it is always palpable. Best wishes with your horse hunting!


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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 618
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 12:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the pic Stacy. To my eye (and it might just be the pic) his whole spine looks lumpy .. is that how it looks in person? Of course the spine itself is lumpy but it seems unusual to see it in a horse in good shape. Of course even with people some backbones are clearly apparent and some are set deeper into the muscle mass.

At this point in his condition would you say he is less muscled than usual? You mentioned that it first appeared when he was in training, was this lumpiness never apparent before that at all?

I think we are going to pass on this horse (have three more to test ride in the am) but for future reference I'm just trying to understand the conformational anomaly.
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