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Old 09-21-2007, 07:25 AM   #1
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Swayback horse

At one of the places we ride at, we pass this poor old mare that is very swaybacked. I feel sorry for her, but she is healthy enough & with plenty of pasture to eat.

I always wonder if it's just age or other reasons why she looks that way.


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Old 09-21-2007, 07:31 AM   #2
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I would say that it has to be a genetic abnormality - poor thing..
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:36 AM   #3
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I actually know of a very old dun mare (38) who looks quite similar - and her owner tells me that way back in the day, she looked perfectly normal. She still trots around the pasture and is in fact quite bossy.

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Old 09-21-2007, 07:39 AM   #4
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I agree.... genetic "oops"! I've seen one other that severe.... he was a trick horse - owner performed at fairs/equine events. He was never ridden but worked at liberty at all three gaits, plus a lot off clever tricks. Normally, they are put down at birth because it will be very apparent at first glance that something is wrong.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:39 AM   #5
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Whoaa. Poor girl.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:40 AM   #6
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Wow...poor mare, she looks happy though....fat. Lots of exercise and pasture which is so nice. Wonder if she was over bred in her younger years and he back muscles just have weakened over time.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:47 AM   #7
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I have seen some really old broodmares that have looked that way. In their 20's they started to get the swayback and lived to be 35.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:49 AM   #8
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For those of you old enough to remember...reminds me of the horse that was on The Little Rascals!!!
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, '...holy smokes...what a ride!'" Author Unknown
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:59 AM   #9
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I could consider the thought that it might be possible for horses to develop degenerative disk disease. Thus allowing the spine to be pulled down by the weight of there underside. In humans you see those little old ladies at the market that are hunched over, spine being push down and out from the weight of the upper body. At any rate, this girl is quite sway back but looks to be healthy and happy otherwise.
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:03 AM   #10
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I know several aged arabs that developed that problem. I also have seen a lot of broodmares especially TB's with sway backs as well. It's not really anything harmful. Most are still happy and very healthy. I like sway backed old horses. Makes you think they probably have a lot of stories to tell
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:11 AM   #11
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I would say genetic issue as well, but she looks happy enough... I've seen a lot of swayback horses, but have to admit never one that severe!

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Old 09-21-2007, 09:24 AM   #12
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We had a school horse who I swore was a reverse camel, there was a giant dip where the hump would go! His back was every bit as dramatic as the mares, but didn't go quite as far back. He was ridden for over 25 years w/t/c and jump with no issues whatsoever.

It's nice to see someone loves her enough to feed her well and care for her!
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:34 AM   #13
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The genetic condition=Lordosis and it can run in some Arabs,Saddlebreds and other breeds. I bought a mare from XXXXXXXXXXX Arabians years ago by a stallion they stood-XXXXXXX-he had it. He was quite the riding horse though. I doubt I would have put him at stud but luckily my mare was clear of it.
They can end up with the swayed back for other reasons though.
She does look happy

ET remove name of the breeder-just in case

Last edited by ToveroMom; 09-21-2007 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:47 AM   #14
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There's a horse at my stable that looks like that. He's the city stable version of a pasture puff.
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:21 PM   #15
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I have a mare that is 29 and looks just about like that. She was 5 when we got her, had been bred every year since she was 3. When we looked at her I knew we had to get her out of there. They said her colt was 8 months, he looked like my half-arab did at 4 months. Goldie was almost skin and bones. I asked how much they fed and it would probably have been sufficient for maintaince of a healthy horse, but that was what they had fed her while she was pregnant and when she was nursing.
Funny part, they said she was broke, but when I said "let's saddle her up" he got a reluctant look on his face. Kids had been put on her and led around, period. I was glad she hadn't been ridden looking like she did.
We had just moved in to an old house, actually trailer while we rebuilt the house. I didn't actually start riding her until she was 10. I wish all my horses were like her. She was so sensitive to leg and weight cues that I hardly ever had to move my hands! She required an experienced rider only because she was so eager.
She was never worked hard, got her into decent condition but not pushing. At about 17 she had arthritis in both hocks. She had small hocks, but her biggest problem was a long back. The sway started when she hit about 22.
When the arthritis hit she basicly was retired, easy walks every now and then. Haven't riden her at all in 3 years.
I did know of an old brood mare that I was told was born like that. Even worse than the horse in the picture. She was never ridden, just used as a brood mare. They said she produced excellent foals. This man was a very respected breeder, he never produced anything but top racing horses.
All of my reading has associated sway back with ligament damage, long backs and long loins.
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:30 PM   #16
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At the show barn I took lessons at, there was a mare EXACTLY identical to that mare, same coloring, same drop size in the back, and even the pink nose. She was a 15(at the time) yr old arabian with a brand on her neck. She was the SWEETEST mare there. They used her for kids, as she was so quiet. They had a pillow they stuck under the pad, and the saddle fit like normal. Vet cleared her to ride, and she did up to 18" fences with the youngins. I took her on bareback trail rides when there were no other horses to choose from. I was garaunteed to stay on though!!
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:31 PM   #17
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Oh My the poor dear. She has been a gorgeous girl in her day. She still has a pleasing look about her even with all that going on. Just looks as happy as a clam though!
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:58 PM   #18
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my very 1st horse was swaybacked. never slowed her down. she taught me so much,whether i felt i needed to know it or not. awesome mare!
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:41 AM   #19
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T-mom pegged it. Lordosis. No it doesn't hurt them a bit, looks like it would but I've seen plenty ridden and driven with it.

I think you can stop worrying about her. It was something she was born with and look at that pasture!!!!
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