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Old 04-02-2011, 02:32 PM  
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Roach Back

Can someone explain to me what a roach back is? How does it affect the horse....
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:30 PM  
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Roach backs are where the spine curves upward. Comes in varying degrees from mild to severe.

For sure they dont make great riding horses and fitting a saddle is very difficult.

I have heard people say it has no affect, but I disagree as I have seen them get very sore after being ridden etc
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:33 PM  
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Also know as razor back, for the shape of the razor pig's back.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:55 PM  
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I disagree that horses with roach backs don't make good riding horses. Severity has to be considered in every case.

The TB my sister and I owned had a moderate roach back. Saddle fit was an issue with him, but not because of the roach back. He had a high wither, but a wide shoulder so we'd put a proper width on him and it would smack him in the wither and we'd put a narrower one on him and it would pinch in the shoulders ... his back was never an issue. He jumped fine and did level 2 dressage fine ... his roach back was never an issue. With proper conditioning and training, his roach back actually improved quite a bit. Some horses with mild-moderate roach back can go on to have very competitive careers.

Of course, if there is severe roach back present, saddle fit will be an issue as will overall soundness since the deformed spine will have a difficult time supporting weight properly.

If I was looking for a horse, a mild roach back would not be a dealbreaker for me.

I should add: A "roach" or "razor" back is when a horse has a deformation of the spine causing it to bulge upwards and create a bump. Depending on the severity, it can be a slight upward curve just before the hips or it can be an upward curvature of the entire length of the spine creating a "hunchback" look.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:59 PM  
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Would this horse be considered a roach back?
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:03 PM  
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I would say that horse possibly may have a very slight roach back ... but it's not too obvious and I would want pictures of the horse standing with its head up and on a hard, level surface before saying for sure. Sometimes pictures with a horse standing on grass can do funny things.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:52 PM  
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I would say that horse possibly may have a very slight roach back ... but it's not too obvious and I would want pictures of the horse standing with its head up and on a hard, level surface before saying for sure. Sometimes pictures with a horse standing on grass can do funny things.
Yup, not that obvious roach back.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:01 AM  
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Can also be called a " hunters bump " , most prominent curve being just before the hip, over the loin area.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:39 PM  
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Hunter's bump is actually different than a roach back. A hunter's bump usually develops from jumping a horse too much too early whereas a roach back is a spinal deformity that is present at birth...
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:04 PM  
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I typed in roach back under google images and this was the first image that looked like the back curved up
http://www.horsejunction.co.za/embed...237/148237.jpg
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:14 PM  
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Yes, I would consider that to be a moderate roach back. The TB my sister and I shared had a roach back only very slightly less severe than the one pictured there. He was never sore and held his own both in dressage, CC and jumped well over 3 feet with ease.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:01 AM  
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*cough* This horse actually has halter points and looks like that...
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:06 AM  
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*cough* This horse actually has halter points and looks like that...
Oh my! Must be a blind judge! lol
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:16 AM  
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Oh yikes!!! That horse has pretty severe roach back! I can't believe he would place in a halter class!!! ... That horse I could imagine would be difficult to keep comfortable in anything other than a very custom made saddle ...
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:01 AM  
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I've seen that pic before and always thought I'd like to have a look at the judge's scoring card. To me, he/she looks like a horse hunching up for a BIG pooh... .
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:25 PM  
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Is there any other pictures of that horse? I can't believe if it really looks like that , that it would place or that anyone would actually put in the time and effort to show it.

Could it be a picture that was taken at just the wrong time, I know I took one of a horse and the shed in the background looked to be leaning on a 45 degree angle, it wasn't, but sure looked it in the pics. Sometimes pictures will show an optical illusion. I sure hope that is what this picture is.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:20 PM  
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That is the actual conformation of that horse. that picture was snapped by someone who was at the PtHA show and was in shock that they were even showing him. Granted most of his points were given to him in PtHA in 2007 and 2008, so I am assuming that this has progressed over time. Every other picture of this gelding is carefully from the front or with his back hidden.
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