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Old 06-03-2012, 05:57 PM  
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lets talk about roach backs

A new girl has brought her mare to the same facility we board at and right off the bat i noticed this mare has a almost sever case of roach back. Very pretty mare but also moves very,, horribly. For lack of a better word.
Shes very heavy on her front end and all her gaits are choppy. I also noticed she constantly rests her rear feet and gets mad when her head and neck are forced upward.
This girl denies anything is wrong with her mare, but the horse is obviously in pain.
So since i dont know alot about roach backs i am wondering more about what causes it? Is it hereditary? Is there a treatment for it and also is there a risk of the horse falling under saddle?
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:56 PM  
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roach backs can be from birth or from an injury.

If from birth, they often don't cause issues other than with saddle fit or with balance.

If from injury they may be the sight of pain, or may cause secondary pain as teh horse compensates unnaturally.

Types of issues that can cause a roach back; back issue, internal issues (usually also shows symptoms of colic), hind end lameness, in particular pelvis or stifle.

Interestingly I have a horse here that is developing a roach back due to unknown reasons. We are assuming pain, but cannot pinpoint. I do know that if I ride her she is not bad, but anyone else rides here and she is miserable...assuming because they weigh more. Everytime the chiro comes out she has something different "out" or sore...although her back itself doesn't show pain. It has been interesting to watch how her muscling and such has changed how her back roaches.

Treatment would depend on the cause, but it is possible that her horse is not in pain and that it is just the shape of her spine. yes, this would cause her horse to move differently and carry itself differently, but doesn't not necissarily mean pain.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:48 AM  
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I work with a horse who has a roached back. I am unsure of its cause, however, I find that getting the chiropractor out and even a massage therapist out really helps him to get his topline muscles relaxed and moving better.

It really helps him when as we walk him in hand in the arena to gently pull his tail to the inside when his inside hind is moving. Almost like making him wiggle his hips. This seems to get him loosened up back there since he does get so tight. Of course we do that in both directions to loosen him up evenly.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:15 AM  
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What is a roach back horse ? I never heard of the term .I heard of a cold back horse is it the same ?
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:10 PM  
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A roached back means that the horse's back is convex rather than concave. Usually the back still dips down after the withers, but then will slope up forming a little hill before reaching the hips.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:05 PM  
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Thank you .
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:58 AM  
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So I just noticed in the last few days that my mini mare now has a roach back! She is due any day and has really softened and dropped along her entire spine. She is HUGE! Could the roach back just be the foal and birth prep? She is young. This is her second foal and her back has been perfect until now. She is like twice as big this yr as she was last yr when she was maiden!
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