What (if any) issues could/ might crop up on a hunter with a roach back?
And is their way of going any different because of the conformation? Flexibility?
I think it will depend on how severe the roach is. Some are "conformational" and some are the result of a likely pretty severe injury in earlier life. In general, arthritis would be a big concern for me. But I'd also be concerned with the stress on their joints based on having to carry their weight differently due to the roach back (not sure that's scientific).
An acquaitance had a roach backed pony that they did a lot of endurance riding with. She was trying to sell her as a jumping pony and wanted me to take her on, but my vet was very sceptical about using a roach backed horse for jumping. Something about being less flexible in the back, so more prone to back injury, as well as more concussion on the front legs.
The above mentionned pony had a very severe roach though.
I am currently dealing with a horse that both has a dip and a roach. As a result he is not flexible all the way through his back which has lead him to develop coping mechanisms. As he has lost some degree of flexion/extension through his back, the power produced by his hindquarters does not transfer well over his back (if you visualise the pushing power produced in a normal horse oscillating through the spine to the forehand) and so it has resulted in him not using his hind end correctly and eventually using his forehand for power. He also has developed inflammation in his left hock and right stifle as a result of his altered hind limb flight pattern. We're working to fix this through a very talented osteopath as well as targeted exercises to restore ROM. As was previously mentioned, the roach can be as a result of injury or conformation, in my case it has been conformation causing a type of mechanical lameness.
I have one. A day of serious lateral work in a clinic left him pretty darn stiff the next day. Other than that, in the 11 years I've had him, he has shown no deficits. Trail riding, hunter paces, limited showing as a jumper.
Saddle fitting is a bitch, though.
* What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis
It really depends on the horse. In general, for the use a typical hunter is going to get, I wouldn't be worried.
I'd be concerned about SI alignment, and if the roach was actually in reaction to hips and SI not being aligned, or a result of a not healed injury. I have a friend with a super fancy mare who could do wonderfully in hunters with an extremely powerful hind end and slight roach. The mare's foal is the same way - FANTASTIC movers who just want to jump. I've seen others where it causes a lot of problems.
Originally Posted by Silverbridge
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I have one ! I got him off the track at 7 he has Kissing Spine and Roached back. I spent $1000's on Chiropracters and Acupuntrue . Yesterday I had a Reiki Master come and work her "voodo" yes I was skeptical . She showed me how to do " tummy tucks " and a couple other things.
Today at 13 his "bump" is less noticeable . It's still there its never going away. He was even tracking up better . I fee like the worst horse owner on the world