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  1. #1

    Default Breeding a Mare with Kissing Spines

    Has anyone knowingly bred a horse with kissing spines? There is a mare who was diagnosed with kissing spines and the owner is thinking about retiring her from riding and breeding her instead. She had two foals in her younger years and both are doing fantastic under saddle (great competition records). Given their excellent ability under saddle, I would say that they did not inherit the kissing spines. I have asked vets and all the responses I have gotten is that no one knows why some horses have kissing spines and others do not ... they said they haven't found it to be heritable. It's just luck of the draw, I suppose. So it should be fine to breed the mare?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Minnesota
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    I will watch the responses carefully here, as I have a horse with arthritis in her neck that I'd love to breed--as long as I don't get the same neck issues in the foal.

    I know that I would NOT breed a horse that has ancestors with neck or back issues, but I don't know about one that has developed issues due to injury or unknown problems.



  3. #3
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    Dec. 9, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HAlter0000 View Post
    Has anyone knowingly bred a horse with kissing spines? There is a mare who was diagnosed with kissing spines and the owner is thinking about retiring her from riding and breeding her instead. She had two foals in her younger years and both are doing fantastic under saddle (great competition records). Given their excellent ability under saddle, I would say that they did not inherit the kissing spines. I have asked vets and all the responses I have gotten is that no one knows why some horses have kissing spines and others do not ... they said they haven't found it to be heritable. It's just luck of the draw, I suppose. So it should be fine to breed the mare?
    I know a mare that had kissing spine. She had three foals I know of, and all of them were just fine. Mare was fine with it too.

    Tim
    Sparling Rock Holsteiners
    www.sparlingrock.com



  4. #4
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    Jul. 3, 2003
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    The heritability for KS is not proven. It is mostly a training issue in younger horses.

    However, with the number of foals out there and the market where it is, I would only breed absolutely sound animals to begin with (different thing if you intend to keep for yourself though).



  5. #5
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    One of my broodmares has kissing spines. We think it was caused from the mare being ridden in a saddle with a broken tree. She is totally comfortable being a broodmare, mostly (I think) because she gets so much turn out.



  6. #6
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    I have been told the same as Maren regarding the heritability of KS (i.e., that it is not proven). However, I believe I saw something some time back that it is estimated that a VERY large number of horses have KS. (I think the study was based on autopsies of race horses, but could be wrong.)

    FWIW, one of the U.S.'s top GP dressage horses has kissing spines...



  7. #7
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    >Kissing spines are not a training issue>


    Let me rephrase then - the condition known as kissing spines is often only noticed because horses are trained badly and start developing severe pain. I know of several high end international competitiors (eventing, not dressage) that have KS, but were ridden accordingly and had no issues whatsoever. In fact, in one individuum it wasn't even known until after his career when a secondary injury required a back x-ray.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2001
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    Default Maren

    What does "ridden accordingly " mean in reference to kissing spine?
    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt



  9. #9
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    It means you ride with a very relaxed back, foward downward (not deep!) and not in collected frames. A supple, well-working back is paramount, little dressage, lots of climbing and trotting over poles.
    My friend's Risih Tb went to the Olympics (eventing) with kissing spines. She#s a vet, she knew what she was doing.



  10. #10
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    Interesting, Maren. I have been told by several vets, chiros, etc., that the key to riding a horse with KS is to keep the horse somewhat round. IOW, lifting the back spreads the spinous processes further apart so they don't touch.

    As mentioned earlier, one of America's top GP horses has kissing spines, and they have learned how to manage it. FWIW, he is in London right now.

    OTOH, the approved Oldenburg stallion Ruiz Soler was sold out of Germany to an American hunter trainer specifically because he had KS and could not be ridden in a frame. The new owner promptly gelded him before he left Germany, and the horse went on to a hunter career here under the name Tribute. I don't follow hunters very closely, so I don't know how successful he has been in his new career.



  11. #11
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    Jan. 15, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownYonder View Post
    Interesting, Maren. I have been told by several vets, chiros, etc., that the key to riding a horse with KS is to keep the horse somewhat round. IOW, lifting the back spreads the spinous processes further apart so they don't touch.


    .
    this would physiologically make more sense to me.



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