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slight roach in back........

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  • slight roach in back........

    I am getting ready to purchase an OTTB for lower level eventing, pleasure riding, some jumping up to 3'6". I like a horse that has a slight roach in his back and a very low set tail. May be considered "goose rumped". He is otherwise a very athletic boy. Does this conformation fault cause problems down the road? Would it affect his abilities?

  • #2
    My horse has a roach and it really doesn't influence him at all. In recent weeks, as he gets fitter, it has started to cause a saddle fit issue, but nothing significant. It may occasionally get more sore, but it is more muscle soreness that we deal with with massage, mostly. For the most part, it is just a bit of a blemish. They CAN have kissing spines there (so you could consider spine x-rays if you do PPE). Mostly, I think they aren't a big deal, especially if they are further back like mine (kinda lumbar area).

    I had a mare for a while that was REALLY goose rumped. She was SOOO short from front to back, her tail was tied on very low, and she had the shortest, steepest croup I had ever seen...and she had UL type scope and athleticism. I don't know if her funky looking rear end had anything to do with that, but she certainly wasn't inhibited by it!
    Amanda

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Amanda, funny you should mention the upper level scope....that's kind of the same thing this guy has. Very athletic over the fences. I wondered if it might be related to the conformation.

      Comment


      • #4
        Honestly, have to ask the vet who does the pre-purchase. I always try to aim for no major conformational defects, but at the end of the day, the horse can't read the xrays and may not know if they deviate from ideal. For example, my Advanced horse was goose-rumped, though did not have a roach. He was a phenomenal jumper, but I wouldn't recommend the conformation per-se if I was looking at a horse from scratch. In his case, it may have worked in that particular package, but it had some soundness issues that went with it. Same thing is true with a roach: it's not ideal, there can be some soundness and performance issues which can flow from it or be the cause thereof (like kissing spine, as mentioned) and some horses do just fine with it. No way to really tell in the abstract.

        Comment


        • #5
          Spine

          Any spine that deviates from a normal neutral position is going to show its effects in other parts of the body. As a roach back is a sign of the lower thoracic/lumbar spine being in increased flexion, you should expect to see the lower-set tail, tightness through the hamstrings and, with such, decreased flexibility through the lower hind limb.
          When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.

          Comment


          • #6
            I tend to pick out the "roachy" ones, I hate a week loin area and in my experiance the ones with a slight roach have more speed (yes- I buy racehorses) and are very solid jumpers.

            I agree with above posts... you must look at all the horse's confo together and make sure it is balanced. A severly roached back is a big problem but it sounds like this guy is just minor....

            See how much riding you can do and also try and watch him move free (in a round pen... jumping if possible) and get a feel for how his back moves naturally (without your weight).

            Good luck
            owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is Vernon with his little roach- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...2&id=840606599

              It's hard to see really, unless you are up close and personal. If you put your cursor at his withers then trace his back you'll see where it kinda deviates.

              It is well noted by all his vets (including some of the best lameness vets in the country), and his massage therapist (who's worked on him since he was 4). So far, it really has not been an issue, except for this annoying saddle fit thing. We are trying an experiment with shockwave right now, but, really, it just isn't a big deal. He is, otherwise, pretty correct and he's been quite sound.

              Too bad I don't have any confo pics of the mare...she was just goofy looking, but, good Lord, she could jump! She was also really narrow...I said she was a jet powered knife blade!

              I agree that starting from as perfect as you can get is good, but they aren't all perfect...sometimes you have to make some exceptions. I would be inclined to do spine rads if you have the cash to do it...just in case.
              Amanda

              Comment


              • #8
                Is it a roach back? Or a loin that bulges up a bit called a good connection?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
                  Is it a roach back? Or a loin that bulges up a bit called a good connection?
                  Yea, I guess there is a differance... but I think folks would consider them the same... There is a video with Rodney Jenkins talking about confo and he likes to see a mild roach or lion that is strong I hate horses that drop in the loin area so I always aim for the ones that bulge
                  owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ha!

                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                    Here is Vernon with his little roach- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...2&id=840606599

                    It's hard to see really, unless you are up close and personal. If you put your cursor at his withers then trace his back you'll see where it kinda deviates.

                    It is well noted by all his vets (including some of the best lameness vets in the country), and his massage therapist (who's worked on him since he was 4). So far, it really has not been an issue, except for this annoying saddle fit thing. We are trying an experiment with shockwave right now, but, really, it just isn't a big deal. He is, otherwise, pretty correct and he's been quite sound.

                    [...] I agree that starting from as perfect as you can get is good, but they aren't all perfect...sometimes you have to make some exceptions. I would be inclined to do spine rads if you have the cash to do it...just in case.
                    Amanda, I love you. You're such a groom. Everything is a bigger deal to you (read: us!) than most people perceive! It's the groom way! I do see the slight roach you describe, but wonder why it poses a saddle fit issue? Where his lumbar flexion begins appears (from the pic) to be well behind where the saddle sits. Is it more of the saddle sliding forward? Or does it create a hump beneath the cantle that tilts it forward? Just curious.

                    I think Vernon looks amazing. He's gorgeous and his face just says "I'm amazing, that's been established, now just watch me stand here and be sweet!"
                    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, Robby, I can't help it! I have inherited obsessive compulsive disorder from my father, and this is just how it comes out! I know every inch of every horse in this barn...especially Vernon!!!

                      Re: the saddle fit. The chiro/vet actually finally put a finger on it. His muscles on the left along that line tend to quite tight and want to pull the spiny parts of his vertebrae to the left (not significantly, and even as well as I know his back, I would not have realized that was going on until she showed me where to feel). Along that same line, it also apparently pulls the saddle (and with that, his rider, meaning ME) to the left. A perfectly level saddle constantly feels like it is shifting to the left and makes his rider (ME) feel like you have to jump up and down in the right stirrup to get the saddle straight. Soooo, he got bought ANOTHER ridiculously expensive sheepskin pad, this time a Mattes correction pad, shims on the left. Saddle sits straight, rider sits straight (and she needs all the help she can get), everyone's happy.

                      The shockwave we did is to try and help get those muscles to relax and let go...we'll see...he was particularly good today and very relaxed and happy in his back...maybe it did some good.
                      Amanda

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