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Roach back conformation critique

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  • Roach back conformation critique

    Opinions on this guy? I can see he's roach backed, but I've never had any experiences with horses who have it. Does it effect them much physically?

  • #2
    Originally posted by SeeTheCityLights View Post
    Opinions on this guy? I can see he's roach backed, but I've never had any experiences with horses who have it. Does it effect them much physically?
    I could be wrong, but I think other than saddle fitting obstacles, it isn't a huge issue. I once went and looked at an OTTB prospect that I was told had a "minor" roach - however, upon arrival I discovered THE worst roach I'd ever seen. I guess he was a decent racehorse, never caused any trouble there.

    ETA: he's cute, and it doesn't appear to be hindering him in the photos!


    • #3
      I once rode a sale horse that had a roached back much like that one. He was a very comfortable ride, good mover and a cute jumper. It never seemed to bother him and he actually sold rather quickly (which was too bad, since I really liked riding him.)


      • #4
        A friend of mine owned a horse with a MAJOR roached back. Seriously, he looked liked a hunchback and his name was Quasimodo. Luckily her saddle fit perfectly in the nook between his wither and hump. Other than looking silly, she had no problems with that horse. He was NICE too, super lovely moving and wicked nice jump in him.
        "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


        • #5
          I have a WB/X mare that has a slight roachback - never had an issue, super sound, and super dooper athletic!!!

          He looks like a nice mover and is pretty flashy!


          • #6
            I know of a horse with a bad roach back. Sorry to be negative but the girl jumped him three foot and that horse is off bad. He has really bad back issues and bucks a lot. He also is very weak because of it. A roach back often tends to make the back a lot weaker. It is more apparent when a heftier girl is jumping. He broke down real fast. I would personally stay away from them no matter temperament because there are plenty of horses with Good conformation in the back area (Usually a good reason that something is undesirable.) and also with good training and nice horses that are less likely to break down and also a lot easier to strengthen.


            • #7
              In my experience , just one horse, I had no problems. As long as saddle fit is good (and of course, a competent rider is necessary to keep any horses back healthy) I would not worry .

              Breeding is a different issue..


              • #8
                I have one. No problems with his back in the 12 years here, but saddle fit can be a bit of a challenge.
                * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                • #9
                  Anecdotal and purely personal experience - several I've had and ridden BUCKED. Often and quite athletically.
                  Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                  Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                  • #10
                    I used to think my horse was roach backed, but once his hind feet (and front) were in much better balance, the roach disappeared. Is it possible his feet are causing the roach?


                    • #11
                      I've seen slight roaches on a lot of very, very nice warmbloods who don't seem to have problems with it. What they all DID have, though, were exception hips. Remember that what you see in that region of the topline of the horse isn't the spine itself, but the spinous processes. The link below takes you to a picture showing the spine and where different bones connect.

                      (from this page: http://tackandtalk.wordpress.com/201...-chiropractic/)

                      I have no proof from x-rays, but suspect the horses I've seen with "roach" backs who are excellent performers have longer spinous processes in that area causing the effect. What I look for to know if I'm concerned or not is change in hip angle. The nice horses all have a hip which changes angle as if on a hinge as needed as they move - where on the horses where I've felt a roach was a concern, any movement in hip angle caused the entire lumbar region to look as if it were rising and falling.

                      I would be suspicious of this guy's back because of how his hip looks as if it works in the images, not solely because of his back. At the same time, he's a very handsome guy who can clearly move so if nearby to me he would be worth checking out.
                      If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                      • #12
                        No experience with roach back, but I don't like his hind end. It looks very goose rumped in the pics - like a QH.
                        Unrepentant carb eater


                        • #13
                          I have a horse with a slight roach. No problems whatsoever. No trouble with saddle fitting. Easily jumped 3'6". Was an excellent dressage horse; had no problems with collection or extension. He is 24 and I still ride him regularly. Go see the horse and judge him on his merits.


                          • #14
                            A minor roach isn't an issue. But you have to look at the whole horse. I have one with a very very minor roach. Doesn't cause any issues at all...not even saddle fit. But this horse is also built exceptionally well with an outstanding hind end.

                            Can't see the pictures but a very mild roach wouldn't bother me if the rest of the horse was very good.
                            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                            • #15
                              I would want to know why he has "sat for a while" and is thus still green as an 8 year old. That really isn't normal. Most people with a nice WB prospect are not just going to let it sit around until it is an 8 year old greenie.


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                                I would want to know why he has "sat for a while" and is thus still green as an 8 year old. That really isn't normal. Most people with a nice WB prospect are not just going to let it sit around until it is an 8 year old greenie.
                                Thank you for all of the replies, guys!

                                FineAlready, I questioned that as well. He is at a training barn now. His owner had other horses she was working with and busy with multiple jobs, so she set this guy aside for a while. I am in contact with the trainer now, who is selling him for the owner. She said she is working with him now and he's doing good. Just scared of cows :P

                                She is making a video for me this week, so I'll watch him move and see how he goes. If I like what I see, I'll probably go check him out.