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Weird dip in back?

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  • Weird dip in back?

    Has anyone ever seen this before? Is this a hunters bump? There is a very pronounced "dip" on the back of my new rescue OTTB. I'm not sure if it is more pronounced because of his condition (low weight, not muscled/fit), or if this is possibly a previous SI injury or the like. I'm waiting to get an appointment with my vet, and we are going to address teeth, worms, general health, and I am going to have this looked at as well. But just curious on thoughts as to what it is?

  • #2
    My former jumper had a dip like that. in his case, it was due to a back injury. He'd stopped using his hind end properly and lost a lot of muscle. Rehab work fixed it and he went on to 4th level in dressage.

    In your horse's case, I imagine it has a lot to do with his body condition. With good groceries and correct work, that shuld fill in. But do ask the vet to evaluate, palpate his back and watch him move.

    Best of luck! I love a rehab project!


    • #3
      You are looking at his skeleton.
      From this photo, the actual bones do not look more pronounced than in a normal horse who has that area well covered.

      It is possible that with recovery, his muscling will recover and fill that in.
      take a look at some horse anatomy charts for a better idea.


      • #4
        It's the LS gap - lumbosacral gap, the gap between the last lumbar and the sacral tuber. It's wider in some horses than others, and will be visible in all horses if they lose enough weight - this horse is super thin.

        it's not something that gets fixed - it has to be there. It only gets hidden with appropriate body fat and muscle.

        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          To me it looks like a skinny horse with a roached back. The area should fill in some with more weight.
          Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC

          Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Fitter


          • #6
            Not roached. You can tell that if that dip weren't there, there would be a smooth line/transition from the back to the tuber sacral/peak of croup.
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • #7
              It is normal. He is just lacking the muscling around it so it looks more prominent than on most horses. It is caused by the change in shape between the thoracic and the lumbar vertebrae which lean opposite directions. All horses have this, most have muscle and fat covering it.


              • #8
                he just need weight imo. I acquired a horse like that. in the PPE, I asked the vet if it was a hunters bump, but she just said he isn't fat like my other horses. LOL. Good luck with him!


                • Original Poster

                  Yes, this is all fabulous news! I am hoping after he is rehabbed he will be a nice lower level horse for me to play around on and have fun. I was seriously worried about it, it just didn't look right to me!


                  • #10
                    A Hunter's Bump is a protrusion, as opposed to a dip, though it may make the adjoining tissue look dipped in contrast.

                    The HB is from damage to the ligament(s) that join the tuber sacrale (the peak of the croup) to the sacrum. When that tear causes the tuber sacrale to rise, it produces the Hunter's Bump.

                    It's not to be confused with just a conformationally peaked TS bone, that would be symmetrical. It is almost always necessary to view the horse from behind to determine a HB, as it's unlikely to be symmetrical.

                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      I've seen a visible LS gap discussed before on this forum as a diagnostic of back injury (or a roached back, or a hunter's bump), and I think the confusion comes from the multiple reasons it might be visually apparent.

                      One being a horse who is sufficiently underweight that they've experienced muscle wasting, including significant epaxial (long back) muscle loss.

                      Another being a horse that is injured or otherwise experiencing pain that prevents them from using those back muscles normally, thus causing localized muscle loss.

                      I'd worry more about this indicating a back or SI poblem in a horse that is otherwise well muscled and at a healthy weight. From what that picture shows, it wouldn't be possible to rule out low BCS as the culprit. If it looks like that once a better body condition is established and the horse is in light work you might have more reason for concern.