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What is a "Hunter's Bump?"

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  • What is a "Hunter's Bump?"

    I'm doing the whole Google thing on it, and I've heard the phrase over and over, but I can't say I've ever had a horse with one...but I may now.

    And I'd like to hear stories from the trenches from fellow COTHers.

    What causes it? How does it effect performance/movement? Is it painful for the horse? Prognosis? Treatment?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    If anyone has pics that would be great too.

  • #2
    This is what my search turned up:


    "From April Reeves, Horseman's U.com: a Jumper's or Hunter's bump is the result of strain to the ligament attachments of the lumbar and sacral vertebrae. It is obvious to the human eye as the top of the hip sticks out above the croup. The 'bump' occurs in the healing process, where scar tissue develops, enlarging that part of the joint.

    Over-use in jumping is the primary cause, but this problem can be found in other equine sports. Riding horses too young, either for jumping or often trail riding, where hills are used can create this condition. I have a practice of never jumping over 1'6" until the horse is 5. My motto is to keep my horses forever. Also, jumping over that height more than once a week can increase the chances. Don't forget, that in the training of jumping, there is more training on the ground and flat than over fences. "The quality of the horse on the ground is the quality of the horse in the air" (April Reeves).

    While the bump may be painful during the early stages, it often hardens into regular scar tissue. Whether it has a lasting effect on the horse is up to a vet, as outcomes vary. Most horses will find it increasingly difficult to jump during scar tissue development, and like any deep tissue wound, will possibly have some effect on the horse's ability and movement in the future. "

    Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
    Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
    Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.


    • #3
      I thought it was when you sustain a lump or "bump" on your head whilst hunting... hence "hunters bump."


      • #4
        Asymmetry of the tuber sacrale on either side.
        Nice discussion of pelvic issues here.
        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


        • #5
          See this video:

          Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!



          • #6
            I've also been told that a horse that flips completely over can strain those ligaments, esp TB's that flip in the starting gate.

            Have seen many that could do a normal job (wtc, jumping, etc) once the scar tissue hardens, although they were always prone to stiffness/loss of flexiblity through that section of the back. My vet has used Surpass with success to reduce the scar tissue.
            “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky


            • #7
              My older TB has a hunter bump. It doesn't seem to bother him in the least. He can still bend sufficiently to do shoulder-in/haunches-in, and can hop over some low jumps. Now his hocks are another story...
              "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


              • #8
                I'm definitely not any conformation person, but IMHO I never see this on dressage horses. I wonder if you switch from hunter to dressage if it will "disappear" under the muscles built up doing dressage.
                Anyone else notice it not appearing in dressage discipline horses?


                • #9
                  It's not an injury common to dressage. The aforementioned TB did not lose the bump with dressage training (I only jumped him twice in two years over low cavaletti). The muscling surrounding the bump increased, but the bump was still there.
                  "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer