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Long backed horses - added link to picture

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  • Long backed horses - added link to picture

    I have been horse shopping lately and have seen a couple of prospects with long backs. I usually don't like to even consider them because of potential back problems. What is everyone elses opinion on horses with long backs as hunter prospects? None of the horses I have seen have jumped before.
    Thanks, Bopper.
    Last edited by Bopper; May. 6, 2010, 07:31 PM.

  • #2
    Matter of degree, there are long backs and there are looooong backs. The former can be NBD.

    It's not back trouble that makes some of these poor candidates for the Hunter ring either, fact I am not sure there is a corelation, least IME, to a slightly long back and back trouble. Seen plenty of sore backs over the years on all types of conformation, including just about textbook perfect.

    The problem a longer backed horse can have is the fact a shorter and more upright shoulder and hip angle create the length and those steeper angles restrict both stride length and ability to lift the knees high and squarely. So they can't make the lines and don't jump so good.

    Easy visual check is to watch them just walk and see if they track up-place the hind hoof ahead of the footprint of the front hoof. Pretty good indicator of stride length.

    A SLIGHTLY long back is actually considered to be a better athlete in most disciplines, long as the shoulder and hip length and angle are sufficient to do the job, and those are the ones that track well up almost from the time they hit the ground as foals. You can't train it, function of conformation to do the job.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      I had a very long backed horse that was an incredible jumper and mover. He would win the hack in the very best of company, at WEF and other places. His jump was equally good. He had some soundness issues but they were not related to his back. Would his back get sore? Yes. But my horse with a somewhat short back also gets sore from time to time.

      I have a horse now that also has a long back (but not as long as the horse I am referring to above). He is a fantastic jumper and a good mover. He does not generally have back-related issues either.

      Soundness issues IMHO depend on how the horse is put together overall, what you do with the horse and how you take care of it. I would not make blanket generalizations about long-backed horses. It just depends on too many factors.

      Comment


      • #4
        Rather than focus on the length of the back itself look for the weak points in the overall conformation.

        I would focus on the lumbosacral joint, not the back length, this tends to be a area where a lot of back issues originate, a weak joint and there will be all kinds of problems if you ask more from the horse through discipline than he is capable of physically.

        Generally speaking if a horse has an extremely long back it is not the back that is so long but the other two-thirds of him that is too short, and in that you may see the real conformation issues.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hauwse View Post
          ... it is not the back that is so long but the other two-thirds of him that is too short, and in that you may see the real conformation issues.
          Well said. Never heard it expressed that way.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

          Comment


          • #6
            There's a significant difference between being long backed and long across the loin.

            I don't like horses with low backs, either, but a good overall athletic horse can overcome that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Anyone have pics? I know that would help me in my conformation education here!

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree w/ the others...it depends on how long and the angles of the hip and shoulder. My TB is a bit long in the back, but his angles are decent and he's actually a beautiful jumper who pins well in the hunter ring. He's an average mover at best though. That being said, he has no issue w/ stride length or handiness.

                I've seen other long backed horses that have very short strides, no ability to lift the front end well, and for the most part can't get out of their own way. This again has more to do w/ the overall confirmation than just a long back.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dapple Dawn Farm View Post
                  Anyone have pics? I know that would help me in my conformation education here!
                  I'll bite. This is my OTTB. I am no confo expert but something is funny in the back/loin area. Have at 'em!

                  http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...03114374rdpZiQ
                  "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That one is not so long. But he is very low backed right behind the withers. Not downhill, the top of the wither is uphill from the croup. But I bet he travels downhill with that low back and saddle may be hard to fit.

                    He has an entirely different deal going on then a long back.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
                      I'll bite. This is my OTTB. I am no confo expert but something is funny in the back/loin area. Have at 'em!

                      http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...03114374rdpZiQ
                      I wouldn't say he's particularly long backed. He has big withers, and he's a bit low mid-back (I might even go so far as to say that he's built downhill through the spine and that the TB withers just hide it- does he get heavy on his front end?).

                      He also has a pretty short humerus, which makes his barrel look longer.

                      He's a hair loosely coupled (see the little dip in his SI area?), and his hip is on the steep side. With the length of hip that he has, however, I bet he has some power behind. He also has a high set tail, which makes his croup look a bit funky.

                      As always, JMHO.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Actually, maybe it's just a wives tale, but I was always lead to believe that a long backed indicates scope and length of stride. GM seems to think so. Obviously not to a huge degree, but within reason....an within an overall balance.

                        My WB is a tad long backed (weak in the hind end as well) and has plenty of stride, scope has never been tested with me and is a decent mover. He's never had back problems.

                        I wouldn't be turned away at all by a long backed horse. In fact, there is another saying that back issues in short backed horses are harder to fix than in long backed horses. If I had my druthers, I'd go for a little long with no problems over a short with no problems.
                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by findeight View Post
                          That one is not so long. But he is very low backed right behind the withers. Not downhill, the top of the wither is uphill from the croup. But I bet he travels downhill with that low back and saddle may be hard to fit.

                          He has an entirely different deal going on then a long back.
                          That helps....I wish we had an entire confo forum....so much to learn. Thanks.

                          He is a tough fit for a saddle, in part because his shoulders are huge and I am quite long in the femur. He is actually a pretty nice mover but not in a hunter way. It is hard work for him to be through and uphill and he was scary as hell when he first started jumping.

                          Would this horse describe the 2/3s being out of proportion to the 1/3 scenario? I see 2/3 being ok (rear and middle) and 1/3 (front) not matching. Does that make sense?

                          This pic might be more accurate....that first one is weird:

                          http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...03114374aucfHk
                          "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The degree to which the back is long, and the purpose for which you are buying are what matter most. The effects of conformation faults in general mostly depend on what you want to do with the horse.

                            While I have not found a long backed horse that had soreness or stride length issues, I have sat on several that were VERY nose heavy and extremely uncomfortable. Difficult horses to get round and soft. Training and conditioning help, but always a battle. That's JME though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've always preferred long-backed horses. This was my QH who was one of my "horses of a lifetime":

                              http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...94686761bCPxPV
                              http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...94686761uiFhRt

                              He was absurdly long-backed (size 84 blanket--for length only--for a barely 16h horse), but BOY could he jump!

                              My next "horse of a lifetime" is my AO Jumper mare:
                              http://pets.webshots.com/photo/28532...94686761vxVHNo

                              I will admit, though, that her 1.40m career was limited (lasting only a year) and we've stuck to 1.30m for the longer part of showing. She jumps off of heart much more than conformation....sure do adore her for it, though!

                              As Hause pointed out, though, it's more about the strengths or weaknesses of the rest of the body. And my QH did require more chiro-type work than your average horse.

                              If the rest of the conformation looks good I'm definitely more interested in a long-backed horse than a short-backed one.
                              __________________________________
                              Flying F Sport Horses
                              Horses in the NW

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
                                would this horse describe the 2/3s being out of proportion to the 1/3 scenario? I see 2/3 being ok (rear and middle) and 1/3 (front) not matching. Does that make sense?
                                In the ballpark with that, IMO.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Oh BTW, I had some eventers in the barn last week (including a Beijing 2008 veteran) and couldn't get over how long their backs were, and how short and upright their necks were. FWIW.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    This is an example of the type of confirmation that I am referring to in my post. This is not the horse that I had originally looked at but his confirmation is similar. The pose is not ideal but his back seems to go on forever.

                                    http://batonrouge.craigslist.org/grd/1724614261.html

                                    Thanks for the input. Bopper

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Would you conisder this guy long backed? http://sports.webshots.com/photo/151...81786972QuXbGv

                                      Ive always thought he resembled a limo.

                                      Amazing OTTB, but doesnt really have the athletic ability to do much. Great mover (hack prize all the time) but tops off at 2'9 and doesnt do lead changes. Im attributing that to the fact that his hind end is usually a good 30 second behind his brain

                                      movement: http://sports.webshots.com/photo/279...81786972bTehIZ
                                      jump: http://sports.webshots.com/photo/243...81786972tPllsz

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Very long backed pony

                                        This is my little pony jumper. He has a very long back and is a crazy cross (a Welsh/Paso Fino). He has a insane jumping ability though.

                                        Standing: http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...ictures025.jpg

                                        Trot: http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...ictures029.jpg

                                        Trot with rider: http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...t=CIMG0802.jpg

                                        Jump: http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...t=CIMG0818.jpg

                                        http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...redownload.jpg

                                        I love this pic: http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o...t=img7440h.jpg
                                        If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me.

                                        Comment

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