Seeing a horse with swayback has the power to make anyone who has worked with horses feel down. Most caretakers and riders know that a swayback or “kissing spine”, as some may call it, is painful for a horse to endure.
Swayback is usually seen in older horses. As the term “kissing spine” suggests, swayback looks like that—the spine is deeply curved, looking like the back is about to kiss. The condition, clinically calledequine lordosis, happens when the horse loses muscle tone in the back and abdominal area, along with the ligaments stretching out and getting weaker over time. Needless to say, this happens when the horse’s back is not properly cared for.
You might be thinking: Is swayback inevitable in all horses? My riding partner is showing signs of having it, is there a cure? Can it be cured completely? To help answer these questions, we spoke toDr. Angelique Barbaraof Holistic Animal Studies about all things swayback. Read more below.