Check it Out!
Re: RC: Re: Weak Loin
In a message dated Fri, 14 Sep 2001 5:16:33 PM Eastern Daylight Time, "Linda B. Merims" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> The Pan Am Championship was
> the first time I had a chance examine leading endurance horses
> close up--especially during the Best Condition judging--and try
> to assess their conformation to try to find any common thread
> (bone, neck, chest, legs, feet, whatever...)
> The one fact about their conformation that really stood out?
> All of the horses standing for BC had uniformly *outstanding*
> strong backs. No dippyness behind the withers. No dippy loins
> (the curse of the Morgan breed). Just these razor-straight,
> level backs that blended perfectly into their rumps.
This is something that really started to impress me several years ago as a ride vet, too. Over the years I'd been taught the old standard of evaluating a horse from the ground up--legs, legs, legs! But as I examined more and more successes and failures, the most common denominator I found among the failures was POOR backs. Time and time again, I've seen horses with excellent legs go lame because of compensating for back problems. When their backs won't carry weight efficiently, they compensate--they get more concussion all around, and A LOT more strain on the hind legs, trying to use them to make up for the lack of rounding in the back. Not to mention just plain sore backs--something I've seen rise to an alarming level among endurance horses, since most entry level horses in this sport are the "cast-offs" from modern show breeding programs, where bad backs abound.
I've completely revamped how I evaluate riding horses now--I START with the backs and the balance of the body, and if I don't like what I see, I don't even bother to look at the legs...
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