Lordosis or swayback is a common sight in older horses or broodmares.  It is estimated that less than 1% of horses have the genetic form of lordosis which causes spinal deviations and curvature.

As a natural part of aging, the muscles in the body begin to weaken and waste away.  The wasting of the abdominal muscles and supporting topline muscles cause the midsection of the back to sink and give the swayback look.

Despite the appearance, lordosis does not have a direct influence on the horses health or soundness provided it is not of the genetic form.  Swaybacked broodmares are able to carry and deliver foals normally.  Swaybacked riding horses are able to be ridden.  The main issue when riding a horse with lordosis is saddle fit as it can be difficult to fit a saddle correctly.

Reyner was an aged horse who had been used as a show jumper in his earlier life.  He was now being used as a weekend dressage ride and his owner was having problems with saddle fit.  Over a period of months we were able to change Reyner’s posture and improve the lordosis in his back.  We started off with fortnightly massages, progressing to monthly visits.  In between massages his owner performed stretching exercises and tummy lifts to help strengthen the abdominal muscles.

On April 5th, 2011, posted in: Portfolio of Case Studies by
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