What Causes Swayback In A Horse

There are a number of causes for back in horses. Swayback is a term used to describe a horse that has a dip in its top line. This can range from a mild dip in the topline to a more extreme condition where the spine is bent in an arcs.

The most common cause of swayback is age related. As a horse gets older, it becomes less elastic and less able to support it’s body weight. This can cause the spine to sink and cause a dip in the topline. This type of swayback is usually mild and won’t need treatment.

Poor conformation is one of the causes of swayback in horses. Poor conformation horses tend to lean to one side or the other when carrying their body weight. The swayback is caused by the spine dipping in the middle due to the unbalanced weight distribution.

Poor nutrition is one of the causes of swayback. Horses that are not fed a balanced diet can become weak. A swayback is a condition in which a horse’s body cannot maintain a proper posture.

Incorrect riding is a cause of swayback in horses. Incorrect posture can lead to swayback in horses. If a rider leans too far forward or back, the horse’s posture will suffer, and it can cause the spine to dip in the middle.

Injury is a fifth cause of swayback. Horses that have suffered a spine injury can develop a swayback as the spine becomes weak or stretched. As the body compensates for the pain and weakness in the affected joints, horses that suffer from chronic lameness or arthritis can develop a swayback.

There are a number of causes for back in horses. Poor nutrition and incorrect riding are some of the potential causes of swayback in horses. Mild swayback cases may not need treatment, but more severe swayback cases should be assessed by a vet and treated accordingly.