Goose-rump? Roach back? Hunter/jumper bump?

Discussion in 'Critique My Horse' started by Hazels Mum, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Hazels Mum

    Hazels Mum Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hi!

    I wasn't sure where to post this, but I thought maybe conformation- related?

    Here is my 5 y/o chestnut Standardbred rescue. Expectations for her aren't too high (trail/leisure, maybe one day pop over a few small jumps at most) she has been off the track for 2-3 months now so letting her relax. Training wise walking groundwork and manners really.

    What has me worried is, since taking her in, her back and hind-quarters are bothering me, something isn't right and after researching I'm confused as to what she could have, goose rump, roach back, hunter/jumper bump or a combination? I'm worried for her health and comfort, was just wondering if anyone can give me some info as to what she may have? And if you've had a horse with similar issue (and did it affect them?)
    IMG20190204154025.jpg
    Also we are slowly getting weight on her, I realise she looks so thin but I promise she's being looked after! :)

    IMG20190206090420.jpg
     
    Dona Worry likes this.
  2. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    10,902
    Likes Received:
    16,849
    I would call her a roached back horse with a weak loin and a small hunters bump.
     
    GotaDunQH and Hazels Mum like this.
  3. Hazels Mum

    Hazels Mum Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Are there exercises I could start to do with her to help? Thanks :)
     
  4. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    10,902
    Likes Received:
    16,849
    Most of it is conformation and won't change. I would focus on getting high quality nutrition into her, get her to a good healthy weight and work on building a top line.
     
    Hazels Mum likes this.
  5. Hazels Mum

    Hazels Mum Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thankyou :) She's putting on weight steadily, and I've been waiting until she's at a better weight to start working on her topline and self carriage at gaits faster than walk. We've been doing some walking with head down low, hind yielding and backing in hand, and she has a hilly paddock of about 40acres in which she walks and grazes, so hoping that's helping too. Cheers!
     
  6. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    16,401
    Likes Received:
    12,147
    Not her conformation, but you can help by getting her Chiro appointments, massage first though, and help her tremendously. Her stance says likely pain to me.

    Looks like a sweetheart, good luck and keep us apprised.
     
    Alpha App, zomer and doublelranch like this.
  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    24,987
    Likes Received:
    15,392
    Okay. Look at the second picture and compare it to the first, guys.

    Let's first clarify - a 'goose rump' refers to a horse that simply has a steeply sloped hind quarter. In that horse, it's 'normal'. It's simply how that horse is built. That highest point of the hind quarter(where the spine meets the hind quarter, the so-called 'point of croup') is a lot higher than the root of the tail. It's also called a 'rainy day croup' as people would joke that hind quarter was so sloped it wouldn't get wet in a heavy rain. And that hind quarter may be perfectly healthy and fine.

    For your stated use, a 'goose rump' would not be a big deal.

    And - a 'hunter's bump' or 'jumper's bump' may not be a 'problem.' Some horses develop a bunch of muscle right at that point simply from jumping or cantering. Some horses have a natural 'bump' there, too. In those cases, it's not a problem but many people would call it a 'hunter's bump.'

    However, some horses have injured that underlying joint where the spine and pelvis meet (the 'sacro-iliac' joint). If it is an actual injury, it doesn't usually (note, usually) feel like a nice supple, firm bump of muscle. But it is best to have a vet evaluate the hind quarter overall, and see if it's just a 'natural' bump of muscle, or an actual injury.

    So people use the term 'hunter's bump' to refer to two very different things - a lump of muscle that's not a problem, and an actual injury that can be a very nagging problem. And you'll find some horse folk assume any bump there is an injury. That's not a good thing to assume. Again, best to have a vet evaluate that.

    Now about 'roach back.' Most horse folk, whenever they see any area of the spine arching upward, say the horse has a 'roach back.' Most regard this as 'how the horse is built' and think it is a 'bad fault' in a horse. But in this case, her 'roach back' - the upward curve of her spine shortly before it meets her hind quarter - may be due to nothing more than thinness and lack of muscle development or 'fat pad' on her back.

    The other thing to know is that many race horses come off the track 'sore.' They just are sore all over. Their feet are sore from the hard surface track, they're muscle sore from hard work, and yes, some have specific injuries that need treatment. Some just need time, some need specific treatments.

    Now that you have some background information on all this jargon, let's look at your horse.

    So, the thing is, she's very thin and 'has no muscle'(muscle development) on her back. In addition, she looks very 'immature'(young, slender, less 'developed' muscle), and of a naturally fairly slender build.

    So what she has, appearance-wise, without delving into whether it's a problem or not, is simply called a 'ragged topline.'

    In other words, instead of one smooth line, if you look from behind her withers to her tail, that topline (literally, that line of her back, from her withers to tail) is bumpy or lumpy.

    Well there are muscles there, on her back, obviously, those muscles are still there, but they are not at all developed or giving her a nice smooth line to her back, and there is no 'padding' - no little bit of fat over all of it - to 'smooth out' her silhouette from behind the saddle to her tail. Both well-developed muscle and fat contribute to that 'smooth' look people seek(often without knowing why...).

    Now you sound very worried, so let me emphasize...I AM NOT SAYING YOUR HORSE IS UNSOUND OR LAME.

    However, in some horses unsoundness also contributes to the appearance of a 'ragged topline.' So, for example, if a horse were to have lameness in the hind legs, that will give the topline a 'ragged' look. Horses that are lame don't put as much muscle on their back. They restrict how they use their hind legs, in other words, and that in turn affects how muscular their backs look.

    But at this point, she's so thin that no one can tell, just from looking at pictures of her standing still, if she has a lameness issue.

    It may not even be possible to see lameness if she's briefly jogged right now. Resting and not working could cause any lameness she might have, to not be obvious when she's jogged. Resting might also cause any lameness she might have - to heal up.

    So we can't tell you if lameness contributes to this 'look' of hers.

    But regardless of cause, whether just due to inactivity, lack of feed, immaturity or some lameness, or whatever else might be involved, you see two things:
    1. An 'arch' to the spine before it reaches the hind quarter, then as the spine gets nearer the hind quarter, it appears to drop downward a little.
    2. And as a result, then there appears to be a prominent 'bump' upward, where the hind quarter starts. The so-called 'point of of croup' seems to stick up in the air too much.
    Now compare picture 1 to picture 2. Note that the 'problem area' looks better in picture 2, when she has her head lower. Picture 2 also makes it obvious how thin she is. Horses off the track often have thin looking necks where the topline of the neck looks like that due to use of an overcheck (it holds the neck in one position) - so that's part of this, but she's also just - thin.

    I'm going to give you a couple suggestions.
    1. Do not panic. Don't worry. People giving you dire news about your horse's ''goose rump'' probably don't know as much as they think they do.
    2. Have the horse evaluated by a veterinarian for lameness. All rescues should have such an evaluation. A brief glance by a track vet or the barn manager is not a lameness evaluation. All equine vets say they 'do lameness exams' - try to get a really good vet who does a lot of real soundness work(a so called 'leg man' or 'leg woman', but let me emphasize, a licensed veterinarian, not some self-appointed local expert in a big hat) for this evaluation. Get a reference from some very active riders who work closely with a vet, not people who insist no one needs a vet or that vets know nothing. Generally, there is one vet who everyone will tell you is 'the best leg man in the world.' They'll speak of him or her in reverential tones. That's the guy or gal you need to call. Often they stay at their clinic and you haul your horse to the vet. Probably need to do only once, so not a big deal.
    3. If the horse does have some problem with its legs or feet ('lameness') she's young, and most likely would recover. The 'leg man' can give you a good idea of the likelihood of recovery and give you a treatment plan that you follow religiously, to the letter. A lot of horses come off the race track with a leg or foot problem. Most of these problems are treatable and the horse recovers. Some injuries are due to the high speed and hard surface of racing, and the horse will never encounter such conditions again as a companion animal. And thus is not likely to have a problem with those injuries again, IF the treatment plan is followed.
    4. She will need to be wormed, probably needs flat front shoes to protect her front feet. Work that out with the vet.
    5. She needs a diet that will be safe, will help her SLOWLY put on weight and support muscle development. Magical feeds and supplements do claim to make muscles pop up out of nowhere. But that is not how this works. Muscles develop as a result of sensible work combined with a diet that has adequate protein and other nutrients, to support muscle development(horses don't need a ton of extra protein to 'grow muscles.' They only need a reasonable amount). Work out a simple, sensible diet for her with the vet. Don't fall for all these supplements. Keep it sensible and simple.
    6. Have a farrier who works well with your vet, and will follow his instructions. Have him trim/reset the shoes every six weeks or as directed by the vet.
    My humble guess is that if you do these things, your horse will be a great friend and companion for many trail rides, for many years.

     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    peg4x4, Hazels Mum and Saph like this.
  8. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    7,003
    Likes Received:
    8,860
    As far as I know a hunter's bump is caused by ligament or muscle damage in the pelvic/sacroiliac area or sacroiliac subluxation..so:
    I would get her looked at by a vet and depending on what they say, get her a chiro/massage appointment. But I don't think I would want to have a chiro work on her "blind".
    Does she have a pain response when you put pressure on her back in that area? Is she moving off or okay? Her stance makes me think "ouch", to me she looks uncomfortable/ to be in pain..
    I wouldn't worry about her weight, you'll get her there.
     
    Hazels Mum and Alsosusieq2 like this.
  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    24,987
    Likes Received:
    15,392
    I would not ride her til she has some more weight on her, and I would not try to get her to gain weight quickly. I would give her light exercise for a few minutes every other day - leading her from an ATV, walking her in hand, ponying her from another horse.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Hazels Mum and ginster like this.
  10. Hazels Mum

    Hazels Mum Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thankyou so much! I have been stressing (as a 'new horse mum' I have been feeling overwhelmed with lots of info and people telling me all sorts of things! I will definitely seek out a good vet (she had what you've put so well as a barn/stable vet glance to say yep, she'll be right, I think that's really all) and go from there! Thankyou again :)
     
    peg4x4 likes this.

Share This Page