kissing spine in the riding horse

Equine Kissing Spines

The exact cause of kissing spines is unknown but is thought to be related to conformation and development. 

UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Equine Integrative Sports Medicine Service

We agree but there is much more to it than the Vet’s realize!. Research the Internet and You will find little!

The Cause of Kissing Spines in the Horse

You can search the Internet, looking for the causes of Kissing Spines and have difficulty in finding info on it. However, thanks to the Thousands of aggrieved Horses that we have had the privilege’s to know, we can now document some of the reasons and some of them may surprise You:

  • Riding Horses ‘Above the Bit’ (read here)
  • Pleasure Riding with a Contact (here)
  • Standing around with a Contact (here)
  • Rider weight for size ratio
  • Ill fitting Saddles
  • Horse Conformation for the use
  • Sitting Trot when the Back is not yet developed
  • Leading whilst fighting with the Horse
  • and the other big one is NOT totally preparing the Young Horses athletically Prior to Riding.
  • A failure to ride ‘Inside Leg to Outside Rein

It is interesting, that the ‘Old Masters’ were big on preparing their Dressage Horses, on the Ground, for up to 2 Years, prior to ridden Training!!

We take 6 Months!!

Gustav Steinbrecht said in his book ‘The Gymnasium of the Horse’: “The training of the horse is based on gymnastic exercises according to the laws of nature, through which the [horse’s] whole muscular system is being conditioned and put into a direction, which will be useful to the rider.”

4 offending areas

Above the Bit

I won’t get technical. Just think about it with ‘Common Sense’ Do anything that de-generates the Topline and You contract the back


Pleasure Riding with a Contact

Under Muscles at the Gym, not the Topline

South Australian F.E.I. Dressage Horse of the Year

Standing around

The entire time You do it on a Contact, You are de-generating the supportive Topline!


Leading the Horse

Every pull, every tug, reef, resistance, You know where it goes.

So by now You have the gist of what we are saying. Do anything that exercises the under muscles instead of the Topline and You are negatively degenerating the supportive Muscles of the Back, Common sense, but as proof, here are a couple of my Wife’s Horses (that grow 4 inches of Topline Muscle in the first 12 Months of Training)

Anyhow, thanks for reading Folks. There has never been any ‘Kissing Spine’ in our House 😘


This Week in South Australia

The Lady received 8 Broken Ribs from a Riding accident off this Horse

This X Ray shows the Kissing Spine


This Week in South Australia

After the Operation

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