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Question about length of lumbar spine
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Leah
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 Posted: Wed Dec 19th, 2007 11:02 pm
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As I have mentioned in another thread I am working my way through the Principles of Conformation Series.

I have completed volume one and have just completed the back chapter in volume 2.

I was wondering if there is any 'guide' for the length of the space between the LS joint and the line connecting the points of hip...

In other words I know the closer the LS is to this line the better and the further the distance can indicate a loin to long and potentially weak.

Is there any distance that is TOO long? I am certain it is relative to the overall shape of the triangle when viewed from above but would like to know if, for example the LS sits 3 inches behind this line that is a HUGE weakness? I mean it is huge of course...but end of career huge?

I hope this question doesn't show my total ignorance on this topic.

Last edited on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 01:21 pm by Leah

Leah
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 Posted: Thu Dec 20th, 2007 04:50 pm
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Oh goodness after measuring some things today...let me make one change to my question.

 

Let's 'assume' a horse's LS was 5-6 inches behind the point of hip...and just 'assume' the last rib sits about 6-7 inches in front of the point of hip.

Would this horse be forever painfully to long to be ridden?

 

This is actually the measurements I took on my horse from the "Kissing Spine" thread.

Last edited on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 06:21 pm by Leah

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Dec 20th, 2007 09:32 pm
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Ahh, yes, Leah. "How long is too long" is a comparative statement. That means we have to gauge how long one horse is in a given bodypart against how long other horses are in that same bodypart.

In other words -- this is a question of experience. Have you yet had the opportunity, or taken the time, to go out and gain this broad experience?

"Broad experience" means you went to many horse shows, meetings, stables, gatherings, expos or whatever, with the express purpose of just keeping your eyes open to see what is to be seen there.

You will find some horses with very long lumbar spans, others with very short ones. Which breeds do they typically belong to?

Only after you've done this are you in a position to fit your own horse into the spectrum of all that is out there.

It is not a question of "how many inches of lumbar length", it is a question of "how many inches COMPARED TO the total length of the horse's body." And THEN it is a question of the proportional length in your horse vs. all the other horses.

There is one sense in which the proportional length of the lumbar span may be used -- without reference to the spectrum of other horses; and that is in the matter of assessing him for athletic capability. For the weakest part of a horse's back is the part that does not bear ribs, and there is a correlation between long lumbar span and greater difficulty in collecting. Long-backed horses tend to be better at lateral work than they are at collected trot; and they tend to be better at passage than piaffe. So it is not a question of rejecting the horse on this basis unless the length is so extreme as to contribute to unsoundness or actual breakdown.

So what you need most, Leah, is to go out and get the broad experience, and do me the favor of taking a little more than one day with those books you have just received. I took longer than that to write them.

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

Leah
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 Posted: Thu Dec 20th, 2007 09:44 pm
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No ma'am! I have not yet had the opportunity to go and observe through new eyes! But that is my plan I assure you!

Thank you for your answer to a question I likely asked prematurely. I will file it for when I am better equipped to use it :-)

Please don't be offended by my initial fast read of your books...I have an odd way of learning.

I do a 'pass through reading' so I can see where I am going (for some odd reason I HAVE to know where I am going..and old habit from school that has served me well)...then I follow up with a 'true' reading-small small doses and I take notes...then I go back and do a slower but full reading again to get the complete picture with details.

Odd I am sure but it seems to work well for me.

So in the long run it will actually take me quite long to 'complete' the reading.

Looking forward to looking at horses!

Thank you again and Happy Holidays.

 


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