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kissing spines

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Last activity 2023-10-14 10:48 PM
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   General Discussion -> Barrel Talk
Reg. Nov 2021
Posted 2023-05-24 11:48 AM
Subject: kissing spines


Posts: 1

my barrel horse was always ridden in a treeless before i bought her. when i got her i rode her in my masters and recently she has been having back pain and don't wanna turn a barrel. she was diagnosed with kissing spines. i have a bob marshal treeless i can ride her in but i hate the way it sits me! any recommendations??  

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Reg. Dec 2007
Posted 2023-05-25 1:50 PM
Subject: RE: kissing spines


Posts: 230
Location: On My Horse!

I would take her to a good performance veterinarian for a full lameness exam and have x-rays done. Depending on the severity, she may would need surgery. (Bone shave and/or ligament snip) If its mild, you may be able to get away with injecting the back. It varies from horse to horse. From there, work on lounge lining in something like a Pessoa. That will help build up her topline and keep her core strong. Also, carrot stretches, Magna wave and lots of physio.

Kissing Spine can be secondary to something else. For example, Negative Palmer Angles in the hooves, bad saddle fit, hind end lameness or confirmation. Mine has very mild kissing spine, which I attribute to her NPA behind. We have her on a 5-week shoe cycle and are working hard with our physio. Once one is diagnosed with Kissing Spine, it’s something to be aware of long term. Personally, I believe surgery is a bit of a band-aid as bone can remodel over time. Some will argue this-please don't attack me lol 

I do ride in a Bob Marshall and I have for about 20 years. I use a CSI pad. Make sure you are providing spinal clearance. I hope this helps some. Good luck!

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Reg. May 2010
Posted 2023-08-21 12:57 PM
Subject: RE: kissing spines

Thread Hog

Posts: 5885
Location: Beecher IL

JRJ are this some great information you provided. Strengthing that back will help long term and being aware of how your horse is carrying themselves. It is important to ensure you are providing some sort of spinal clearance, saddle pad or saddle. I had two diagnosed, one with 3 veterbrae touching and one with 6 and cyst on them so he got surgery. The other I am rehabbbing and we did inject her back. Chiro is really important too keeping them aligned 

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Reg. Aug 2006
Posted 2023-08-29 12:52 PM
Subject: RE: kissing spines


Posts: 1430
Location: Montana

Not an expert by any stretch and you have gotten good advice here.  I just wanted to throw out something I saw the other day and thought was really interesting, especially for kissing spine horses.


Then go to available, Platinum saddles, new, and look for Spinal Relief which is built to keep the saddle totally off the spine.

I haven't ridden one.  Full disclosure, the owner of this company rides a mare I raised.  That's her on the home page, winning the eastern regional qualifier to The American this year.  I can tell you Kathleen really cares about horses so I think she makes great saddles.  Lots of very competitive people ride them.  Long way of saying I think the saddle would be worth a look. 

I rode a treeless saddle when I was very, very young.  It was called a saddle pad.  Oh, sorry.  That was snarky.  But my father was a really great custom saddle maker and he'd come back and haunt me if I rode a treeless saddle. ;-

Good luck!

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Reg. Mar 2004
Posted 2023-10-14 8:49 PM
Subject: RE: kissing spine

Elite Veteran

Posts: 897
Location: Glendive Mt.

I am sad to say if the horse isn't feeling good, no saddle is going to change that without the treatment. You can have those areas injected and it makes a HUGE difference. Before I would go buy a different saddle I would do that. I have had two with it. The only option was surgery The second one I had injected first and that did work awesome but I wanted a permenant fix so I had the surgery done. 


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Reg. Sep 2016
Posted 2023-10-14 10:48 PM
Subject: RE: kissing spines

Elite Veteran

Posts: 891

Have you tried a Tammy Fischer?

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