What is a Kissing Spine?
A kissing spine describes a painful condition in a horse, otherwise known as overriding dorsal spinous processes. A kissing spine is usually brought about by poor posture causing the vertical protuberances of each spinal vertebra to rub together, leading to pain and swelling.
Signs of Kissing Spines
Horses with this condition tend to tense their backs under the weight of a rider, thus resulting in a hard and stiff back with little ability to side-bend. From this the horse’s performance will deteriorate and the rider will feel uncomfortable when riding the horse. If the painful structures are jarred by a rider landing heavily on the horses back or by the horse tripping, it can go into a sudden fit of bucking or pigrooting.
As mentioned before, poor posture is a large cause for a horse to develop a kissing spine. Dr Bidstrup views that one of the most common causes of back pain and poor posture is that of the residual neurological effects of birth canal trauma.
Veterinary diagnosis of the condition will generally start with palpation and followed to confirmation with a number of tests. Local anesthetic is injected in between the vertebrae suspected of painful kissing to see if the signs of pain are eliminated from this test. There are many scans that may also be used but they require a large amount of expense. According to Spinal Vet Br Bidstrup in many cases much can be done before such expense could be necessary. He and colleagues of the Australian Veterinary Chiropractic Association believe that kissing spines are part of a complex postural issue, and in most cases is readily treatable by taking the ‘whole horse approach.’
Soreness from kissing spines can be alleviated by rest, and the problem may be resolved by extensive periods of rest. “Many people are too impatient to see this course of action” states Dr Bidstrup. ” And without dealing with the causes the problem is very prone to re-occurrence.”
According to conventional veterinary practice, surgery combined with physiotherapy based on massage and exercises is considered the most successful solution. The kissing spine soreness in some horses can be settled also by the approach of cortisone injections into the spine.
Tommy Woodcock & Pharlap
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Examples of great indoor riding arenas
We’ve built some excellent indoor riding arenas in our time – and we build a new one every 2 weeks.
We find that it’s helpful to have a look through some of our past projects if you’re deciding on what to build – or if you’re just interested.
Below are some good examples of great riding arenas.
This Ballarat indoor riding arena is a classic style and a classic colour. The open walls and the skylights let in a beautiful amount of light, making the space a pleasure to ride in.
Three sided arenas are a popular choice because they allow in light and breeze, but keep out colder weather.
A similar style, this indoor doesn’t have the skirting around the base. This costs slightly less but is just a pleasant to ride in once your inside the arena.
This project was built in Coonooer Bridge, Victoria.
A smaller option is to build an arena cover for half of your arena, as with this cover in Longlea, near Bendigo.
This allows you to train or perform in a smaller section of your arena under poor weather conditions.
This is a great option that opens up your space.
For larger projects, clients sometimes design equestrian complexes. The complex below, built in Mickleham, has an arena, stable and other facilities.
Stables that are directly attached to indoor arenas are excellent and functional.
This stunning building, in Goldie, Lancefield, shows the indoor arena from the stable area.
A great example of the power of a simple indoor arena. This silver-coloured indoor lets in light excellently and opens up a bright riding space.
This building is in Curlewis, Geelong.
Another cover-only, this cover extends over the entire riding arena. The results are much more open.
This cover will keep away the weather, but is also highly accessible for riders, their horses and their vehicles.
This cover is in Bald Hills, Hepburn.
Position is everything, as with this Swan Hill indoor. This client chose to build their indoor beside a row of trees.
The open side lets in the light, but the pine trees for a wind break.
Great landscaping can also improve the overall value of an indoor. This beautiful building has a rustic wooden fence and some tastefully placed plants that add a little something extra.
This indoor is in Redhill, on the Mornington Peninsula.
Curved arenas are available for those that want to make a bit more of an impression. The roof on this indoor really emphasises the size of the building, making the riding space seem huge.
This indoor is in Yellingbo, in the Yarra Ranges.
Another complex on the Mornington Peninsula, with more that just riding space; this project included a barn separate to the stable/indoor building.
Another riding arena cover, in Woodend, with jumps out the front.
An open-sided arena with lighting for night riding. This indoor is in Gruyere, in the Yarra Ranges.
Download our new brochure to see our exclusive collection of combined stable & indoor complexes.