Should You Buy a Horse with Kissing Spine

Should You Buy a Horse with Kissing Spine?

by | Jun 20, 2023 | Blog

Horses, with their tremendous power and majestic aura, have been not just friends, but partners to us humans for thousands of years. They hold a special place in our hearts, symbolizing both freedom and camaraderie. Nevertheless, just like any other living being, they are susceptible to various ailments that can significantly impact their quality of life. One such condition is ‘Kissing Spine’, a commonly diagnosed problem among horses. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned horse owner, the decision to buy a horse suffering from this condition necessitates careful contemplation and an understanding of the potential challenges and responsibilities ahead.

Understanding Kissing Spine: An Overview

The term ‘Kissing Spine’, also known as Impinging Dorsal Spinous Processes (IDSP), is used to describe a condition where a horse’s dorsal spinous processes – the parts of the vertebrae that protrude upward from the spine – come into contact with each other. This can lead to significant discomfort and pain for the horse, with common signs including back stiffness, sudden behavioral changes, sensitivity to touch, reluctance to jump, and issues with performance. It is vital to comprehend these symptoms and take action at the earliest, ensuring a suitable environment for your horse to live and thrive in.

Diagnostic Methods for Kissing Spine

The diagnosis of Kissing Spine involves a thorough clinical examination, typically followed by diagnostic imaging. Initially, a vet may perform a physical exam focusing on the horse’s back, looking for sensitivity, heat, or swelling. However, the most definitive diagnosis comes from imaging. X-rays are commonly used, but ultrasound imaging is gaining popularity as it provides a clearer picture of the soft tissues around the spine.

Remember, early and accurate diagnosis is key. For at-home care and monitoring, products such as the “FLIR C3-X Compact Thermal Camera” can be beneficial. This device allows horse owners to monitor their horse’s condition over time and spot any hotspots or changes early. However, always consult with your vet for professional advice.

Video for more information on kissing spine

Treatment Options for Horses with Kissing Spine

The management of Kissing Spine ranges from conservative treatments to surgical intervention, depending on the severity of the condition. Conservative management typically includes physiotherapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and specific back-strengthening exercises. Tools such as “Equilibrium Therapy Massage Pad” can aid in improving back muscle condition and provide relief from discomfort.

On the other hand, surgical treatments include procedures like interspinous ligament desmotomy (ISLD) or dorsal spinous processectomy (DSPE), both of which have shown notable success rates. Post-surgical care is crucial, and products such as “WeatherBeeta Therapy-Tec Combo Neck Rug” can promote recovery through increased blood flow and muscle function.

Finally, it’s essential to realize that you, as a horse owner, play a significant role in managing this condition. Your understanding, empathy, and commitment can make a world of difference in your horse’s well-being.

The Cost of Owning a Horse with Kissing Spine

Managing a horse with Kissing Spine does come with its financial implications. Initial diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or ultrasound, are just the beginning. Depending on the severity of the condition, the costs can spiral, considering various treatment plans, including physiotherapy sessions, medication, or even surgery. For example, NSAIDs like Equioxx can help manage the discomfort, but these do come with a recurring expense. If surgery is required, this can involve a substantial upfront cost.

In addition, there’s the ongoing care, which can include specialized equipment to aid in the horse’s recovery and comfort. An example would be the ‘Back on Track Therapeutic Mesh Sheet’, which is designed to increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and expedite recovery. It’s worth considering whether your insurance covers these costs and the implications if it doesn’t. The goal is to plan strategically and be financially prepared to ensure your horse receives the best possible care.

Ethical Considerations When Buying a Horse with Kissing Spine

Possessing a horse is not just about the financial aspect. It’s an emotional investment. You have a moral responsibility to ensure your horse enjoys a good quality of life, even if it means making difficult decisions. Owning a horse with Kissing Spine requires an understanding of the horse’s limitations, a commitment to its wellbeing, and a willingness to invest the time and resources into its care.

Products like the ‘Impact Gel Straight Back Felt Saddle Pad’ can provide relief and comfort during riding sessions, showing that you understand and respect your horse’s condition. But, it also means knowing when to retire your horse from work or competitive activity. These considerations are vital to maintaining an ethical and empathetic approach towards your equine friend.


Ultimately, buying a horse with Kissing Spine is a decision that should not be taken lightly. It demands a thorough understanding of the condition, a preparedness to bear the associated costs, and above all, a willingness to commit to the horse’s wellbeing. However, with the right approach, horses with this condition can still lead fulfilling lives.

This decision underscores the beauty of horse ownership – a journey that is not just about riding and competitions, but also about companionship, care, and resilience. It’s about recognising the strength in these noble creatures and ensuring that they continue to gallop, with heads held high, towards the horizon of their lives, with you right beside them every step of the way.

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Issabella Mitchel</a>

Issabella Mitchel

Isabella is a remarkable equestrian and racehorse trainer, hailing from the horse capital of the world, Kentucky. Growing up in the heart of bluegrass country, she developed a deep affinity for horses from an early age.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This