In the Magazine: Kissing Spines Is Not a One-Shot Diagnosis

Excerpt from the December 2017 issue of Heels Down Magazine.

By Caroline Culbertson

In the first of this two-part series about kissing spines, Dr. Kenneth Marcella, owner of the KLM Equine practice in Canton, Ga., explains why diagnosing kissing spines isn’t always as simple as an X-ray.

A horse with a reputation of being a reliable jumper starts refusing. A dressage horse suddenly becomes reluctant to engage his hind end. A schoolmaster starts bucking, rearing, and planting his feet.

Plenty of ailments can cause behaviors like these – sore feet, painful joints, or poor saddle fit, to name a few. But an increasingly common diagnosis is being made when it comes to back pain: kissing spines.

Not all back soreness is caused by kissing spines, and perhaps more importantly, not every case of kissing spines causes pain in the horse. Dr. Marcella explains that there is cause for concern when horses with no clinical symptoms are labeled as “kissing spines horses”.

Read the full article and much more in the December issue. Download the Heels Down Magazine app in the iTunes AppStore: or Google Play for Android phones and tablets: Don’t forget, the first issue for new subscribers is FREE for 30 days, and we now offer annual subscriptions with two issues free! 

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