I was recently given the opportunity to read another horse book in time for it’s release. This one is another non fiction book – Spike by Alyssa knee. It focuses around a warmblood gelding named Spike. His owner Alyssa Knee details in the book how she came to own Spike and her challenges with managing his condition.
Spike suffers from lordosis, a congenital condition that affects the horse’s spine. Because of his condition, he has an extreme sway back. Consequently, fitting saddles is extremely difficult, which can greatly affect his comfort whilst being ridden.
Alyssa explains in her book Spike what challenges she has encountered as an owner of a lordotic horse. She explores too the misconceptions about the condition as well as the various professionals she has engaged to ensure the wellbeing of her horse.
Prior to reading Spike, I had heard of lordosis. However, I wasn’t actually familiar with what it is or how it affects the horse – and the horse’s owner! This book is a good start to opening people’s eyes about a condition that greatly affects horses that have it. Alyssa is able to show how affected horses can have a normal life, in spite of needing to be managed specially with regards to fitting tack.
Alyssa highlights the research she undertook to learn about Spike’s condition, the best type of saddle to fit to him and other things she could do to help him live a normal life and ensure his welfare. She even mentions a Facebook group that has been set up for owners of lordotic horses.
I found all of these points interesting to read about. However, I was disappointed to not have any reference points to check them out myself! This book was an insightful read that could be further improved by having a list of references for further reading at the end. The story of Spike is concluded with a list of questions and answers and some photos over the years. For those interested in reading about a horse with lordosis from the point of view of the owner, Spike is your go to book.