From the perspective of a lifetime horse
rider/breeder, rather than a zooarchaeologist, I would suggest this shows a
particular breed/type rather than any injury.
I would look to a horse in the Anulusian, barb etc
linage where tou see 5 lumbar vertebrae commonly or a fusion on
the 5th & 6th providing a short backed agile animal suitable for mounted
combat with strong hindquaters.
eg off the web due to lack of refs here
Ocracoke ponies have distinctive physical
characteristics: five lumbar vertebrae instead of the six found in other horses,
17 ribs instead of the 18 found in other horses, and a unique shape, posture,
color, size, and weight. For more information see the Ocracoke Island section of
On Spanish Colonial types and the fused lumber
I would , look for strong frontal indications
(eg chest neck)in a draught horse of that period with the system of harness that
was typically believed to be used and developed hindquaters in a ridden, mounted
combat horse which was expected to perform fast turns.
I would imagine modern vet refs would cover this
fusion in depth as there are many horses for this type of linage active in
dressage and many other equine sports and the variation of vertebrae number
is fairly commonly recognised by horse owners.
Professional horse back practitioners may also be
able to give you further insight into this.
Hope that is of some use.
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