Counting Ace’s Lucky Stars


Local horse by the name of Ace has a close call by the hands of death. Luckily, after going to the vet, it was only cactus thorns. “It only cost $30 to get the horse checked,” said Sid. “I’m glad we got him checked, by the way he acted this could have easily been Hunter’s Bump, I’m glad I got a second opinion rather than acting on my instincts.”

Local Horse Stuck in a Life or Death Situation

“What if he has it?” “Then we will have to end it, he can’t live in pain.” This was Ace’s grim fate, a 9-year-old registered quarter horse here in Groom, TX. He was full of energy and life until a few weeks ago. Doctors thought it was Hunter’s Spinal Disease or “Hunter’s Bump,” a painful pelvic condition that affects the horses performance and gait. Hunter’s bump is a prominence of the hip bone that lies at the highest point of the horse’s croup.

“Hunters Bump” has caused pain to many animals, forced them into retirement, and even taken their lives. Ace’s owner, Sid Montague, owns five registered quarter horses. Every six to eight weeks Montague has a chiropractor come pop his twenty-five year old, team roping horse. Around two weeks before the chiropractor was due to come to pop the old horse, Montague noticed that Ace had developed a bump on his back near the point at which his hips and his spine meet, Montague started to watch Ace’s behavior when he was alone and when he had the company of the other horses.

“Normally Ace would run to the barn when we arrived to feed, he would always be bucking and playing, running as fast as possible and leaving the other horses in his dust; but recently he is in the back of the other horses trotting slowly trying to keep up, he was hurting you could tell,” Kaytha, the wife of Montague said.

Montague had a similar perspective on it, but he noticed something else that his wife didn’t.  

“I had noticed him not acting like himself and beginning to roll more than normal, then I noticed the knot on his back.”  

They had the chiropractor go ahead and take a look at him when he came to do the normal check on Old Man, one of Montague’s other horses. He took a long look at him as Montague explained his difference in attitude. Due to the attitude change and the bump, it was likely that Ace had Hunter’s Bump and he would have to be put down.

“We went to put pressure near the spot where the knot was forming and he jumped five feet the other way, we couldn’t get close enough to do anything again,” Montague said.

On Friday Aug. 31,  Ace made a trip to the Claude Veterinary Clinic that he may or may not return from. At approximately 3:00 p.m. after running a few errands and licensed Veterinarian, Amber King, running more than just a few tests, Montague was back to hear the good or bad news.

“He doesn’t have Hunter’s bump, even though he is healthy, the bone in his back is normal for horses between the ages 9-13 and most likely won’t go back in, his rolling is due to a stomach ache and he was full of cactus thorns that caused him to be in a great amount of pain. He became slow because of the belly ache, just like humans when they have belly aches they don’t want to run or play, horses are the same way,” Montague explained.

Ace is one of the lucky ones, but many horses around the world have been affected by “Hunter’s Bump.” If you think that your horse could have this, go get the horse tested as soon as possible.

“It only cost $30 to get the horse checked,” Montague said. “I’m glad we got him checked, by the way he acted this could have easily been Hunter’s Bump. I’m glad I got a second opinion rather than acting on my instincts.”

More information on this painful disease can be found at