Sorry to hear he/she has kissing spines. Thought you may like to hear of my experiences, it is always great to hear other people's stories. My homebred PB Welsh Cob has kissing spines in 3 different places, he has not had a hard working life, and has been a fantastic ridden and in hand showing cob for many years, he was diagnosed 4 years ago by scintigraphy testing. Steroid injections were attempted whilst under sedation, but he found this too uncomfortable, and is needle shy. Operating was not practiced then, Physiotherapy was suggested, and carried out at home after an initial consultation. He was worked on the lunge only, lightly to begin with using a chambon to encourage him to work long and low. I was shown how to massage his worst area behind the saddle area, and as it was winter I also used 2 hot water bottles (tied together) under his night rug first thing before turnout (not boiling hot), I also stitched magents to the underside of his fleece. Prior to exercise I would carry out stretching exercises using treats to encourage him to use and stretch his neck. This all took around six months, with about 4-5 physio callouts, in between this I chose to use a local Shiatsu therapist, my cob loved these visits, he was so calm and content. I carried this on for about 6 months too, one visit per month until he was signed off. As he responded so well to the lungeing work (he was quiet to lunge luckily), I commenced with riding lessons & schooling with light hacking. In time we went back to Showing with huge success.
In conclusion, the vet report I had originally received for my horse telling me the worst and was devastating at the time, but with wonderful people and time, he ended up receiving much praise from judges. I am so glad we chose this route, it has made me a much better person for understanding his movement, he is happy I am happy. I have found he is much happier and more comfortable living out 24/7, he is constantly moving around. I also fed him, with care, Selenium and Cider Vinegar, along with joint supplements.
I guess it depends on the individual horse, and how severe the kissing spines is, how much time you have to help him/her, and finances. Retiring my boy was the last thing on my mind, I was determined to help him and being able to ride him again one day would be a bonus let alone compete again, even low cross country, the day he becomes too uncomfortable for me to ride him he will tell me. Having him put to sleep is out of the question, he is so happy in himself. He does now have a quieter pace of life.
Talk to as many people as you can, and find out as much as possible before chosing the route to take, it maybe worth speaking with therapists, although you may have to have your vet recommend this route if chosen.
Good luck with things, if you want to talk further I'm more than happy to e-mail.