Cold-Backed? Or? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 11-11-2010, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 324
• Horses: 1
Cold-Backed? Or?

I had an unusual encounter with a horse the other day. I must say, I've been lucky enough to only ride and own horses without any significant special needs. This horse exhibited an unusual "quirk", which I will get into.

I walked her in hand, trotted her in hand, lunged her... she was such a good girl - very eager to please, gentle and kind.

I walked her up to the mounting block, where I sort of dilly-dallied and fiddled with putting presure in the saddle to see her response. Unfortunately, the owner (who no longer rides) was the only one there - the trainer who works with this mare (she is in her late teens) was at work. Sooooo - I broke my own rule and mounted a horse I didn't know without seeing a demonstration first I climbed aboard very gently from a mounting block and just sat quietly for a moment. I could feel the horse tensing up a bit. When I gave her a squeeze to urge her forward, I was surprised when she arched her back upwards.

After a few instances of walking forward a few steps, stopping and arching upwards, I finally quit using my leg and started using voice commands. The mare went forward very nicely and did not offer to stop again.

Been racking my mind since then to figure out what is up with the "hunching" she started out with, and the only thing I've heard of that comes to mind is "cold backed".

If it is cold-backed, should I be worried that this mare could become progressively wore? Do horses "recover" from being cold-backed? Are they actually sound for riding? Does chiropractic manipulation help? Are there stretches that can be done? I was thinking of a few, including one where you run your fingers up from the center of the belly and up the sides to get the horse to "arch up" and stretch/flex their muscles.
leonalee is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 13 Old 11-12-2010, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 212
• Horses: 2
I don't know much about this topic... just heard about "cold backed" horses. But I actually broke a mare last year that would always buckle at the knee when you cinched up the saddle... So I always took it very slow and cinched it up in many increments. Interesting to remember that horse after reading this :

Why a horse gets a cold back, treatment, how to cope
ImagineThat is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 11-12-2010, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,892
• Horses: 2
To me, it sounds like she was probably feeling a little frisky. Two horses that I ride the second you are in the saddle they are walking around all humped up. We walk until the hump goes down. With izzy, if you ask for more than a nice relaxed walk while hes humped up, he will buck like a bronc.
corinowalk is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 11-12-2010, 11:48 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: AR
Posts: 50
• Horses: 1
Ive always heard that the humping in the back is that they are frisk and fixing to give you a rodeo buck off so we walk ours untill they are warm and the cold back is gone and they arent fixing to buck
morganslittleleo is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 11-13-2010, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 324
• Horses: 1
Hmm... this mare was so sweet and calm in hand, and lunged so easily and calmly. She didn't show any displeasure or aggression doing anything on the ground. Before mounting, while I messed around with putting pressure in the saddle, she kept turning and looking at me. The trainer who had been working with her was unavailable to tell me how she did things that day, and I was told the horse was used as a lesson horse and had not ever bucked, reared or bolted by some very trustworthy people. Also - I used my saddle on her, which was new to her. The owner (who does not ride any longer after a bout with illness) said that she thought it was perhaps my saddle combined with us trying to figure one another out. It was kind of like when I relaxed, she relaxed.

I've decided that I'd like to try again with this mare with a longer warm-up lunge, and add in some stretches. From there I will do a lot of walking while mounted doing circles and serpentines, etc... until I feel like we are understanding one another clearly.

Anyone with a clear experience with a horse hunching their back and it's indications/causes/resolution want to weigh in? I am planning on going back to work with the trainer in the near future... I think the one on one interaction will be much more enlightening, as opposed to emailing :/ Eh...
leonalee is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 11-13-2010, 01:27 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: at the barn
Posts: 338
• Horses: 0
Not sure why she's arching her back but I can tell you it dosnt sound like cold back. I used to ride a gelding who was cold backed and if he was feeling the effects of it he would usually roll or do a strange hop upwards, almost like a tiny rear. And if she is cold backed, the lunging should have warmed her up sufficiently... And yes they are sound to ride with the correct provisions made!!
Posted via Mobile Device
sullylvr is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 11-13-2010, 02:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 212
• Horses: 2
I wonder if your saddle didn't fit her well? I have ridden plenty of horses that aren't going to do much, just get that "hump" in the beginning. I recently owned a horse that was kinda humpy like that, and I would let him walk for longer than I normally did on others... but get right into "working". I would ask for some bend, do little circles, just little exercises to get him to focus.
ImagineThat is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 11-13-2010, 03:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,179
• Horses: 4
Latte does the hump - sometimes more, sometimes less. I don't really know if it is just because she is a very tense horse and very green, or a saddle issue. I should find out soon as I'm planning on getting a new saddle for her. It's a funny little quirk though.

I make sure to keep her on a small flexed circle until she relaxes to make sure it can't turn into anything more serious - it hasn't yet though...
Posted via Mobile Device
wild_spot is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 11-13-2010, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,091
• Horses: 0
my mare will do this and normally about 10 minutes of walking on loose rein will relax her and get her in "right" frame of mind to work

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
Peggysue is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 11-13-2010, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 324
• Horses: 1
Thanks for all of the input guys - it is reassuring to hear that not every horse that humps it's back up is indicating to you that a bronc experience is in your near future!!! I guess I am usually the type of person that wants to give each horse a chance to prove itself... unless it is obviously dangerous... I can't wait to have the one-on-one time with the trainer and get her in-person insights! I will post probably sometime next weekend after I've had a chance to get with the trainer! Thanks again!

ImagineThat and Wild_Spot: by chance were either of your horses broodmares at any point in their life? Or is it just kind of a "quirk" of your horses? Another thing the owner, trainer and I have discussed is that because of the mare's history as a broodmare, she might need some chiropractic adjustments due to hips expanding, postural changes during pregnancies, etc.

Last edited by leonalee; 11-13-2010 at 10:39 AM.
leonalee is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cold Backed alexis19smith Horse Health 9 11-28-2010 11:17 PM
A cold backed horse? RiosDad Horse Training 13 11-04-2009 05:23 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome