Experience with saddle causing lameness? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-21-2008, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Flower Mound, TX
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Ok, rode him last night.
No sign of a limp bareback, a little limp with a saddle (it wasn't even my saddle). I guess I'll be riding bareback for a while until we figure out the saddle issue. If how my legs are feeling today is any indicator, it'll be good exercize for me....
Has anyone ever tried a treeless dressage saddle? I've been seeing them online, they just don't look comfortable.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-21-2008, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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Horses & saddles both change shape over time, so should be checked every few months for fit. I think his neck is a possible indication this is a problem that has been going on for a while tho. The problem with pushing & prodding is firstly that you may get a reaction from any horse, depending on how you do it & their training, & you may not get a reaction from a horse who is accustomed to pain & or desensitised & learned not to react to what people do to it. Sounds like he's of the latter & you would only get a reaction if there was acute pain near the surface in a particular area.

Treeless saddles can be great, but I would hesitate to put one on a horse with back probs, an unfit horse(get them strong first), under a heavy or not so great rider.... It's also generally not good to use stirrups for more than light balance, or mount from the ground. A crupper & breastplate is also advisable too.

Tried a variety of treeless. You can get treeless that are essentially the same as a traditional english saddle, so if this is what you're used to, this may be the most comfortable for you. I don't think they're uncomfortable generally - often more cushy - but you do tend to sit a little wider, as treed saddles are often made narrow for rider comfort(& discount horse comfort)
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-22-2008, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Flower Mound, TX
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Loosie, he is in no way out of shape. His trainer (from the racing days) told me he is in as good a shape or better then during his racing days, he's been teasing me and asking if I wouldn't let him run just one last time. (No way!) The weight he gained is 90% muscle, dude is strong! The pictures pasted into the thread are from June, I'd only had him for 6 weeks at that time. If it works this picture is from October, it shows he's more bulky then he was.
Starship trot on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Don't know how to post the pictures in here, link will have to do.

As a racehorse he is used to being prodded and he does have a high tolerance for pain. So you are probably correct, unless it is acute and I have the exact spot he'll not react in a way that indicates pain.

In the near future he'll get new shoes and if that doesn't do it I'll have the chiropractor come out to have a look at him.

We'll just keep trying different things as it is a horrible idea to me that I may be causing him pain, however he is very smart, completely has me in his back pocket and he might just be messing with me.
We'll figure it out eventually.
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-22-2008, 03:43 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
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He looks fit and strong, it will just take time for him to learn to use himself more effectively.

I would have a chiro and massage therapist out NOW to treat him. He will improve faster and better if spinal and muscle issues are addressed. Both can also evaluate his saddle fit.

I would also highly recommend using a ThinLine pad. They are thin so they won't change your saddle fit, but they are VERY shock absorbing. They are great for horses who either have back troubles easily or horses that are very sensitive to saddles. My uber picky Anglo Arabian works very well in his ThinLine. I'd go with the Contour Pad as it works for most all saddles and covers more area than their half pad. They have a 30-day guarantee, so if it doesn't work out for you, you can return it.

You'll also want a saddle that's a tad wide on him, as he will continue to develop more muscle as he learns to use himself properly. A saddle that fits him now may not fit him a year from now, or even six months from now. I believe the Kieffer you have can be adjusted by a saddle fitter. You might call around and see if you can find one that knows how to adjust them.
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