Pain around withers? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Question Pain around withers?

My niece who is an experienced horse person was at my place on the weekend and we were doing some ground work with with my horse, a 14yo TB mare.

She saddled her up for a bit of lunging. When she put pressure on the stirrup (testing her reaction to pressure) or pushed down at the front of the saddle, my horse would turn her head to bite and tried to cow kick her several times.

Today, I used just my fingers and pressed the area either side of her spine at her withers, with just a little pressure, and she did the same to me. Chomp chomp!

Does this indicate an issue that I might need a chiro or physio for?

I am new to horses, only had her a couple of months. I haven't ridden her yet. She was ridden occasionally where she used to be.

Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 10:30 PM
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Most definitely! Call the chiro/vet!

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 10:34 PM
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I second that. Call the chiro/vet, whichever one you can get in to see sooner. It is entirely possible that this was caused by an ill-fitting saddle. Does your saddle sit low on her withers?

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post #4 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 10:45 PM
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Are there any white spots around the withers or along the back? Sometimes that indicates repetative sore spots from an ill fitting saddle or injury.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 11:02 PM
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I agree re: calling the chiro and/or vet. Also absolutely check saddle fit. It sounds like the saddle is pinching and/or hitting in the withers, causing when there is weight in the saddle at ALL for her to become sore. If it made her sore enough, she'd be sensitive even when there was no rider on her back.

A saddle needs to fit allowing wither clearance and full clearance of the spine and sit evenly along the muscles of the shoulder and back without causing any pinching, bridging, or pressure points. Sounds like an ill-fitting saddle was the initial culprit and now her back is likely out.

Best bet is chiro imo, followed up by a professional saddle fitter who can help you find a saddle that won't cause the issue going forward. Then longing to loosen her up and rebuild the damaged muscles and by the time you are ready for saddle work again in a properly fitting saddle the wither pain and issues should be a thing of the past.

Best of luck to you!

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post #6 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 11:22 PM
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Hi Froggie,

Yeah, you should get a chiro out and look at the saddle fit. Was there a time when she let you ride in that saddle without complaining? Was if for a very long time? It is very wise to deal with this ASAP because it will harden into habitual behavior if you ignore, and then, even after being helped to be pain free via treatment and/or different saddle, she may continue with this bad behavior.

Good luck and good to hear from you again.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I have sent off some enquiries to try and get a chiro out asap.

My SIL noticed a distinct hump across her rump during the session as well, which she said can be tension. I thought was always there and it is still there now. Here is a pic of it that I took today, is it normal? Tension? Conformation? The possible cause of, or a result of, her back her issues?

Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hump.jpg (77.1 KB, 667 views)
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 11:50 PM
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ack! That can be due to damage and/or hardening of the ligmaents around the spine at the SI joint. I'd def get a chiro out for sure to see if they can adjust her and then perhaps a massage to help the muscles relax and go back into place.

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post #9 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 11:53 PM
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I shot from the side so we can see this hump in relation to the whole back would help. She justmight have her Sacro Illiac area out.
Will be so interested to hear what the chiropractor says.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-16-2011, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent thanks. I am getting some advice to get someone in to "sort her out" but my preference to to address physical issues first that might be the cause of the behavioural issues.

Maybe I will be a good horse woman after all!

Thanks everyone.
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