Question about possible saddle sore causes

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Question about possible saddle sore causes

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  • I got a saddle sore today and am riding again tomorrow what to do
  • Does wool cause saddle sores

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    10-02-2011, 12:19 AM
Question about possible saddle sore causes

My mare who I bought a new saddle for from aussie saddle supply who custom fit it to her from a wither tracing is getting white flaking hairs. The hairs are not real easy to see but definently noticeable, Not solid white patches. They are showing where the bars are on the back third of the saddle and are the same size as the bars. I bought a 30 dollar quilted pad for the saddle too, which I haven't washed since I got it 6 months or so ago. Just letting you know any info that might be of possible importance.

So I am wondering what could be the problem or would be your first thoughts for me look at more closely. By the way I was having problems with saddles sliding forward on her down hills so I got the new saddle and that problem went away. I am just getting really frustrated with trying to fit her all the time and am hoping that maybe it is because of the saddle pad being of poor quality. Anyway thanks in advance.
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    10-02-2011, 12:51 AM
Is she showing signs of soreness? Usually, they'll be sore long before the hair shows up white. Dirty pad might cause problems. Why haven't you washed it? Is it an English style or the thicker wool western style?
Does the saddle shift around a lot from side to side when the horse moves? Try lunging her in a round pen with her saddle on just as you would girth it up for riding. See if it moves a lot when she trots or canters.

Would you like to post some photos of the saddle on her, from various angles?
    10-02-2011, 02:05 AM
Originally Posted by Makoda    
My mare who I bought a new saddle for from aussie saddle supply who custom fit it to her from a wither tracing is getting white flaking hairs.
Sounds like a fair chance it's not fitting her. If they only went off a wither tracing, how did the 'custom fit' ensure the rest of the saddle was right for her? White hairs are usually an indication of pressure being on a certain area for a long time. As tiny said, a horse will usually show signs of soreness long before the hair changes, but horses are stoic animals & people often miss the signs or put it down to 'bad attitude' or such.

I bought a 30 dollar quilted pad for the saddle too, which I haven't washed since I got it 6 months or so ago.
Why haven't you washed it? How long have you had the saddle? Even if it was fitting her perfectly when you got it, horses & saddles both change shape over time/with the seasons, so you need to check a rigid saddle's fit every few months at least & get it adjusted/replaced if it isn't fitting. If the saddle fits well, it shouldn't need much in the way of padding under it & too thick padding can cause it to be too tight, not stable enough & can imbalance it.

One good way of checking saddle fit yourself is to use a white cloth/towel under the saddle. Tack her up with the white saddle cloth & no other padding and go for a good ride. At the end, take a good look at where the dirt and sweat marks are on it. Are they even from side to side? Are they pretty evenly distributed? Are there any pressure points or dry patches, where the horse should have sweated but didn't - sign of a lot of pressure? Of course, if you're pretty sure this saddle doesn't fit & is hurting her already, I wouldn't advise you do this & hurt her more for the sake of the experiment...

By the way I was having problems with saddles sliding forward on her down hills so I got the new saddle and that problem went away. I am just getting really frustrated with trying to fit her all the time
Yeah, one of the 'features' of stock saddles is that they have rather long forks and are close fitting around the horse's shoulders, which is great for keeping a saddle in place on a rough bush horse/ride, stockmen being able to throw them on different horses & know they'll 'grip' & stay put... not always the best for the horse though. As far as saddles slipping forward, this can be a problem with some builds of horse. Using a crupper or britching, and a breastplate for the opposite problem on steep uphills, is a good move if you're doing hilly rides.

Some horses are just harder to fit than others. I happen to have one of those too unfortunately and have tried numerous saddles on him over the years. Have you tried a treeless? They can be great and not being rigid, if they suit, you don't have to keep refitting with changing seasons. But contrary to what some beleive, I don't think they suit any horse & situation. I've tried a few different ones on my boy & unfortunately he's one of those that doesn't suit. I was starting to think the best I'd get for him would be a bareback pad! After a lot of research, I ended up making my own saddle for my boy, which I guess you could call a 'semi treeless' as it's got a 'tree' of sorts, but it's reasonably flexible.

Check out Balance International's website. They have a lot of info on saddle fit & specifics there which should help you. As with other subjects, it's important to learn the principles at least for yourself, so you can learn what's what & what is needed for your horse.
    10-02-2011, 11:18 PM
Well thanks for the replies. First off when I said I haven't washed the pad I mean in the washing machine. I do spray it off with the hose and let it hang to dry, but I don't know what good that does anyway.

So I had to ride her today because she is one of the best horses around and my nearing 70 yr old granny went for the ride. She never shows signs of being sore and she never baulks. I did watch from behind though today and did see that the back of the saddle does shift from side to side a bit.

Also my grandma said that if the damage was done from my western saddle while I was breaking her over the winter in it that could be a possibility as well. I have only had this saddle for a few months this summer.

Anyway the saddle is an aussie from aussie saddle supply so I am calling them tomorrow and we will figure it out. Even if I have to send it back in to be adjust again with multiple tracings down her back (which they said they would do for free if we had to). I'll probably upgrade to a better pad though as well and hopefully we figure it out.

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