Sensitive "flinchy" back while saddling
I bought Red in May. He's a 6-yr-old quarter horse gelding.
He has always been very "flinchy" when saddling. Either when I put the saddle pad on his back or setting the saddle on his back. I'll see all the skin on his back twitch, and sometimes he'll move away from me. As if the placing of the saddle is going to hurt him.
I always gently set and pad and the saddle on my horse's backs, with the opposite stirrup up. I know I wouldn't appreciate a stirrup flying through the air and smacking me in the bellly on the opposite side, so I don't do it to them by heaving the saddle up onto their backs.
He has never seen a chiropractor, but I have an appointment set up for February (before we get riding again after the winter) as well as a full health chec-up with the lameness specialist to make sure he doesn't have any health issues going on.
And when I cinch him up, I always do so gently, without yanking. And I won't make it very tight the first time, because I'll walk him a few steps before I get on, and then re-check and tighten then. And once he gets warmed up, I will re-check it to see if it needs to be tightened, if the saddle feels loose to me.
But when I cinch him up, he's always turning his head around to "watch" me. When I first got him, he tried biting me on two occasions, and he was reprimanded immediately for it. He's learned his lesson because he hasn't tried it again. I don't mind if he "watches" but those teeth better not come out.
I guess what I am getting at here, is just trying to figure out if he is just truly a "cinchy horse" ..... or if he might have something else going on.
I do believe my saddle fits him okay, but I am no expert by any means.
So besides a possibly chiropractice issue (which I will have checked in February, since I'm not exactly riding much at all right now), anything else anyone can think of?
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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.