Signs of a sore back? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-24-2012, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Signs of a sore back?

I have an 8 year old mare who has had a sore back in the past. It hasn't been sore in a while, but the other day riding her she dropped her head down and stopped a lot, and was reluctant to go. When I asked for anything faster than a walk she would kick out and stop. She has done stuff like this when I've ridden other times, sometimes just a couple times then she acts normal.
She hasn't had much training in the past, and is in the process of re-training. She acts nasty and does weird things sometimes, so I'm not sure if she's in pain or just doesn't want to work.
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-24-2012, 11:55 PM
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Hoof pain can be miscontrued as back pain depending of course on where the response occurs. I hope you had a vet check done at time of purchase to determine where she was sore and if it was caused by a saddle or lameness.To determine if she's sore in one or both front hooves, walk her on the lead then ask for a tight turn. If she's ok she will step one foot in front of the other. If she's sore it will be more like a shuffle as she shortens her stride to get the weight off the offending hoof. Be sure to assess both ways and do each side a few times to look for consistancy. If she's sore in one, she will step over to one direction but not the other. See if she will trot beside you and see if she is trotting or seems choppy.

Last edited by Saddlebag; 11-25-2012 at 12:00 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-25-2012, 12:01 AM
Green Broke
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Try this: run your knuckles with moderate pressure down her back parallel, to her spine, on both sides of her spine. Pay special attention to the places your saddle tree touches and areas prone to ouchy-ness -- e.g both sides of the withers, the loin, the lowest part of your horses's back. Observe the results. Did she move? Pin her ears? Shake her head? Did her back muscles shiver? Did she duck down? Turn her head to look at you?

Those are all signs of discomfort. Sometimes a horse's reaction is slight and sometimes it's very apparent. Sometimes it's nice to have a second person watching your horse for these signs.

Just because she doesn't react to this test doesn't mean there isn't a pain issue. A chiro might be able to help. Does your saddle fit? Are you a light and balanced rider? There are so many reasons for acting out undersaddle. Before you brand her as bad, make sure there isn't a health or pain issue that makes working uncomfortable.

Last edited by Brighteyes; 11-25-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-25-2012, 12:02 PM
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Could be your saddle is to narrow across the withers sometimes that will make them duck their head down to releive the pressure. Could be pain related what shes doing or lack of training. You need to rule out pain first before you label her a bad horse once that pain has be ruled out. Then you can adress the training issues get a vet out for a good exam from head to toe. Have a lameness exam and have the vet check for back pain if you cant do that yourself.
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back problem , dropping head , sore back , training

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