sore back: saddle or farrier
   

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sore back: saddle or farrier

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  • Horse sore back from saddle
  • How can you tell if horses back is sore

 
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    04-01-2013, 09:46 PM
  #1
Weanling
sore back: saddle or farrier

My farrier is telling me that my custom made saddle is making my horseís back sore. Other friends are telling me that the farrier is causing my horses back to be sore. He just had his yearly check up and the vet didnít notice anything wrong. I donít know what to think.
Here is my situation. The last couple of times my farrier shoed my horse she said that he was very sore in his back and was having trouble standing when she was shoeing him. She said that he would be shaking when she lifted his leg to shoe. I had rode him on Saturday and today is Monday and she shoed him today saying he was sore. He rode great on Saturday; I didnít notice any signs of soreness. Saturday night when I brushed him down after the ride he didnít act like he was sore anywhere. On Sunday, I was not able to let him out of the stall to late that night because of it being Easter Sunday and had a lot going on at Church and with family.
I let him out last night and he was running around and acted like he always does. He does not have any sore places visible on his back but when I ran my hand down his back after she shod him he did seem a little sore. I think a lot of my farrier and think she has always done a great job.
I have had others to check the way this saddle fits my horse and they said they didnít think that was the problem. I am puzzled and concerned about my horse. I want some input from others to see what you think or what else I need to do to see what the problem is. This is the horse that I bought last year and she started shoeing him about the same time that I got the saddle so I am not sure. Due to the rough winter I haven't been riding him much this winter. I did take him out on a three hour ride Saturday but he was not pushed hard and he never acted like he was in any distress the whole time I rode him. I did use a different saddle pad , this one is not as thick as the one that I ususally use. Could this be the problem?
     
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    04-02-2013, 04:28 AM
  #2
Trained
Sounds more like a hoof or leg issue than a back issue to me...

I have had a horse that had severe and I mean SEVERE back pain [nearly fell to the ground when you touched his back because it was that bad!] and he was never, not even at his worst, struggling to hold himself up for the farrier. However the TB filly I own now, when she had a minor bout of laminitis, literally collapsed when I picked up one of her front feet. She doesn't have a very high tolerance for pain and that bout of lami combined with her girthiness [she had a saddle on and girthed up at the time] resulted in total collapse.

My current gelding gets sore in his loins and can struggle a little to hold up his hind feet at times but never pulls away or shakes or collapses... he just leans on me. I won't let any professional farrier anywhere near him because of it, too many of them give a horse what-for for leaning and Monty can't not. But when he had a hoof issue [bad cracking] he nearly fell over when I picked up the opposite foot. Currently he has a knee issue, arthritis I think, and is great to pick out but difficult to trim because he struggles to keep his forelegs bent for long enough for a full trim.

I would eliminate all variables. Post hoof pictures for us for critique, have a saddle fitter look at the fit of the saddle, have a bodyworker of some description go over the whole horse for sore spots, etc etc. I like equine chiropractors but there are many kinds of bodywork. Acupuncture works really nicely too. I'm not a fan of Bowen Therapy but a lot of people swear by it.

Oh and one more thing. Just because MY experience indicates that back pain doesn't cause the issue you describe, doesn't mean that it can't. All horses have different levels of pain tolerance.
     
    04-02-2013, 07:00 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Are you sure your saddle is in good shape internally?

Could be tree is broken, could be saddle wasn't made right too.

I've seen some strange things with saddles. Dixieland Gaited Saddles comes to mind quickly.

What brand is it and how long have you had it?

Also, while you may not think a 3 hour trail ride is much after horse has been off all winter?

You try being really active for that length of time and tell me whether or not you are sore?

Chiro would be my thoughts, and massage too.

Somewhere something is wrong, and you need to get this figured out before you make it worse.
     
    04-02-2013, 08:17 AM
  #4
Trained
Your horse could be sore from working for 3 hours when it had the whole winter off.

I was also thinking hock soreness. Horses who are hock sore often are back sore because of it as well. This also might explain the trouble holding up a hoof for an extended period.
     
    04-02-2013, 08:57 AM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palomine    
Are you sure your saddle is in good shape internally?

Could be tree is broken, could be saddle wasn't made right too.

I've seen some strange things with saddles. Dixieland Gaited Saddles comes to mind quickly.

What brand is it and how long have you had it?

Also, while you may not think a 3 hour trail ride is much after horse has been off all winter?

You try being really active for that length of time and tell me whether or not you are sore?

Chiro would be my thoughts, and massage too.

Somewhere something is wrong, and you need to get this figured out before you make it worse.

To answer some of the questions: The saddle is a Jack Haggis Field Trial Saddle it is about a year old. The saddle is in great shape. It could have been the 3 hr. Ride. But I don't think so. I think he would be tired and sore but not to the point that he couldn't hold himself up when being shoed. Also, the ride was three hours because we stopped a lot giving them breaks as far as the amount of miles we actually went was not more than 10 miles. Yes, I have walked about half of that after coming off of a break before. Within two days I was over it. I used to play basketball and run track.

I agree something is wrong and I have to find out what is going on. I have scheduled another vet check but won't be able to see vet until Thursday he is on spring break with his family. My friend that is a vet, is now working in another county and would not be available until sometime next week ( I don't want to wait).

I checked his hocks this morning and they may be a little swollen but not much but they are not hot. I ran my hand down his back again and he seemed a little tender in one spot. I tried lifting his leg and he started trembling again. This has really got me worried.

I don't know of an equine chiro in my area but my neighbor happens to be a message therapist and she is going to check him out later today. I am very concerned and until I can get the vet check him out again I am trying to figure it out because I don't want to make it worse. I am hoping that I can get some insight from others that may have experienced something similiar.

I appreciate all thoughts on it. I am totally puzzled.
     
    04-02-2013, 09:03 AM
  #6
Weanling
I am thinking along the lines of blue eyed pony that it sounds more like a hoof or leg issue than a back issue. It is very muddy in our fields and I am wondering if he has pulled something.

He is eating good but I notice that when he streatches out to pee it takes him a loooong time to go. He doesn't have a bean but I am wondering if it could have something to do with his kidneys. I am really concern, I may call my friend back and see if she could come any sooner like today.....
     
    04-02-2013, 09:16 AM
  #7
Showing
When a horse is sore in the front hooves, the pain path will affect him up to the poll then along his back to his hind ankle area. If a horse responds to a thumb pressure test about where the bars sit, there may be a response that makes the owner think saddle. The response can be the same for both. Also with hoof soreness, the horse may have a tolerance for his own weight but not the weight of a rider. These are all things that drives us nuts trying to resolve. If he was sore only after shoeing then that is the first place to check. Your farrier may not want to admit that she's made a mistake. If you can, try riding him bareback at the walk, on the straight and also tight circles in both directions. If he's hoof/tendon sore he'll be a bit stumbly as he turns. It might help you narrow it down.
     
    04-02-2013, 09:34 AM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
When a horse is sore in the front hooves, the pain path will affect him up to the poll then along his back to his hind ankle area. If a horse responds to a thumb pressure test about where the bars sit, there may be a response that makes the owner think saddle. The response can be the same for both. Also with hoof soreness, the horse may have a tolerance for his own weight but not the weight of a rider. These are all things that drives us nuts trying to resolve. If he was sore only after shoeing then that is the first place to check. Your farrier may not want to admit that she's made a mistake. If you can, try riding him bareback at the walk, on the straight and also tight circles in both directions. If he's hoof/tendon sore he'll be a bit stumbly as he turns. It might help you narrow it down.
Thanks you Saddlebag, I will try riding him bareback and see if I can tell anything. You are exactly right it is driving me crazy. I did call my friend the vet but she is delivering a calf and she really didn't have time to talk with me now. I cannot believe that she is putting a cow and her calf over my questions about my horse, how could she. Lol.
     
    04-02-2013, 09:44 AM
  #9
Foal
Do you get a reaction at all if you palpate along his back? If there is a potential for a sore back, I would not ride him period. I would recommend a chiro and massage along with some time off.

Just because it's a custom made saddle and it appears to fit well, there could be something wrong internally or horses are always changing shape. It could be something doesn't fit as it once did.

I currently have a horse with a sore back. I had started riding in a different saddle that we all swore was a good fit. During a lesson he was fine one direction but felt "off" the other... gave him a week off with bute and that showed no improvement. If you rode him, he would still try his heart out for you. The only thing noticable is he doesn't want to use his himself properly - because he is sore. I also notice his tail position is odd at the walk and trot. Sure enough, I had my vet out for annual stuff and popped him on the lunge line to see what he thought ... he thought hocks (that's not new information to me) but his hocks have never made him so uncomfortable. Farrier was out to trim him two days later and ended up massaging him for me because sure enough he is VERY sore in his back. She found a small reaction along his back over around where the rider sits. Our guess is there was something wrong with the english saddle. We have a chiro coming in a week (soonest date) and until then we are doing stretches.
     
    04-02-2013, 10:06 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quarterhorseluv,

I checked his back and you are right he has a sore place where the saddle sits on his back. I used a different blanket when I rode him on Saturday because his regular blanket was still wet from me cleaning it. The blanket that I used was not as thick as the one I usually put on him. It may have something to do with that. I was going to give him some bute but the lady that is going to give him a massage told me not to until she checks him out. She wanted to be able to tell where he is sore at and what might be going on. Even though she is a human therapist she feels that she will be able to help him. She is also a barrel racer and has done her horses many times.
I am hoping that she will be able to help.

He is a horse that wants to please you and I didn't notice anything wrong when I was riding Saturday. His gait was smooth as it always is. He wanted to go like he always does. He finished up strong when we ended the ride ( he acted like he wanted to go more and didn't seem a bit tired). I am usually pretty could at reading my horses signs but this time I had no clue.
     

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