White Hair on Either side of the Withers

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White Hair on Either side of the Withers

This is a discussion on White Hair on Either side of the Withers within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 2 Post By HollyBubbles
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  • 1 Post By HollyBubbles

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    11-17-2012, 11:06 PM
White Hair on Either side of the Withers

Hi, my horse has recently developed 2 white spots on either side of her withers. She never had them before this fall, when I took her on a weekend trip. She got ridden a lot that weekend, but no more than normal trips we take her on; in fact, we've taken her on week-long vacations where she gets ridden pretty much all day. She used the same saddle i've had on her for over a year, and never had any problems with. The spots started out as just the hair getting lighter, that happened the day after she got ridden the most. From there, a lot of the hair fell out, and now it has regrown in pure white, a little smaller than the size of a tennis ball. I personally find them hideous.

Is there any way I can get rid of these? Several websites have told me theres no cure for them, but some have said sometimes they will shrink as time goes on. If anyone has any ideas, please share!
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    11-17-2012, 11:09 PM
Sorry, but I'm going to have to say the saddle doesn't fit. Either that, or it did when you got it and she has changed shape since then. My horse changes shapes aaaalll the time lol.

I don't think there are ways to get rid of them, short of dying them back to the same colour as your horse, are they covered by the saddle? If so then personally I wouldn't worry about the way they look
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    11-17-2012, 11:42 PM
My Appy got them from a few months where the original owner loaned him to a ranch with a jerk of a rider and a poor fitting saddle. They are still there 4 years later. You can also see the place they spurred him raw. Hair has grown back, but there is still a patch of bare scar about 2" in diameter...the picture was about a week after we got him:

There is no sign of pain in his withers, so no long lasting harm other than the white spots. And, of course, it still is best to ride him with a light leg.
    11-17-2012, 11:45 PM
Yes poor saddle fit. My 24 year old QH has them from a previous owner.
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    11-18-2012, 07:27 AM

Sounds like a case of poor Saddle fit.

How old was your Horse when you 1st used that Saddle? Your Horse may have changed.

I have seen a bad fit produce white hairs in a year and some if the Saddle fit is bad enough in 3 months.

The cause is too much pressure from the Bars in the Saddle that have the wrong angle, this causes the hair follicles to die and thus causing the white hairs.

Here is a drawing of a Horse that needs a Reg-QH Bar, one pic shows what happens if the bar is Semi-Qh and one shows what happens if the bar is Full-QH.

If a Reg-QH bar had been used the angles of the Bar would have been flat from top to bottom against the Horse instead if digging in at the top or bottom of the Bar as shown by the two examples.

    11-18-2012, 08:20 AM
Yup, pressure points from an illfitting saddle.

Nothing you can do to make the white hairs go away, as the skin underneath has been damaged.
Elana likes this.
    11-18-2012, 08:56 AM
Green Broke
Had an appaloosa years ago with them.. and they were from an ill fitting saddle.. MINE. We fixed that.. (this was in the days before "professional saddle fitters") and the marks were from a cheap English Saddle (which was all we could afford as a first saddle). I was a teenager at the time. I got a better saddle used.. and a better saddle pad (not that the pad is the answer but it did not hurt to improve that too).

Check your saddle fit. Horses do change shape with work and age/maturity.

Once the marks are there, they are there for good.
    11-25-2012, 09:59 PM
Thanks for all the replies!
I've already decided to get rid of the saddle, I don't want to risk making the white spots worse.
She was 6 when I got the saddle, she is 7 now.
    11-25-2012, 11:45 PM
Originally Posted by MLBarsHoney    
Thanks for all the replies!
I've already decided to get rid of the saddle, I don't want to risk making the white spots worse.
She was 6 when I got the saddle, she is 7 now.
Is it an english/western/stock saddle etc? Measure it up especially in the front end to see how wide it is, my guess would be that it is now too tight in the front and is pinching and that's why the white spots have developed. If you measure it beforehand, you'll have a small idea on where to go from there in getting a saddle that fits :)
MLBarsHoney likes this.
    11-26-2012, 05:30 AM
My mare grew a lot between 6-8...width wise! Same thing, had her in a saddle for a year, caused white spots and behavior problems. The white spots went away (they were quarter size) but she still has behavior problems. By that, I mean you can't cinch her up to fast or she either jumps in your lap or collapses. It's from the fear of pain caused by my old saddle. Sucks, now I have to walk her out a ton while I cinch her up, then she's fine.

cures, hair loss, saddle sores, vet, withers

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