A "Friend" changed out the cinch on my saddle in spite of my objections and better judgement. Her barn, her rules. My horse, my tack? Anyway, I have a blk/wht paint gelding. Where the cinch rubs is white and the skin is very pink & tender looking. The cinch that was put on my horse was mohair/wool. We proceeded on a 3 hour trail ride. Upon our return, much to my dismay, my Joker had horrible cinch sores. Swollen, bleeding, etc.. I doctored them correctly. I did not ride him for a month. I bought a brand new cinch that is the softest fleece I could find. The sores healed but the hair follicles were permanently damaged. No regrowth of hair where the sores were.
I work Joker down in the arena prior to tacking him up. He has always been cinchy so I take things slow. NOW once the cinch is tightened prior to mounting he starts swishing his tail, stepping around in the back & bucking. He now bucks whether I am on the ground or on top of him. I can be leading him to the arena or riding him down the lane to the arena and he bucks. Our last ride sent me to the hospital via ambulance with a severe concussion, sprained back and swollen kidney. I don't think he is in pain at the time the cinch is tightened. I believe it is the memory of the pain. How do I desensitize him so that we can ride? I love him and don't want him to become a "Barn Ornament". He really was a GREAT horse before this happened. I read somewhere that you can teach them that bucking while tacked up is completely unacceptable but I can't find the article. And how do I desensitize him to the cinch without him bucking while wearing it? I'm stumped.