Cold back? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-19-2013, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Cold back?

I've been having an issue with my horse over the last few months. Its started a few months ago when after tacked up he flipped out and fell back, He then stood up and acted like nothing was wrong. I checked the saddle and the girth and everything seemed fine. This happend a few times in the past many years ago but I guess i thought something spooked him. The problem now is everytime I try to saddle him he gets nervous and seems like he he ready to going into flight mode. I had the vet check him along with the saddle fitter and everything seems fine. Could he be cold backed? After reading some articles he seems to be showing signs. I have owned him for 5 years and before this He only did it a few times years ago. He looks great and put some weight on. Maybe its just a reaction of him thinking that it might hurt. Iam having a trainer come out next week to take look at him. This is really upsetting because he has been so good to me and so many people tell me how lucky I got with him. Any comments?
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-19-2013, 08:06 AM
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Welcome to the Horse Forum. This is not an uncommon problem. It is not what is usually referred to as being 'cold backed'. It is usually called being 'cinchy' or 'girthy'.

Some horses start this after one single incident and then seem to just keep on doing it out of habit. I have seen horses do it when they have been tightened up too tight when first being saddled. I have seen horses do it after being saddled with a saddle that pinches or has a nail sticking out of it and then, even after having the problem corrected, they just keep doing it. I have known horses that just seemed to start doing it one day and then forever after. I really think most of the these last horses probably were tightened up too tight when first being saddled one day.

Sometimes you can get them to quit it if you start saddleing them VERY loosely and gradually tighten them up after standing for a few minutes. I have bought cinchy horses that quit by doing this. I have seen some horses that were so bad that they had to be walked around while being saddled. Some horses will stop it if they are held in hand with their butt backed in a corner to be saddled.

Once a horse has acted cinchy, NEVER saddle it in cross-ties. Always hold it in hand or ground-tie it and we always saddle it on soft ground and never on concrete or hard ground. A friend had a cinchy horse and it threw itseft over on concrete and broke its withers.

By the way, being 'cold backed' usually refers to a horse that thinks it has to buck right after being saddled. This can be with just the saddle or right after being mounted and moved forward. It, too, is a bad habit, oftentimes unintentionally taught to horses by turning them loose or longeing them with a saddle when they are too fresh or too green. Some horses 'get it out of their systems' while others learn to like it and just get practice doing it better and better.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-19-2013, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Cherie, Its something that Iam trying to deal with. Do you think a trainer can help? Thanks
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-19-2013, 08:55 AM
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Not really. There is no 'magic bullet' or particular training technique other than those mentioned that help at all. It is just one of those things that has to be dealt with every single time a horse is saddled once it gets started. It really exemplifies the old saying that 'horses are creatures of habit'.

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post #5 of 5 Old 05-19-2013, 09:16 AM
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Very good answer's answered a lot of unanswered questions I've had from a long time ago....
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