Cold backed horse

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Cold backed horse

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  • 1 Post By COWCHICK77

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    01-07-2012, 03:58 PM
Cold backed horse

Hi everyone I have a 3 year old QH that was started as a 2 year old with about 45 rides when he was 2 and another 40 rides as a 3 yearold, my issue is unless you ride him everyday he is humpy and cold backed for the first 20 mins that you ride him, after that he settles down and is fine. I have a round pen but I don't want to take him to the round pen everytime I ride him, any tips?
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    01-07-2012, 10:44 PM
It sounds like your saddle isn't comfortable for him. The classic 20 minutes for him to "warm-up" is the clue. It takes about 20 minutes for the soft tissue where the saddle is pressing to go numb. It is like when you put a rubber band around your finger and after a while it goes numb from lack of circulation. I learned this the hard way and ended up in the dirt a few times before I figured out to exchange the saddle I had for a wider one with a thicker, softer saddle pad. I see it a lot once the show season starts and horses re-muscle after the winter off and their "new" saddles don't fit.

Can't hurt to try a wider saddle and thicker pad. Give it a few times for our horse to figure out the discomfort isn't there anymore.
    01-07-2012, 11:10 PM
Was he like this in his two's also?

Do consider, he's only three, and still maturing.

It could have to do with the saddle, or it could just be an awkward baby body, figuring out bigger workouts.

Is he stalled or turned out? If he's stalled and doesn't move very much the rest of the day he's not ridden, it's understandable for him to need a bigger warm up.

It's winter. His body is out in colder temperatures. Is he like this year round?

My 14yo show horse always takes a very long warm up in the winter. Even on full turnout, where he's moving constantly, he's just simply not as ready to go and work in the winter. The summer time, I can jump right on, and he's supple from the start, and moving out very softly.
In the winter, it's a good 20-30 minutes of warming up and stretching, just so we can spend another ten minutes achieving quiet work, and then be done.

A chiropractor never hurts to go to. Even if his body is sound, the chiro can always suggest some stretches or other techniques to do.
    01-07-2012, 11:13 PM
I thought about that aswell but this horse has been ridden in 4 different types of saddles and pads and styles, he has been a bit broncy since day one of training, he has alot of Hancock blood in him which maybe doesn't help. He isn't really hard to ride when he is humpy but just takes the enjoyment out of it for the first while. He is also young so maybe he will get over it with age and more riding
    01-08-2012, 12:15 AM
I was going to ask if he had Hancock breeding; they are known for being a little broncy when they're young. I've always heard that they eventually 'grow out of it' and make some awesome horses. For now, though, it's something you may have to decide whether you want to deal with the shenanigans first every time you want to ride. I'm not a good enough rider to stay on if they decide to really act up, so it would take a lot of the fun out of it for me.
    01-08-2012, 12:37 AM
Don't put up with it and put him to work when he gets humpy and cranky.
    01-08-2012, 08:23 AM
Thanks everyone for the info, I will just keep up the battle, I also plan to break him to drive this winter and keep him working.
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    01-08-2012, 01:32 PM
I have had some cold backed horses. For me they fall into two categories.

The first kind are the ones that you just need to sit on, let them take a breath and relax before you ask them to step off. We have a horse that is 13 years old and is this way. He can have 6 months or 2 days off, but if you get on him and go to step off too soon you are going to get piled up. But if you get on, let him sit, take a deep breath he will just walk off no problem.

The other kind you have to keep there mind busy and move them around to get them broke in half to relax. I will put a read on them when I saddle and lead them out of the barn. If he has a big hump in his back, his tail is clamped to his ass cheeks and his chin is wrinkled up to the size of a grape, I know I am going to have to do something before getting on. I use my lead on my mecate to gyp him a round little get him loosened up. I would rather him buck then rather than waiting until I only have a toe in the stirrup. Once I have him loosened up I will bend his nose to me and take my stirrup and kick him in the side as to ask for hindquarter yield. I do that to both sides. Then when I get on I make sure his nose is tipped to me and I only stick my toe in the stirrup and swing up. I keep his head bent to me and ask for him to step around on a tight circle to the left. With his head bent around it makes it pretty hard for him to buck. Once he is loosened that way I slide my hands around down my reins ask for him to give his nose to the right and follow a tight circle to right. Don't ask him to stop between switching from the left to the right you want that forward motion. And don't let him take steps with his head straight out front. Be quick and smooth switching left to right. That is when he will most likely blow up. Once you have him loosened up both ways on a tight circle you can make your circles bigger. Always give him a direction with your rein don't let him walk off with both reins loose.

And a horse that wants to buck or is sticky when you first get on, NEVER ask him to back up. I see people do this and it makes me cringe. I don't even do it on my good broke horses. I have seen horses flip over backwards on people from asking them to backup after mounting.

Good Luck!
osage1046 likes this.
    01-08-2012, 01:36 PM
Thanks , he hasn't got me on the ground yet, knock on wood
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    01-08-2012, 04:31 PM
I agree with cowchick. That's exactly how you should deal with a cold backed horse.

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