A cold backed horse?
   

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A cold backed horse?

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  • What is a cold backed horse
  • Horse cold spot

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    11-03-2009, 01:13 PM
  #1
Banned
A cold backed horse?

What is a cold backed horse?? Is it one that acts as a bronc when first mounted?? Is it one that is girthy?? Do they drop when saddled?? Do they arch their backs when you first mount???
After a few minutes of warming up do they then act normal???

To me it is all of the above and has alot to do with saddle fit.
Do we worry enough about how are saddles fit? I have tried to run a few posts on saddle fit but I get nowhere.
Yes you lood at the sweat marks and a dry spot means NO pressure, maybe even no contact of the saddle tree.

If your horse exibits anyone of the above then maybe you should have a close look at the saddle fit and I don't mean just throwing the saddle on and eyeballing the contact. With an english or western saddle the padding makes eye balling impossible.

I once stated that I am ANNAL about most things and my horse is no exception. His saddle must fit. Each guy I buy gets a custom fit.
The trees are removed from the saddle, the tree is custom filled,filed or modified in some way to fit his back and only after I have full contact do I reassemble the saddle.
I find ALL saddles that the tree bridges the back. A western saddle is like putting a chair on the back. It contacts at the front, the withers but only marginally, the slope at the withers is wrong for my arabs .
I find the ends of the tree dig into the back at the loins.
I have to fill some areas about 1/2 inch to prevent bridging.
I also change the rigging so the cinch doesn't pull right down on the withers. If you look at most western saddles the girth is in front of the leg to prevent interference with the free swing of the stirrup . This is for the convenience of the rider but what about the horse.
English saddles are better in the placement of the cinch.
I have custom made billets that adapt an english 24 inch girth to the wester saddle putting the girth directly in the center of the saddle and well back from the shoulder.
Fit the saddle properly and you might be suprised that some problems go away
     
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    11-03-2009, 03:00 PM
  #2
Showing
Surprisingly I agree with you. Your description of "cold backed" is spot on.
My saddles all have in skirt rigging at the 3/4 position. The only other rigging I like is a center fire rig similar to the old Calvary rigs on many Mcclellan saddles.
I do disagree with your statement "a dry spot means NO pressure, maybe even no contact of the saddle tree"
If you are getting no contact, then it seems logical that you will get sweat if you ride for any length of time. The dry spots, particularly at the withers, can be caused by excessive pressure. The sweat glands can be damaged along with the tissue.
Saddle fit has to be one of the more frustrating and expensive parts of horse ownership. I have gotten to the point where I pay little attention to sweat marks and find the best test of saddle fit is palpitation before and after a ride. A sore back is a better indicator than any visual observations.
     
    11-03-2009, 03:58 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiosDad    
Yes you lood at the sweat marks and a dry spot means NO pressure, maybe even no contact of the saddle tree.

Sorry, but it's the other way around. Dry spots are caused by pressure.
     
    11-03-2009, 05:19 PM
  #4
Foal
How do you determine saddle fit? I am very new to all of this and didn't realize a saddle wasn't one size fits all. I have a brand new saddle that I wonder if it's right for my horse. Can I have someone look at them (horse and saddle)?
     
    11-03-2009, 05:59 PM
  #5
Yearling
I've heard that term tossed around my barn a few times, and I have come to understand it as a horse that has a stiff back/ does not use his back muscles properly. To have a good back, the muscles must be warm and flexible, so if the back muscles are cold they need a lot of warm up time because of stiffness. It can also be caused by an ill-fitting saddle or a bad riding position that blocks the muscles from moving properly, therefore making the back cold. By the way, dry spots usually mean a point of strong pressure, the dry area has been pinched. A particular spot of sweat also means pressure. When you take the saddle off after a good ride, the sweat dispersal should be close to even.
     
    11-03-2009, 06:21 PM
  #6
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco    
Surprisingly I agree with you. Your description of "cold backed" is spot on.
My saddles all have in skirt rigging at the 3/4 position. The only other rigging I like is a center fire rig similar to the old Calvary rigs on many Mcclellan saddles.
I do disagree with your statement "a dry spot means NO pressure, maybe even no contact of the saddle tree"
If you are getting no contact, then it seems logical that you will get sweat if you ride for any length of time. The dry spots, particularly at the withers, can be caused by excessive pressure. The sweat glands can be damaged along with the tissue.
Saddle fit has to be one of the more frustrating and expensive parts of horse ownership. I have gotten to the point where I pay little attention to sweat marks and find the best test of saddle fit is palpitation before and after a ride. A sore back is a better indicator than any visual observations.
I make my own center fire rigging. I have these built from a pattern I produced and pay $63 for a pair, one left and one right
This uses a short 22 or 24 inch dressage girth and keeps all buckets well away from the leg plus giving free movement of the saddle



     
    11-03-2009, 06:26 PM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco    
I do disagree with your statement "a dry spot means NO pressure, maybe even no contact of the saddle tree"
If you are getting no contact, then it seems logical that you will get sweat if you ride for any length of time. The dry spots, particularly at the withers, can be caused by excessive pressure. The sweat glands can be damaged along with the tissue.
Saddle fit has to be one of the more frustrating and expensive parts of horse ownership. I have gotten to the point where I pay little attention to sweat marks and find the best test of saddle fit is palpitation before and after a ride. A sore back is a better indicator than any visual observations.

I wonder about the sweat no sweat deal. For saddle fit I start with a bare tree. I strip a new saddle down to the tree and then custom fit that tree to the horse before building a saddle up around that tree.
This is a stock tree, not yet totally stripped down, I go further then this but look at a stock tree. See the big bumps on the top, those fit the withers. Then there is the missing or hollow for the stirrup leathers , this is a bridging area, no contact with the horses back and then there is the rear that rests on the back.
The dry area for a saddle like this is right in the middle under the stirrups.
I pay attention to even wet spots under the saddle and I find while the back is even sweat the place where the stirrups lay is dry. This area is bridged.
I am sorry I didn't take a picture of the custom tree. It is built up in the center but leaves a groove for the stirrup strap. The saddle is assembled so I can't take any pictures.
All my horses get a custom fit saddle. To me eyeballing a fit is not good enough.
It runs me $300 for the modifications I want on a new saddle but if it keeps the horse running sound then it certainly is worth it.
     
    11-03-2009, 06:33 PM
  #8
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by G and K's Mom    
Sorry, but it's the other way around. Dry spots are caused by pressure.
I thought so too until I looked at the bare tree and you can see where the stirrups straps wrap around the tree. That is the dry spot on my horse. His back will be covered in sweat but you can really see the dry spots where the stirrups pass under the tree. This area is dry and clearly marked.
     
    11-03-2009, 06:38 PM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Dreamer    
How do you determine saddle fit? I am very new to all of this and didn't realize a saddle wasn't one size fits all. I have a brand new saddle that I wonder if it's right for my horse. Can I have someone look at them (horse and saddle)?
I have asked this question many times and never got an answer. How do you just look at a saddle a decide if it fits or not?
We do not have xray vision so we can not see under the padding how the tree matches the back. Sure we have heavy pads but if the saddle is bridging the back then there is a big hollow section where the tree carries no load.
The fit can only be made by stripping the tree down, no xray vision needed.
With the bare tree there are places where you can slip your fingers in right up to the hand and it doesn't touch the back.
As for your instructor just looking and say it fits??? NO way.
I have extensive experince at building saddles and I can't tell a fit by just looking.
If you get on the horse and he humps his back for the first few minutes I guarantee the saddle doesn't fit.
     
    11-03-2009, 07:25 PM
  #10
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by roro    
I've heard that term tossed around my barn a few times, and I have come to understand it as a horse that has a stiff back/ does not use his back muscles properly. To have a good back, the muscles must be warm and flexible, so if the back muscles are cold they need a lot of warm up time because of stiffness. It can also be caused by an ill-fitting saddle or a bad riding position that blocks the muscles from moving properly, therefore making the back cold. By the way, dry spots usually mean a point of strong pressure, the dry area has been pinched. A particular spot of sweat also means pressure. When you take the saddle off after a good ride, the sweat dispersal should be close to even.
If you google cold back all of these things come up. The term was used by cowboys to destribe a horse that would buck when you first mounted him. After a few good pitches the horse settled down. I beleive was it really was was a poor fitting saddle that when the weight first settled on it and the back of the saddle dug into the loins the horse would hump it's back which actually filled in the bridge and helped releive the loins.

I know what you are saying about the sweat but looking at the bare tree, looking at it on the horse and then looking at the sweat marks it appears that the dry area was actually the area that was not touching.
In the wither area you actually get very little contact, only point contacting and my tree needed to be built up along the bottom edge by about 1/2 inch to make contact with his back.
All tree modifications are made with laid up fiberglass. Cloth and resin and yes areas were built up to 1/2 inch.
After I did the first tree and was satisfied with it I immediatley tore another new saddle apart and did the same to it.
I work on the tree during the day, take it to the barn at night, mark the area to be modified, back home for the day and back at night. Takes about a week to get it just right.
A saddle tree has only about 60 square inches of area IF it would all touch the horse. A 200 pound rider like me puts 3 plus pounds per square inch on the horse, way way too much.
My old browns saddle, my military saddle, both had over 300 inches of contact. A far better load spreading.
You don't walk in high heels over snow, no ,you use snow shoes to spread the load. A saddle is the same idea
     

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