Race horse saddling - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Race horse saddling

Hey guys! My new TB mare was just delivered today! She is 13 years old and is a retired race horse. She is chestnut with one white sock and a white blaze.
She is a sweet girl on the ground and in the saddle. The only thing that bother me is that she is very "cinchy" when saddling. Does anybody know anything about the way race horses are saddled that could give me some idea of how not to tighten her girth? She takes the bridle like a dream. She doesn't offer to kick but she scoots around and pins her ears even when I tighten it slowly. The woman that I bought her from did say that race horses were sometimes handled pretty roughly when it came to tacking up. She rides in a western saddle now.

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-21-2009, 07:54 AM
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Yeah, they do get handled quite rough. Usually the saddling proccess is done very quickly and with very little grace. Usually the saddle and pads are slapped on, the breastplate threaded thru the points, and then the girth tightened as far as it will go using brute force. They are girthed up tighter than a horse usually is.

None of ours ever developed a problem from the proccess, but that's not to say it can't happen, as Im very sure it can. But it is also very likely that she is just a girthy horse and has been that way since the day she was backed, for no reason other than the fact that she doesnt like the sensation. You could try using a sheepskin sleeve or a different style of girth, maybe thicker to better distripute pressure or shaped for ease of movement.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-21-2009, 09:58 AM
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Yeah, they do get handled quite rough. Usually the saddling proccess is done very quickly and with very little grace. Usually the saddle and pads are slapped on, the breastplate threaded thru the points, and then the girth tightened as far as it will go using brute force. They are girthed up tighter than a horse usually is.
That couldn't be further from truth actually. Sorry but most racing people take very good care of their charges and all so take much pride in them. I highly doubt this is common.

lacey011 at 13 I take it your new horse is not straight off the track? Possibly been turned out for some time, if not years? Would I be right? If yes then simply riding the horse with a girth it will get girthy or cinchy as you call it. Especially if you have been riding it every day when he/she is not use to it. This is not your fault though, it is a fact of life and T.B's are renowned for being thin skinned.

If you mix half and half Methylated sprites and water together in a bottle and rub that over the girth area every time you ride this will help toughen the skin. Please don't do it if the horse has rubbed raw. If it has rubbed raw then rest him/her until it has healed. Check your girth that it is clean and supple, if not give it a good cleaning. If it is a string girth then think seriously about getting a good leather or synthetic one. String girths do affect some horses more than others as they can pinch the skin. Good luck darl hope horsie is better soon.

Last edited by iridehorses; 01-21-2009 at 11:01 AM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-21-2009, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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lacey011 at 13 I take it your new horse is not straight off the track? Possibly been turned out for some time, if not years? Would I be right? If yes then simply riding the horse with a girth it will get girthy or cinchy as you call it. Especially if you have been riding it every day when he/she is not use to it. This is not your fault though, it is a fact of life and T.B's are renowned for being thin skinned.
Actually, she ran her last race just over a month ago. She came in last so they did retire her then.

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-22-2009, 12:07 PM
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Thoroughbreds can be very thin-skinned and sensitive about their girths. When I first had Dan, I couldn't actually do the girth up to full tightness, so I got a breastgirth to stop the sadlle slipping too much while I worked on getting him less twitchy. All I can suggest is girthing very slowly up in several stages - one hole per tightening, and only do one side on each tightening, alternating between the two sides. You can do other things in between, like putting boots on, etc. I also used a padded girth sleeve for extra comfort (still do).

Someone did suggest an elastic girth to me, but I never tried it. You could also try the "humane" girths, which have the crossed ends.

Just take it steady.....
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-22-2009, 10:16 PM
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Race horses are treated like kings, and the saddling process is done acctually very nicely. It might just be having a different saddle on her back. I think maybe the quick trasition of having a >2 pund saddle on her back to having a <10 pound saddle is quiet a change for her. Just take it slow and stedy.

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-23-2009, 03:57 AM
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That couldn't be further from truth actually. Sorry but most racing people take very good care of their charges and all so take much pride in them. I highly doubt this is common.
Every time I had to go to the track for workouts the strappers were as I described above. They would try and get the job done as quickly as possible to get through as many as possible.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-23-2009, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Miss Katie View Post
Every time I had to go to the track for workouts the strappers were as I described above. They would try and get the job done as quickly as possible to get through as many as possible.
Well maybe that is how they do it in Australia, but we do it nicly here.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-25-2009, 10:15 PM
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At the races they do usually treat them rough...
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-26-2009, 07:45 PM
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At the races they do usually treat them rough...
Um, I personally know most of the stable hands who take care of our race horses and they treat them amazingly. So unless you know what kind of handleing those horses are getting, don't jump to conclusions.

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