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How can you tell?
My friend has a QH and she's concerned that his back is sore. He is turning 14 in the summer and gelded, since the flys have started comming out now, he has lost a little bit of weight. And she thinks about using him for barrel racing in the future. He also has arthritis in his back right hinde fetlock. What can you treat a sore back on the horse? and how can you tell if his back hurts? and also what do you guys think of her using him as a barrel racer in the future and he is thirteen now.
thanks so much guys! and this is my first thread i have posted on here :P
Here is a good read on the subject.
Your Horse’s Back Pain
I would have a vet or a chiropractor out....I don't think this horse in the future is going to be a 1D pro rodeo caliber horse, but she probably could still go out and run him lightly. It's impossible for me to gauge the soreness in the horse without seeing him myself, so finding an expert would be your best bet!
Is she mounting from the ground?
The only person who can tell you for certain is a vet or chiro.
I agree with the people above, if you have any hunch your horse has a sore back, get a professional out to evaluate. That can be a vet, chiro, physiotherapist or good certified saddle fitter.. The saddle fitter I'd recommend anyway, as the leading cause for a sore back is an ill-fitting saddle.
Some things for you to help with gauging whether the horse has a sore back: grab a stool, stand next to his back and gently but firmly push your fingers into the muscles next to the spine (the longissimus dorsi, if you don't know where those are, google it), start at the whithers and move them back bit by bit. If the horse shows any reaction any way, biting, lifting a foot, even swishing their head around, swishing their tail or tensing the muscles under your hand like they are pulling them away (some even completely arch their back, it hurts so much) and they do it consistently when you push there, it's very, very likely they have a sore back, which will most likely be either from the saddle or from lameness that has caused the horse to carry himself differently. Also put the saddle on the back without any pads (if western saddle, you do put the pad under it) and check whether it is touching the spine anywhere, this could also lead to a sore back. Generally just feel the back for bumps or other irregularities, hotter spots than the skin around it, and the tension of the back muscles. Any of these being there could be an issue, or point to backpain.
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