My gelding has a chronic sore back for reasons unknown. I've had him checked extensively by my vet and he could find nothing wrong with his back that is fixable. I get a chiropractor out to see him when he gets sore, and then he's fine for about six months, after which he starts getting sore again and I have to call the chiropractor out again, and so on. My vet said there's no reason why he can't be ridden during the time between chiropractor visits.
So my question is... Do you think it would be better to ride him bareback or with a saddle? I know riding with a saddle is supposed to give more support to the back, but he only gets sore towards the back of his back.
He's only sore here:
So... I could ride him bareback and not even touch the part that gets sore, or I could ride him with a saddle and give the rest of his back support, but put weight on the part that gets sore.
Which do you think is better?
I think your horse is very lucky to have you.
Aww, thanks : ]
Can the chiropractor tell you what sort of exercises to do to help strengthen that area? If your saddle puts pressure that far back maybe you need to look at a saddle that won't.. :) I am assuming you ride western.. I'd like to see the saddle on this horse.
Sounds like the saddle doesn't fit the horse OR it needs to be re-flocked. Saddle flocking gets hard with lumps in it over time. To see if that's true with your saddle run your hands underneath the saddle on the part that sits on the horse. Are there any hard spots, lumps and or divots (crevices/crater)?
After you've ridden - are there any dry spots underneath the saddle? Dry spots indicate places the saddle is either pinching the horse (for example around the withers it could be dry if the saddle's tree width is not wide enough and the saddle is "pinching" the horse there, preventing sweating in that area) or not coming into contact with the horse (divot).
At Verhan™ Saddlery you can email a gentleman there from the Ocala area who fits and re-flocks saddles - english (jumping and dressage). He is pricey but REALLY knows what he's doing. If you have a western saddle then perhaps finding a saddle that fits the horse and you would be easier than trying to find someone that can "fix" what you have.
Try looking at the saddle first as that is the most likely cause of the problem (so riding bareback should prevent him from getting sore again once the Chiropractor has fixed horse up), but you really should get the saddle issue fixed (if that saddle doesn't fit maybe try some friends saddles to find one that fits both of you well then go looking for the same size saddle - tree width for horse AND seat size for you)...used should be possible.
These are the best pictures I have of him in the saddle:
I can take more if you want.
And that isn't the pad I ride in anymore... The one I use now looks a little like this:
It has a lot of extra padding.
I feel for you! I have this problem with my horse also. I have exhausted every avenue but the vet and that is my next stop.
He gets sore in exactly the same spot. What made it 90% better was taking him off grain and lucerne hay. He was tying up mildy, which was causing pain in his kidneys, which are located in that area. I swapped his diet around to beet-pulp, copra and meadow hay, and he is so much better. I also got a custom made saddle and a thinline pad... lol. The thinline is amazing, I can recomend giving it a go if you can afford it. The only time he gets sore now is on big weekends away, and I think it might have something to do with being yarded overnight.
Sunny hurts in the very same place.
I think I would give WildSpots post serious thought. It can't hurt to try a change in diet.. Very pretty horse..
Okay, thanks wildspot. He's actually getting sold next week, so I will suggest that diet to his new owners.
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