Bald spot on withers - did my saddle do it?

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Bald spot on withers - did my saddle do it?

This is a discussion on Bald spot on withers - did my saddle do it? within the Saddle Fitting Issues forums, part of the Horse Tack and Equipment category
  • Why does my horse have white spots on her withers
  • Small baldy patch on horse withers

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    06-11-2014, 10:56 AM
Bald spot on withers - did my saddle do it?

(No pictures unfortunately...)

I've been leasing an appendix mare for a few weeks now, using the owner's saddle because mine had been in storage. Her saddle is far too small for my rump, so I stopped being lazy and got mine out of storage and used it when I rode yesterday. The fit seemed fine, even, no rocking forward or back, and she expressed no signs of discomfort; in fact, she's usually grumpy about having the girth tightened (not bad but visibly irritated) but yesterday she only flicked her ears like she was waiting for it to be uncomfortable but it didn't happen. (She was uncharacteristically fidgety with her head however, almost like she had an itch, and seemed itchy when I bridled her.) She has white spots on her withers, so clearly she's had an illfitting saddle, possibly the owner's current saddle.

I rode her, she was as good as she always is - but she is a very well trained horse so I'm not sure if a poor saddle fit would manifest in her behavior. After her characteristic initial laziness she was ready to work other than wanting to avoid a certain spot in the arena for some reason but we worked through that. Rode for about 35 minutes then unsaddled her then inspected her back. The sweat pattern was even, but then I noticed a small bald spot right on the top of her withers.

I can't for the life of me remember if that was there prior to saddling her. I am short, and her withers are taller than my head, I barely glimpsed it on tip-toe. So I feel like I could've missed this when saddling but I don't want to ride her in my saddle again if it is the cause. It seemed like, almost, an old bald spot? It was not red, or irritated looking, it was white, almost like an old scar white. But when I touched any point of her withers, as well as the spot, she swished her tail and fidgeted. My pad is heavily fleeced at the withers, could that have done it? Or does my saddle just not fit? I know you could tell better if I had pics, but I didn't think to take any when I tacked her up because the fit seemed fine to me. Now I wish I had.
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    06-11-2014, 11:01 AM
Was the skin raw and slightly swollen? Are their hairs on your saddle?

Is it crusted with flaky skin?

Pictures are the best bet, but my guess is if there is white flakey skin then it was already there.
    06-11-2014, 11:04 AM
Originally Posted by DuffyDuck    
Was the skin raw and slightly swollen? Are their hairs on your saddle?

Is it crusted with flaky skin?

Pictures are the best bet, but my guess is if there is white flakey skin then it was already there.
Skin did not seem raw or swollen, or even hot. But I did not notice flakey skin either. There were hairs on my saddle pad, but not concentrated on the fleeces/around the withers, it was evenly distributed all over the pad, just seemed like normal shedding.
    06-11-2014, 11:06 AM
Hmm, well when my rugs rub on the shoulders of my horse I use mane and tail spray on the spots so it doesn't rub (silicone based)

But check to see if the saddle is a good fit, if you hurt her back I don't think the owner will be pleased. Saddle has to fit horse and rider, though.. so if her's is too small for your bum, you need to sort something as the weight distrubution will be out on the seat bones :)
    06-11-2014, 11:15 AM
Next time I ride I will get pics of how the tack fits...since the horse is not mine I am quite worried about it. (Not that I wouldn't be worried if it *was* my horse, but at least I could just blame myself at the end of the day, and not worry about having another person blame me too! :S) Just weird because I've never had this problem, with the tack appearing to fit and then having a bald spot or sore anyway...the owner showed her this weekend, so if her own saddle doesn't fit/is the one causing the white spots in the first place, I figured maybe that could've been the culprit too. Gah! Too many factors.

But yes, I should be riding her on Thurs, and I will get pics.
    06-11-2014, 01:17 PM
Ok, so I dashed out before work to get some pics because it was bugging me.
1) I could not find the bald spot. I looked, I felt around - gone. No scabbing or anything. WTH! I must be crazy???

2) In better lighting (it was dark and rainy yesterday) and sans pad, this saddle does not nearly fit as well as I thought. I can get 1-2 fingers in there, but it seems far too snug on the withers. I wanted to get pics of the owner's saddle on her for comparison, but the tack room was locked and I didn't have time to hunt down the nasty BO to ask.

Pics (sorry if they're bad/dark):

So I guess I was on crack yesterday or something, but either there a way I can make this saddle fit temporarily? I have the rest of the month on this lease, and I don't want to use her saddle because it doesn't fit *me*, and it doesn't fit the horse that well what's a temporary fix for this? Is there one? I definitely can't buy a new saddle just to fit her for a few more weeks....
    06-11-2014, 06:25 PM
Admittedly it's dark but the width doesn't look too bad. It is too low at the front, though - balance is way too pommel-low. Try a wither pad, then girth it up tight enough to mount before you check the level, then run your hand down the front between horse and saddle both sides to check for tight spots.

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