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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new-to-me gelding and a new saddle. I am getting these hot spots every time I ride, whether I use just the 1" wool pad, or the 1" wool pad with a casa zia wool blanket under it. Are these severe? Any suggestions?

Saddle is a new Corriente association ranch saddle.

Thanks!
 

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That saddle doesn't fit and I would stop using it immediately, sorry!

To have a saddle rubbing at the point where there is significant hairloss after one ride, well that's what leads to horses having major issues both behavioral and physical and scarring.

If you want to use this saddle I would recommend posting pictures of it on the horse, with without pad with without cinch, different angles, etc. I am not super familiar with western saddles but can say that unfortunately many saddles do not fit ideally, but I've never dealt with one that rubbed out all the hair after one ride it's just a matter of time until there's an open wound there. I wouldn't be optimistic about getting it to fit him, though possible it just needs breaking in and the right pad combination.. I think it's likely you'll need a different one all together unfortunately. Just not the right match for this horse.

It's hard to tell from his color, not only is there a rub on either side it looks like there is a rub all around his withers too? The saddle shouldn't even be touching that spot.

Do post some pics with the saddle on!

Oh, and congrats on the new horse! Unfortunately the "part two" of finding tack is even more of a pain then the part one of horse shopping!
 

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Very well may be that the saddle does not fit, but to clarify, there is defiinitely no hair loss in those spots: those are dry spots. The coat is more pale in that spot because it isn't wet with sweat like the rest of the back.
 

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I had similar dry spots on my gelding from my saddle and I have been doing endurance-type distances and training with him. He is showing no soreness after months of riding in this saddle and I have had a saddle fitter come out and assess him.

After some research and some help from folks on this website, it was determined that SOME dry spots can be good - and can actually mean good saddle fit. From my understanding - large dry spots in that area can show the saddle bars are doing their job. It is the smaller sized dry spots that typically cause soreness.

Now, I am still just learning about this, but I have determined that the similar dry spots on my horse are not because the saddle doesn't fit.

I would recommend having a saddle fitter take a peek, but if your horse is not showing any soreness then I think your saddle may actually be OK.
 

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Very well may be that the saddle does not fit, but to clarify, there is defiinitely no hair loss in those spots: those are dry spots. The coat is more pale in that spot because it isn't wet with sweat like the rest of the back.

Before speculating, would really like to see pictures of the saddle on the horse, both with and without the pad you use.
 

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Very well may be that the saddle does not fit, but to clarify, there is defiinitely no hair loss in those spots: those are dry spots. The coat is more pale in that spot because it isn't wet with sweat like the rest of the back.
Oh that's a relief!! The term hot spots threw me off lol.

Dry spots on a sweaty back are basically the same thing. Not as much pressure/rubbing as hair loss but there is still definitely too much or too little pressure to create dry spots like that. So my post doesn't really change but my panic level does lol. I would still not ride until you get that sorted though hopefully different padding will do the trick.

I would definitely NOT assume the horse is fine because he's not obviously lame after a few rides! Uneven pressure is not good or normal, that sort of defeats the purpose of using a saddle.
 

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Is the hair on the dry spots smooth and flat or rumpled at all?

Usually those mean too much pressure and will cause a sore horse over time.
 

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Where those dry spots are? That means your saddles too far ahead, rock it back some.
 
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Your saddle doesn't fit & it will be hurting the horse. Those 'hot spots' as you call them are pressure points from the front of the saddle bars(assuming Western) which are digging in to the Trapezius muscles. As someone else mentioned, the saddle is also obviously too far forward and *maybe* with it slid back it might fit. If it stays there & doesn't just dig in more further back.

With regard to saddle placement, the weight bearing parts - generally very front of bars unless they're significantly flared - need to sit a good couple of inches *behind* the scapula, so that it can move freely. I drew on your picture, where I estimate(roughly) his scapula to be. You can palpate the 'spine' - the sticking up ridge - and the leading edge of it pretty easily though, to work out exact placement in your horse. The spine is around 1/3 back from the leading edge, for you to calculate where the back edge is. Then, drawn in orange, there is an 'extension' of cartilage off the back/top of the scapula, of about 1", give or take. Then, when the leg is extended, the scapula moves back slightly further, so you've got to budget for that too, which is why it needs about 2" clearance at least.
 

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After some research and some help from folks on this website, it was determined that SOME dry spots can be good - and can actually mean good saddle fit. From my understanding - large dry spots in that area can show the saddle bars are doing their job.
Hmmm, interesting idea. I'd like to hear more about it please, and where the idea came from? I've done quite a lot of research & spoken to many saddle fitters & bodyworkers about saddles, though I wouldn't call myself an expert at all. But I don't recall anyone ever saying anything of the sort - I think it's pretty much across the board that people say dry spots like that are pressure points, which makes total sense. The sweat glands, when inhibited by constant pressure, cannot work, so the spot stays dry. IF 'large dry spots' did indicate a good fitting saddle, bars 'doing their job', then I would think you'd see the whole bar area evenly dry, not a small spot like that.

but if your horse is not showing any soreness then I think your saddle may actually be OK.
Unfortunately, horses are generally very stoic creatures. And humans often aren't the most observant either, or able to understand a horse's signals/bodylanguage, so just because they're not obviously showing soreness doesn't necessarily mean anything.
 

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My horse has those dry spots never caused any problem,never sore or anything. I put an extra pad when I rode yesterday and no dry spots,4 hour ride.
 

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Hmmm, interesting idea. I'd like to hear more about it please, and where the idea came from? I've done quite a lot of research & spoken to many saddle fitters & bodyworkers about saddles, though I wouldn't call myself an expert at all. But I don't recall anyone ever saying anything of the sort - I think it's pretty much across the board that people say dry spots like that are pressure points, which makes total sense. The sweat glands, when inhibited by constant pressure, cannot work, so the spot stays dry. IF 'large dry spots' did indicate a good fitting saddle, bars 'doing their job', then I would think you'd see the whole bar area evenly dry, not a small spot like that.



Unfortunately, horses are generally very stoic creatures. And humans often aren't the most observant either, or able to understand a horse's signals/bodylanguage, so just because they're not obviously showing soreness doesn't necessarily mean anything.

I was also under the impression that all dry spots were bad. And was very concerned when my horse had two large dry spots in the same spot where the saddle bars would sit. It was on the trail riding thread where this was brought up and one of the other members mentioned that this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. I did some reading online and one of the quotes I found I will post:
"They usually occur under the front part of the saddle. However, a dry spot that is slightly larger than the palm of your hand can actually be a good thing. A saddle tree is designed to distribute pressure over the horses back. ... The horse's back doesn't move as much under the front of the saddle."

I did find a few other sites that mentioned this. I also had my saddle fitter out to determine that my saddle fit (which she says it does).

Now, I'm not saying this horse's saddle fits - who knows without actually seeing pictures of the saddle on the horse. I just thought i'd mention it doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't fit. I'm not an expert and saddle fitting is the bane of my existence - I'm just trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can.

You are absolutely right though - some horses are super stoic and it can be very hard to tell when they are uncomfortable. Others (like my mare) let you know right away when something is wrong.
 

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Your horse is built downhill and those spots are pretty far forward. I would say it's not fitting. Even if you slide it back, the way the horse is built, it will work forward again. I would hazard a guess the tree is too wide for this horse, thus concentrating the inside of the bars on those small spots rather than spreading out the pressure. Add the weight of a rider to a tipped-forward saddle and you get spots right where yours are. Corriente saddles are very wide-- great for wide, propane-tank quarter horses, but your horse looks like he'd do better in narrower tree.

Photos of your horse wearing the saddle with no pad would help. From straight on both sides, rear, and front sides showing how the bars lie against the back.
 

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Your horse is built downhill and those spots are pretty far forward. I would say it's not fitting. Even if you slide it back, the way the horse is built, it will work forward again. I would hazard a guess the tree is too wide for this horse, thus concentrating the inside of the bars on those small spots rather than spreading out the pressure. Add the weight of a rider to a tipped-forward saddle and you get spots right where yours are. Corriente saddles are very wide-- great for wide, propane-tank quarter horses, but your horse looks like he'd do better in narrower tree.

Photos of your horse wearing the saddle with no pad would help. From straight on both sides, rear, and front sides showing how the bars lie against the back.

TIL!!!!: How to describe AJ when I'm trying to tell ppl it's like riding a 55 gallon drum with a BIIIIGG rocking chair, rolling gait.


Propane tank. She's like sitting on a rocking and rolling propane tank. LOL
 
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Out of curiosity, does anyone out there make a saddle pad that's in the same line of operation as a cutback or the tapered pads, but one that maybe relieves pressure on this shoulder area?

I have this same issue with one of my horses, we've tried a number of saddle styles but every western saddle does this to him... I just opted to stop looking for a western saddle for him and stopped riding him with the ones that are available since it doesn't seem good.
 

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I've had dry spots that cause problems and dry spots that didn't. My current mare gets dry spots and she's never gotten a white hair so I've finally decided to stop worrying about them.


Someone on this forum (I don't remember who) stated that if the dry spots are very small, they are pressure points. If they are large, they are okay. So.......I really don't know for sure which is the case, but I am incline to think (after years of riding.....different saddles....different horses) not all dry spots are necessarily bad. I've had saddle cause white hairs (obviously bad!) and saddles with large dry spots that don't seem to be an issue. And I'm a heavy rider and my mare is black.......so I almost have to believe after riding her for two years without a single white hair in those spots, sometimes dry spots must not be a sign of trouble. :shrug:
 

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Out of curiosity, does anyone out there make a saddle pad that's in the same line of operation as a cutback or the tapered pads, but one that maybe relieves pressure on this shoulder area?

Yes, I've seen them.....but I've never tried them. They are sort of the opposite of a built-up, they have sort of a pocket there for the ends of the bars in the shoulder area. I think maybe both Professional's Choice and Clinton Anderson have a version.
 

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I've always been told that larger dry spots like these **can** possibly be okay, but it's the smaller dry spots that are very concerning because those usually are tight pressure points. When you run your hand along the front of the tree, do you feel any tight spots or does it have even contact?



I too would like to see the bare saddle sitting on the horse's back, with no pad and not cinched.



How old is the horse? Hard to tell exactly from the pictures but does he naturally have a bit of a dip behind the shoulder?


Corrientes do tend to have a nice amount of flare for the shoulders in their saddle. But it would be nice to see the saddle on him.


A 1" pad is pretty thick, in my opinion. Sometimes you don't need that much padding.
 
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