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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

I'm starting to have a problem now. My horse doesn't have the most un-breakable coat, but he rubs it off very easily. Just leave the halter on him in the pasture for a few days and he'll have bald spots all over his face where it rubs.. :/
This far I've managed to keep him nice without too much trouble tho, by putting showsheen on his back and hips especially when he wears a blanket (to ease friction), making sure to have a smooth inside on the blankets, removing the halter during the day in the pasture and so on.

But now when I've started riding him more, I noticed that the hairs under the back of the saddle was ruffled and now it's a lighter area there with way too short hairs. He's not sore or anything, but I'm afraid he will be if I can't stop this progress, and that if he gets sore, he'll get white hairs at that spot.. not so neat on a dark brown/black bay.. but of course the worst is if he gets sore.

I figured that the hairs got ruffled and broke a bit when my saddlepad got really dirty for a while. I didn't notice anything back then, but I think it could start there and then the friction increased as the coat was damaged and now it's going downhill..
I have of course washed the pad (too two rides to get it stiff and bad again - bleh! it was expencive too) and I hoped it would be enough, but now I see it's getting worse.
So now I've given him a bath despite the weather (He loves to roll in mud and no matter what I do, brushing, vacuum cleaning etc for hours I can't get him un-dusty unless I bathe him) and given him a thin blanket to keep him clean. I've started using showsheen on that area to make it smoother and I have soft blankets closest to him when I ride (the saddle is a bit too wide, I am looking for a new one. But that would hardly affect that area of his back, not with this saddle)..

Giving him a vacation for several months to let the hairs grow out isn't very fun when I just got him good to ride (green broke) and afterall it feels silly when he isn't in any pain.. he just have a ruffled coat..

Any helpful advices, please? Ideas? Anything?
Could a reindeer skin with the hairs down do any good? I remember a horse in school that needed that..
 

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Be very careful with the Show Sheen! That saddle might slip right off! =)

I can see where a very crusty sweaty pad could make the hair rub off, but you also need to make sure that the pads, as well as the saddle you are using on your horse are right for him =)

Where in particular is the hair coming off? On each side of the wither? or near the hips?

Dont ya hate when stuff like this happens? LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The saddle is secure enough :p I'm more worried that show sheen will damage the hair more, making them dry or anything..


And the saddle is very good for him, although it is a size too wide (I've ordered a new, more narrow front to it so that's already being fixed) and cause me to have more/thicker pads under it. But, both according to me and everyone I've asked that should know some about it, it's unlikely that the saddle has caused this problem even if it is too wide. We believe that the blame is simply that dirty pad that ruffled the hairs up in the start, and his overly sensetive coat..
He doesn't have any sore or anything at the spot.

It's near/towards the hips, but not close enough to be caused by the saddle being too long. :) There is still a few hands between the hip and the rubbed area.

I will try to give vitamin B for his coat and add a lambskin or reindeer skin to ease the friction against the rubbed part...

And I hope she can get hold of a K3 front to that saddle soon, even if it didn't cause this problem, it's still not good for my horse.. :/
 

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sounds like the saddle is a tad too long or the pad material is irratating him
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's not the saddle, it is the pad. It got dirty, ruffled p the hairs and started it that way. I have changed pads, trying to get a smooth surface bt the already rugged up hairs caused more friction despite the new pads and on it went..'

I've bought a shepskin today, I hope that helps untill the hairs grow back. His coat is extremely sensetive.
 

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Sheepskin has a tendency to get icky and balled up when it gets sweaty and dirty. When it gets like that it can start pinching hairs and it also becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. I would think using sheepskin would exacerbate the problem, it looks like it's nice and soft but gets icky fast. Again- what type of backing are you currently using?
 

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It's not the saddle, it is the pad. It got dirty, ruffled p the hairs and started it that way. I have changed pads, trying to get a smooth surface bt the already rugged up hairs caused more friction despite the new pads and on it went..'.
Sorry, but the problem is both, dirty pad and a saddle that doesn't fit.

When you place the pad on the horse's back and secure a well fitted saddle the pad does not move, when your finished your ride you should be able to lift the saddle and the pad is in the same place you started at, in fact this is how you check that a saddle fits in the first palce, by checking for hot spots. If the saddle is not done up enough, bridging, too low or high in the gullet or has too long of skirt your going to have problems, especially with a western saddle. You can sometimes make up for a small short fall in fit by using a thicker or thinner pad or if your riding lots of hills a breast plate can help. In the end saddle fit is the most important part.

Some horse's may have a reaction to certain pads, some pads don't wick sweat as well as other's which may cause a problem for sensitive skinned horses. I found that some chestnuts or sorrels have this problem more so than a bay or other colour.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sheepskin is often used for horses that rubs the coat, I'll just have to keep it clean... somehow. :/ Probably buying another one and wash them often.

The pad doesn't move or slide away, neither does the saddle (I've ridden in it and forgotten to tighten the girth, leaving it completely loose, and didn't notice untill I got off), but the horses back does move under the saddle and naturally rubs against it. The pads get equally dirty all over the saddles contact areas/panels after a ride.

This is a horse that gets bald spots if he wear a halter, with or without soft fluff on it, for two days in a row. It's not that weird that he got a rubbed spot after some hours riding with a dirty pad, or that the spot got worse once it had started... it's more weird he hasn't had it before. Concidering the muddy weather, wintercoat and it being too cold to shower him; there might have been sandy dust on the spot to start with. I do groom him, even wacuum clean him, but this time of year it's impossible to keep him dust-free. I did shower him now, poor freezing thing, and make him wear a blanket. I'm just afraid the blanket will rub the fur off other parts of his hips now *sigh*
The saddle is a bit too wide as I've said, which is already being fixed. Untill then I'm padding it up and the pads generally gets evenly dirty/sweaty after a ride. But none of us (including prof. saddle checking people, dunno the english name) believs that that can cause a rubbed spot at that place.

He's getting supplements for his coat too, and his food is checked to avoid any lack of vitamins or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Might try that if the sheepskin doesn't work.. would be cheaper too.
But I guess those skins are used for a reason.. hopefully it'll go away now.
 

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Have you thought of getting a blood panel pulled? This amount of hair loss seems a bit extreme and I would start worrying about an underlying issue. (thyroid, glandular etc.)
 

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If it is bothering him on his face, it might not be just from the pad being dirty (Sorry if you mentioned this already and I just missed it). Perhaps you should consider calling your vet to see if there is an underlying issue at hand.
 

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Sounds like an ill-fitting saddle to me, or as others have mentioned, a problem bigger than just the pad. If the saddle fits well, however, the pad is just there to keep the saddle clean.... if the saddle doesn't fit well it can cause the pad to rub.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
He has a very sensetive coat, but the skin is fine, he's not sore, his hooves are hard and the mane and tail too :) It hasn't come after one ride, but it started slow and then I realized it wouldn't disappear just by washing the pad.

The vet hasn't found anything, his food is analysed and made sure to cover everything he needs. He doesn't show any other weaknesses except the sensetive coat.

I know other standardbreds around here that's equally sensetive, especially now when it's time to shed. He doesn't have any marks on his face or other place now, but he got it the first few days I've had him, and I've seen that the blankets has ruffled up the coat on his hips before, it stopped when I used showsheen on his hips and I try to avoid blankets.. But except this little spot I've managed to keep him from any visible marks in his coat (I've payed attention when I've noticed the areas were ruffled, before it got so thin/short it changed colour). So it's not normally a problem as long as I don't make him wear a halter in the stall or pasture, and avoid blankets/makes sure to get blankets with good insides.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Justdressageit, did you read my reply to the other accusation on an illfitting saddle? I'm not typing it again.
The back of the horse will always rub against the pad no matter how well the saddle fits, because the horses back moves but the saddle can not move the same way.

I just happen to have a very sensetive horse that after an incident with a dirty saddlepad got his coat ruffled up in a spot and with the less smooth coat more rubbing occured and now the coat is nearly rubbed off in a small spot on his back. The saddle hasn't given him any problems like that before, despite it being used more frequently during the three months he was in training than now. And he isn't sore anywhere.

He is ridicculosly sensetive when it comes to rubbing his coat, but other than that, nobody has been able to find any problem with him physically.
 

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A friend of mine has this very problem with her Walker gelding. He's short backed and has a lot of action in his back legs, so even with a short saddle and pad, he still rubs. She uses a Skito pad with the real wool underside and a ThinLine pad on top, to keep the saddle from making the rubbing worse. This combination has helped some.

Another idea would be to use a real sheepskin saddle pad right against his skin. If you buy a dog slicker brush and brush out the pad often, it will relatively clean. My daughter uses one under her English saddle and it's very nice. I wash it occasionally with a special sheepskin wash. You let it air dry, then fluff it back up with the slicker brush. I use a horse body brush to brush the dirt out between every ride.
Sheepskin Saddle Pads - Square & Westen Pads - Western Pad - Arete Equestrian - Half Chaps, Skito & Supracor Saddle Pads... - (Powered by CubeCart)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've bought a sheepskin :) Thanks for the tips about keeping it fresh.

Crow has a fairly long back nd the spot is severl hands away from his hips, so I'm quite sure it's not that. He hasn't had any problem before and it's just on one side so I really think it's some dirt that started it all, and the rugged up surface of his coat against the normal sheet that kept it from healing and made it worse. Hopefully the sheepskin will help.
 

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You know, you might have someone video you riding, from the front and back, and from the side. You might be putting more weight in one seat bone, or dropping a shoulder, which could cause the saddle to shift and create the rub. I used to drop my right shoulder and didn't even know it! I thought my horse was just a booger and liked to drift. Once I saw the video and started working on it, she quit drifting! lol
 
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