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View Full Version : I am sore, so the horse must be...



hunter-eventer-hunter
Sep. 25, 2009, 11:46 AM
TB mare decided that as she was not turned out yesteday, that she needed to be a total turd.

We walked for 15 to warm up and that was good, but once we trotted (well..that is kind, ran around on her forehand for 10 minutes, jigged, etc.) it all went the way it goes with TB mares sometimes.

After 30 mins of trying to make her see that really, all we needed was a long and low trot, I had enough, put her to hard work and it took 20 odd minutes to get good work. At the end we had some good self carriage, really good leg yields, and overall relaxation. At the end we had nice white foam, big sighs, less fussy mouth and floppy ears....a much happier horse.

But, and here is the rub, this is a horse that is prone to getting a sore back and I really fell like I might have pushed to much. I generally break up trot work more than I did. Her transitions were really tight (more than normal), and she got a few old hand locked down 'becuae you are ripping the reins out of my hands, mare!' moments. But it had to be done, as she was being a disobedient turd.

So I ride in a gel pad anyay, walked out for 15 minutes, hand walked with stretches and a she had a good rub down. She got a scoop of BL pellets to boot (she has a hemotoma where she was kicked last week, BL recommended as the swelling goes down.)

What else do you do to help ward off a tight back?

butlerfamilyzoo
Sep. 25, 2009, 11:57 AM
I would toss the gel pad and get a Thinline. The gel in the gel pads will move away from pressure points instead of absorbing the shock like you think it should. Take a pencil eraser and push into it, the gel moves and you can clearly feel the eraser on the other side. Thinlines dont compress like that. They take a lot of shock out for the rider too. Some say they dont notice a difference, i sure do. I even use it with a bareback pad. I can sit my trot with a thinline, i struggle without it. I dont have a fancy one, just the original half pad one.

Gel pads dont let any heat pass through either and dont breath at all. I lost faith in them shortly after they came out. I'm sure they make things a little more comfy for horses who suffer no pressure points to begin with, but for one like yours, i would go with a better preventative.

I have never tried one, but a supracore half pad might be interesting to try too.

I also like to follow up a tougher workout with a vetrolin liniment warm sponge bath. I dont know that it will do anything for deep muscle soreness, but i know it feels good running down my arm, so its gotta feel good to them too. Plus they smell good afterwords and the flies dont bug them so much when i turn them back out. :)

If you have had your saddle for years, reflocking it wouldnt hurt either. Flocking will get packed down and hard/lumpy creating more pressure points than you think. Its kind of expensive to have a new flocking job done, but worth it. I think a general rule of thumb would be to have it redone ever 3yrs, but i know some do it more often than that, maybe depends on how much use it gets...

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Sep. 25, 2009, 08:04 PM
If she often gets a sore back, and you can afford it, check with your vet to see if he/she recommends are chiro. My OTTB had horrible back problems for years. He would sometimes drop his back a foot just when I layed my hand on his back. We've now been working with a chiro for about two years and he is so much improved, not even the same horse. We did every 6 weeks and just last month moved up to every 8 weeks. I also had another vet/dentist do his teeth than previously, and that really gave him a boost as well. They can get a sore back from not being able to chew propely and holding their head in an unnatural way to compensate...

Other than that, I do regular linement rubdowns, just massaging it into his back. He loves that : ).

I also ride mine in a sheepskin pad with a Thinline pad, the sheepskin seems to make more of a difference than the Thinline though. I have it directly on his back, His Prince and the Pea prefers it that way. :yes:

xQHDQ
Sep. 25, 2009, 08:14 PM
My horse is prone to a sore back, too. When I know he's worked really hard, I give him a bute and a day off the next day.

Don't feel bad about how you rode your mare. You have to ride what she gives you.

Good luck.

slc2
Sep. 25, 2009, 08:31 PM
"she got a few old hand locked down 'becuae you are ripping the reins out of my hands, mare!' moments. But it had to be done, as she was being a disobedient turd."

I think there are other ways to deal with that.

I don't think that the back getting sore is something one should accept. I'd look at the saddle, pads, where the saddle is on the back, how it fits, what position it puts the rider in, and if the horse's hocks are sore or if there's something wrong nwith his shoeing.

goeslikestink
Sep. 25, 2009, 10:01 PM
TB mare decided that as she was not turned out yesteday, that she needed to be a total turd.

We walked for 15 to warm up and that was good, but once we trotted (well..that is kind, ran around on her forehand for 10 minutes, jigged, etc.) it all went the way it goes with TB mares sometimes.

After 30 mins of trying to make her see that really, all we needed was a long and low trot, I had enough, put her to hard work and it took 20 odd minutes to get good work. At the end we had some good self carriage, really good leg yields, and overall relaxation. At the end we had nice white foam, big sighs, less fussy mouth and floppy ears....a much happier horse.

But, and here is the rub, this is a horse that is prone to getting a sore back and I really fell like I might have pushed to much. I generally break up trot work more than I did. Her transitions were really tight (more than normal), and she got a few old hand locked down 'becuae you are ripping the reins out of my hands, mare!' moments. But it had to be done, as she was being a disobedient turd.

So I ride in a gel pad anyay, walked out for 15 minutes, hand walked with stretches and a she had a good rub down. She got a scoop of BL pellets to boot (she has a hemotoma where she was kicked last week, BL recommended as the swelling goes down.)

What else do you do to help ward off a tight back?

do you ever get your saddle re flocked -- and do you ever check your own position looked at and have you checked your stirrups are correct lenght as this plays a part n your position and position effects the way of going on a horse - the saddler can tell you if you ride croaked which can cause a bad back

look at my helpful links pages in the sticky above and read all of page one and all links

slc2
Sep. 25, 2009, 10:20 PM
"a sore back should not be the result of riding"

It most definitely can be how the horse is being ridden.

Locking the hands down because the horse is pulling - this will make your problems worse.

Manes and Tails
Sep. 26, 2009, 05:15 PM
Equine massage (not chiro...she may need a chiro, but massage is better for overall soreness).
Carrot stretches after riding. You should get her to bring her head down between her knees and also around to each shoulder. This helps my friend's somewhat stiff senior mare a lot.
Check saddle fit.
Get a session with a trainer to determine two things: One, are you doing anything to make her tense through the back. Two, is she working through her back when being ridden or is she doing everything with her legs.

xQHDQ
Sep. 27, 2009, 12:34 PM
I have to disagree with people who say there is no way that proper riding can cause a sore back. I know that after a hard workout at the gym (under the supervision of a trainer, so I know I'm doing the exercises correctly), I'm sore.

If the horse works really hard and is correctly over the back, it is quite possible he gets a little sore - it's a lot of work for him (you can argue that he may not be ready to do that amount of work, but without a little push, there is no progress). Or if the horse is "being a turd" and you have to work him through it, he may also get sore.

If it's a regular thing or a very severe soreness, then some rethinking needs to happen. But occassional mild soreness doesn't necessarily mean the saddle doesn't fit, or you're riding crooked.

luise
Sep. 27, 2009, 12:40 PM
I also agree with using a Thinline pad. Check saddle fit. Have a vet or chiro look at her, evaluate for any kissing spine.
Now if you get an answer, or at least get everything looked into, you can try a Back on Track sheet before/after working. Also if you give her a tough workout, you could try some Robaxin for a day or 2 to see if she feels any better.

hunter-eventer-hunter
Sep. 28, 2009, 09:29 AM
do you ever get your saddle re flocked -- and do you ever check your own position looked at and have you checked your stirrups are correct lenght as this plays a part n your position and position effects the way of going on a horse - the saddler can tell you if you ride croaked which can cause a bad back

look at my helpful links pages in the sticky above and read all of page one and all links

Thanks for the thoguhts, and to answer a few questions:

1. Saddle is 6 months old and has been checked, fits her well.
2. Thougth about the heat on the gel pad, and went back to my Mattes Fleece
3. Horse sees a Chrio, and a really good one. (The one my vet who is a big time Hano Breeder uses)
4. Horse did get a few days off and BL Pellets and we had a nice lesson yesterday where we did a lot of long and low trot.
5. When she is RIPPING the reins out of my hands, my trainer's advice is to hold and kick forward and let her deal with the fact that she is ripping the bit into her own mouth. (that may not be the best plan...totally up for other ideas!)
6. She get a massage every 4 weeks

The challenge I have with this mare is that I have checked off the things that you generally rule out for a sore back. The Chiro is of the opinion that the mare needs to devolp (you might say over devolp given that she is only at training level) a UBER top line to compensate for the fact that she is prone to a sore back.

She has a healed rupture of the DDFT in the back, and it is the chiro's thinking that she might just have an altered stance, at work or at rest, because of the old tendon injury that makes her use her back a bit funky.

But that beind said after good work, I get a whale of an overstep at the walk...like 6 inches.

butlerfamilyzoo
Sep. 28, 2009, 11:01 AM
Your sheepskin is only really going to do what its supposed to if the wool is directly on her back, if you are using a pad under it to keep the sheepskin clean, you remove the good it does. It might add some extra cushion, but thats it. Will do nothing to regulate heat.

I still recommend the thinline. They make one with sheepskin, if you didnt want the extra step of throwing something else on... Its just pricey, i'll keep the extra step... :) When i talked with the rep at DAD she recommended i get the regular one, not the "Ultra," as the ultra is slightly thinner and i'm working green ponies. So as to better protect the undeveloped back, i guess they like the thicker one better. I believe its cheaper, the ultra i think is more expensive.

With horses that pull, i've always been taught to let them fall on their face a few times. If you get into a tug of war session, they win, no human is strong enough to win that battle. I trained with a german lady that was really a "push/pull" argue type of rider, VERY strong, the core strength on that woman was insane. I couldnt ride her way, her horses were too tense too. I think they learn the best if they teach it to themselves. So if she pulls, try letting the rein thread out until she finds there is nothing to hit. I've had some horses pull like that because they didnt care for the bit i was using, you might play with different mouth pieces. But some are just turds... :)

Good luck! :)

meupatdoes
Sep. 28, 2009, 11:53 AM
I prefer a prolite pad to a thin line pad.
The prolites have excellent shock absorbing qualities; imo the thin line is too thin to do much of anything.

That said the prolite is just thick enough to narrow the fit of the saddle. If you already ride around in an extra pad it should be fine, but if you normally ride in just a cloth pad and the saddle make sure you aren't making your saddle too narrow.

If the saddle is too narrow to accommodate a prolite I would recommend a supracor as a second choice. They can be on the short side so make sure to get one that is long enough for the saddle.