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View Full Version : Cold Backed- Dealbreaker?



n2dressage
May. 16, 2011, 06:08 AM
So there's a 9yo horse at my barn that is there in training to be sold. He's apparently cold backed- arches up against the saddle when it's put on and for the first few minutes when the rider is on. After that when he relaxes, he can do all the PSG work (scoring in the mid 60's in Germany). The arched back doesn't come back during the ride but when he gets nervous he is uneven in front. Assuming he's been thoroughly vetted (I'm not quite sure) and I know he's had a saddler look at him and an acupuncturist/chiro--- Would that be a deal breaker for you or would you be okay with it if it was manageable? What would you pay for this kind of horse? Movement is cute but not super flashy, horse is normal sized at about 16.1 or 2 and seems to be sane and safe.

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 06:23 AM
Personally for me, as a first timer cold backed isn't something I'd want to deal with. Like you said though; other issues have to be eliminated, but all things being equal I would not consider it.

That being said, remember that opinions are like backsides; we all have one.

Paula

Tiki
May. 16, 2011, 07:14 AM
This horse scored in the mid 60's at PSG in Germany - probably against much tougher competition than what you would find here in the States and you would turn him down because he is cold backed for a few minutes at the beginning of the ride????????????? If you're afraid of that, just lunge him for a couple of minutes before you get on. If he rides well for you and you pass him up for this, well, sorry for you.

shawneeAcres
May. 16, 2011, 07:36 AM
I have found thru the years, they have yet to make the "perfect" horse that has no holes! It all biols down to what you can live with.

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 09:09 AM
It all biols down to what you can live with.

I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. The poster is right; no such thing as a perfect horse, but the worse thing to do is to be talked into a horse that is not right for you. It reminds me of what a respected dog trainer used to ask, "Do you have the dog you want" (Job Michael Evans).

Paula

thatsnotme
May. 16, 2011, 09:15 AM
I wouldn't have a problem with cold backed-it wouldn't even be an issue for me. My mom would absolutely never even consider a cold backed horse.
Its all about what you can live with/want to handle. But, if resale is in your future, keep whatever hole you buy in mind.

n2dressage
May. 16, 2011, 01:48 PM
This horse scored in the mid 60's at PSG in Germany - probably against much tougher competition than what you would find here in the States and you would turn him down because he is cold backed for a few minutes at the beginning of the ride????????????? If you're afraid of that, just lunge him for a couple of minutes before you get on. If he rides well for you and you pass him up for this, well, sorry for you.

This is pretty much my opinion as well. He was priced between 80-100k€ and has been for sale for about a year because Germans really don't want to deal with anything like that. My trainer has him and advised his owner that if he wants to sell him then he's going to have to drastically drop his price to find someone willing to manage this issue so now the owner is willing to entertain any offer (not really sure exactly what that means yet since no offer has been made by anyone... but my trainer thinks he has to take less than 20k for him.) If it were a young horse I'd say no way but a confirmed PSG horse that would probably score very well in the States I think that is a bargain...

Foxtrot's
May. 16, 2011, 01:55 PM
I often wonder what cold backed really means. If he's been tried by a lot of people, pushed in is schooling, had that certain button pushed a few times too many, maybe he is anticipating....once you get him, gain his trust, go along with his quirk, treat him very gently, maybe it will not be an issue - along with the normal treatment available. Are you a young and confident rider - ? He would not do for me at my age, but for the right rider I'd say it was not a deal breaker for the education he can give you and for the right price.

n2dressage
May. 16, 2011, 02:09 PM
My trainer wonders if he had an accident at some point because she said you can't feel one of his ribs on one side but you can feel all the others. I'm not real sure yet- we are going to play with him this week. I don't have much money so which ever way it may not work out. I am young- I am confident after I've been on the horse for a several rides to know what they are capable of. My important qualities are safe first, then an education would be nice, then competition would be nice. It doesn't have to have show stopping movement as long as there is a good brain.

alto
May. 16, 2011, 02:17 PM
He was priced between 80-100k€ and has been for sale for about a year because Germans really don't want to deal with anything like that. My trainer has him and advised his owner that if he wants to sell him then he's going to have to drastically drop his price to find someone willing to manage this issue so now the owner is willing to entertain any offer (not really sure exactly what that means yet since no offer has been made by anyone... but my trainer thinks he has to take less than 20k for him

sorry but I'm rather sceptical that his issue is minor - do consider that if you buy him at this amazing price, you will likely resell him at a similarly amazing price (going with my suspicion that it's not just "cold backed").
OTOH if he can do what you need/want & you're satisfied with the vet report ...

I'd definitley look into insurance on him - not sure how that stands in Germany.

JackSprats Mom
May. 16, 2011, 02:18 PM
but my trainer thinks he has to take less than 20k for him.)

seriously?? Just becuase he's cold backed. But he's competed and is sound AND sane?

WOW is all I can say.

Cold backed wouldn't put me off.

joiedevie99
May. 16, 2011, 02:22 PM
There is a large enough pool of riders at the 4th/PSG level that wouldn't be bothered that it shouldn't prevent a sale at a reasonable price. While 80-100k euro sounds too high, 20k USD sounds way too low. I'd think he would sell around $50k USD.

cyndi
May. 16, 2011, 02:24 PM
I have a cold backed horse. He "came" that way - no injury or issue, since I bought him as a weanling. He launched me once before I discovered he was cold backed. I now lunge him before riding, but it does not take much lunging - less than 5 minutes. Absolutely no issues under saddle once lunged other than being a tiny bit humpy once in a great while.

I do hate lunging a horse, but I have realized it's just got to be part of this guy's routine. But, it is very worth the small inconvenience - this guy has super movement, always scores 8s on movement, and routinely scored in the very high 60s and lower 70s last year at training level. With me, older adult amateur, piloting.

So, I would not hesitate to buy a cold backed horse if it was a nice horse. Your average, garden-variety horse? Maybe not so much. But that's mostly because I really do HATE lunging. ;)

winfieldfarm
May. 16, 2011, 02:32 PM
there's cold backed and then there's COLD BACKED.

in my experience, there is a difference. We have two mares in the barn who I would consider in the general category. Little Arab mare is cold backed. By this I mean that until she is fit and worked consistently for some time, she will waddle and hump her back when you get on. If you do deep bending circles right off the mounting block, her back warms up and she's fine.

mare number two is a big Dutch Harness Arab cross who will buck you off as soon as look at you on any given day. She fusses through the entire saddling process. She really humps and really waddles when you get on and there is no rhyme nor reason as to when she will do it. Doesn't matter if she has had time off or has been worked consistently. And if you aren't careful how you ride that first walking warm up, she will buck.

For the record, both mares are healthy with well fitted tack. Cold backed is a matter of individual horses, the severity of it and whether a rider can manage it skillfully. And every horse is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Sounds like the trainer really dislikes this habit and has no use for the horse because of it.

n2dressage
May. 16, 2011, 02:36 PM
The horse market is.... ummm.... different over here. My friend has a very nice and cute little 14yo horse that is solid PSG and will do some one tempis and is starting half steps that she was thinking of selling for 18k euro. He was this price because he was small. Same horse in the States? $60k.
I dunno- we'll see what happens with it all. I'm not really in the position to buy right now anyway but if he sits on the market longer then that probably increases my chances of being able to afford him. I'll update after I sit on him this week! Oh, and the above price of 20k was in euro and not dollar (and the exchange rate is in the toilet right now...)

n2dressage
May. 16, 2011, 02:41 PM
Actually Winfieldfarm- the trainer does really like him and thinks the problem is fine for her if she didn't already have too many horses. He's been on the market for over a year because of this and it seems in general Germans have a very low tolerance for anything out of the ordinary (because there's sooooooo many nice horses here.) He was sent to her from a sales barn because they wanted to see if the problem can be fixed and not just managed and that if anyone comes to try him then the history and the problem have to be fully disclosed and there are more competitive horses to choose from I suppose.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
May. 16, 2011, 05:24 PM
If he otherwise vets healthy, it's a small price to pay for a what sounds like an AMAZING horse. And the Germans don't want to deal? Sheesh, they deal! I know a gal who shipped her PSG horse back to Germany to be sold and he was the epitome of cold backed AND he was very tricky to ride (well).

ginger708
May. 16, 2011, 05:28 PM
I agree with other posters that are telling you that there is not perfect horse and the horse you buy and or ride are a matter of what you are willing to manage or put up with. My retired horse is a cribber. It is very manageable and his temperament and work ethic were so great that I didn't care that he cribbed.

I use to ride a schooling horse that was cold backed. If you did not ride 2-point for the first 10 minutes of the ride he would go into a bucking fit. Great in every other way and I loved him. would have bought him if he was for-sale.

My last situation was my dream horse in every way except he would spook randomly at things you have ridden him past many times during the riding session, if you did not lunge him really well once a week.

The barn where I ride and where his owner would like him to stay is very busy so it is difficult to lunge and I by nature am not a lunger, I have nothing against lunging I have been trained on how to do it and I can do it well.

But if I am honest with myself when I get home form work I want to go to the barn and just ride. So my dream horse is not the right horse for me and the fact that he put me in the hospital on a day that I should have lunged and didn't did not help either.

alicen
May. 16, 2011, 06:31 PM
I rode a cold backed horse for ten years. I always lunged him 5 mins. both directions before mounting-gradually tightening the girth. He was such a sweet guy and tried not to go into crow-hopping mode, but he really couldn't help it. After ten years, I can't say that it got any worse and he was relaxed in the back and fine after being warmed up on the longe.

honeylips
May. 16, 2011, 08:30 PM
COld backed can also be a symptom of kissing spine - so I would have the back xrayed if you decide to move forward. Spine xrays are common in europe these days - the Westfalen auction house does them on every horse as do the Oldenburg auction as well.

alto
May. 17, 2011, 01:26 AM
COld backed can also be a symptom of kissing spine - so I would have the back xrayed if you decide to move forward.
This :yes:

Some have reported success when using the Back On Track blankets etc with cold backed horses (as replacement to lunging) ...

princessfluffybritches
May. 17, 2011, 12:50 PM
I had bought a five year old Hannovarian in the 90's, only to discover that he was cold backed-the bad one. He would buck me off out of the blue every time unless I lunged him first. Well, 20 minutes of lunging gets real tiresome after a while. I would never buy a horse again that needed indefinite lunging-esp bacause thy bucked.

Going to the barn and just taking a horse out of a stall and tacking up-that is bliss to me.

Bronte
May. 18, 2011, 06:04 PM
All depends!:lol:
I have a horse that could be called cold backed. I have had him since 4 yrs and was told of the issue. He is sensitive to touch and when you saddle him, you have to be gentle. Then do up the girth very lightly and hand walk him. It generally only takes a couple of rounds around the ring. He exhals and you are good to tighten the girth and mount.

Failing the above you will be shot in to the heavens. (No it was not me, a ws that ignored the warning). She got used to him being so laid back.

If you just let him get used to the feeling of the girth and saddle, no problem. He is hopefully doing his GP debut this year. Fabulous horse, great under saddle, you just need to accommodate this need!

And yes, he had been vetted up side down and backwards ~ no issues. And if he was ever for sale, absolutely no discount for this!

PS He even dislikes the steward touching his sides at shows, but tolerates. (Wish he could talk ~ and I would have more to share)!

MassageLady
May. 20, 2011, 12:59 AM
It wouldn't be an issue for me, because it's easily fixed...unless there is more to it-like fractures, etc. It takes a long time, because of memory of the pain, etc...but it's really a simple fix, if you know how.

horsepoor
May. 20, 2011, 01:30 AM
COld backed can also be a symptom of kissing spine - so I would have the back xrayed if you decide to move forward.

This was my first thought when I read the first post. I just had a horse diagnosed with mild kissing spine and it does seem to be the source of a cold-backed start to the ride. Having only just started to delve into this problem with him, can't say yet whether I would consider it a dealbreaker. Like someone said, they all have issues and you just have to decide what you can live with -- both in its current form AND any risk there might be for future use (PPE can help with that, but no one has an accurate crystal ball yet, darn it!).