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  1. #1
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    Default Sore girth area

    I've had horses with sore backs but not sore girth areas. I think my mare is sore through out the girth area but mostly left side. The more I rode over the summer/fall the grouchier she got when I saddled her. I noticed the past few weeks when I first got on she would do this wierd up/down, half trot half canter steps, but she works right out of it. She usually does that when she is a little fresh, which she has been the past couple weeks. Otherwise under saddle she has never shown signs of being sore anywhere. She's 10 yrs old, I started her under saddle, trained her and have been her primary rider ever since. Tonight when I was grooming her, she was extremely grouchy when I was brushing the girth area mostly on the left side. She's never done that before so I don't know(don't think) it was just a grouchy thing.
    Any ideas? I hope I gave enough info.
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!



  2. #2
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    It might not be a bad idea to have a chiro out. Perhaps she has a rib out of whack? That's where I would start



  3. #3
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    I wasn't sure chiro or massage.
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!



  4. #4
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    Rib out of whack, or ulcers? Any other "strange" behaviors creeping up lately?
    Kim
    The Galloping Grape
    Warrenton, VA
    http://www.GallopingGrape.com



  5. #5
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    This past year has been one of her best yet. One other little thing I can think of, she might not like my left leg. Sometimes when I put left leg on, she gets a tiny bit grouchy about it for like a step or two.

    Rib outta whack? Really? Never would have come up with that one on my own!
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!



  6. #6
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    My mare gets really girthy when she's in-season, and I forget to give her the raspberry leaves that help with that. If I put leg on her, she just about breathes fire sometimes.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  7. #7
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    Didn't think about her being in heat! She has silent heats, so maybe?
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coobie View Post
    Didn't think about her being in heat! She has silent heats, so maybe?
    Where are you?

    Most mares are shut down this time of year.



  9. #9
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    Shows how much I know about mares being in heat! LOL! I've never owned a mare, never leased a mare, never even ridden many mares now that I think of it! Wow, isn't that weird! I'm in New England, so I would say it's probably not a heat cycle then.
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!



  10. #10
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    Something you may want to try is riding with your girth a hole looser. My touchy mare is happier since I've been girthing her looser. I have no idea why, but it's been working for me.

    Of course, my girl may also have a rib out--I've been trying to get the chiro/acupuncture person out!



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coobie View Post
    Shows how much I know about mares being in heat! LOL! I've never owned a mare, never leased a mare, never even ridden many mares now that I think of it! Wow, isn't that weird! I'm in New England, so I would say it's probably not a heat cycle then.
    I am in the very northern part of Vermont and my mare was in heat this week. Yes, I know that is not usual but neither is she. She bags up when in heat and always has. OFten the milk glands which swell when a mare has just foaled, up toward the girth area also swell up when she's in heat. When this happens she doesn't like the girth tighened either. IT just made me think of it as you mentioned that at the beginning of the ride she does these , oh I can't recall exactly what you said, but trot canter steps, whatever. It just seemed to me that maybe she does this to move the girth off of an area that is not comfortable for her.

    And yes, the mare has been seen by the vet for this. IT is maybe not normal but is normal for her. She hasn't even ever been bred but her mom and grandmom were also like this. Actually after they foaled the problem of bagging up when in heat went away with both of them.



  12. #12
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    A few thoughts to check out...

    1. Saddle fit.
    2. Your riding-sitting crooked.
    3. Mild irritation of the skin there-fungus or allergic reaction? And sometimes it is hard to see or is under the skin.
    4. Irregularity on the girth that is rubbing.
    5. Injury like a bruise or a rib.
    6. Actually going to suggest ulcers here.

    Doubt it is heat related as the ovaries are no where near that and she should be out. When they get the "don't touch me" mood it is everywhere, not one side.

    Horses backs change shape. Our riding can change. Leathers can stretch so slowly we don't notice one is 2" longer. they can get kicked or hurt themselves rolling.

    See if you can't narrow down exactly where the pain is centered then, where it is the worst.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    A few thoughts to check out...

    1. Saddle fit.
    2. Your riding-sitting crooked.
    3. Mild irritation of the skin there-fungus or allergic reaction? And sometimes it is hard to see or is under the skin.
    4. Irregularity on the girth that is rubbing.
    5. Injury like a bruise or a rib.
    6. Actually going to suggest ulcers here.

    Doubt it is heat related as the ovaries are no where near that and she should be out. When they get the "don't touch me" mood it is everywhere, not one side.

    Horses backs change shape. Our riding can change. Leathers can stretch so slowly we don't notice one is 2" longer. they can get kicked or hurt themselves rolling.

    See if you can't narrow down exactly where the pain is centered then, where it is the worst.
    When my mare is in heat, she's very specific where she doesn't want to be touched, and that's girth area, and a little ways behind it on her barrel (where leg is applied). As long as I feed the raspberry leaves, she's okay.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sublimequine View Post
    When my mare is in heat, she's very specific where she doesn't want to be touched, and that's girth area, and a little ways behind it on her barrel (where leg is applied). As long as I feed the raspberry leaves, she's okay.
    Well, mine too...but not just on one side and not to the point of reacting to just that leg. She is equally and sometimes dramatically reactive...but only on "those days".

    Leads me to speculate it is an injury, a sore spot caused by the tack or crooked rider or it's medical.

    Like to know just exactly where OP locates the sorest spot and source of the issue...and that could be up higher and farther away from what she is noticing.

    Offhand, I vote chiropractor as best place to start. After isolating the soreness as much as you can to guide them in what to adjust.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Well, mine too...but not just on one side and not to the point of reacting to just that leg. She is equally and sometimes dramatically reactive...but only on "those days".

    Leads me to speculate it is an injury, a sore spot caused by the tack or crooked rider or it's medical.

    Like to know just exactly where OP locates the sorest spot and source of the issue...and that could be up higher and farther away from what she is noticing.

    Offhand, I vote chiropractor as best place to start. After isolating the soreness as much as you can to guide them in what to adjust.
    That's true, the one-sided-ness is a bit strange. I'm not a big fan of chiros, I think perhaps I'd call the vet and ask if they have any ideas first, and if they dismiss it, then perhaps go onto something else.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  16. #16
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    Mostly left side, girth area down by the height of her elbow-does that make sense? And like I said she's more reactive to the left leg, does work out of it within minutes of trotting. By the time I ask her to pick up right lead, she doesn't care about the left leg. But, her reactions do seem to be getting worse with time. I have noticed that my new thing is to lean to the right and put more weight into my right stirrup, thus pulling my saddle ever so slightly to the right. I am always switching sides with my stirrup leathers so they stretch more even. Her back doesn't appear to be sore, like when I run my fingers down I can with a lot of pressure. She has a very old injury from when she was a foal and the mare stepped on her. Her right hip sometimes gets a little tender to touch but has never caused any stiffness or lameness. However this has been a harder year on her training wise. She hasn't been ridden for a few weeks and I noticed the worst attitude when grooming the other night.
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coobie View Post
    Mostly left side, girth area down by the height of her elbow...more reactive to the left leg, does work out of it within minutes of trotting... her reactions do seem to be getting worse with time... my new thing is to lean to the right and put more weight into my right stirrup, thus pulling my saddle ever so slightly to the right ... hasn't been ridden for a few weeks and I noticed the worst attitude when grooming the other night.

    Ok...I'll guess here. Or try. Shifting the weight to the right would pull on the girth on the lower left and that might have gotten the area pretty tender, even with the not being ridden. It takes time to heal.

    Working out of it can indicate more muscle then bone but does not rule out a rib or bad bruise from God knows what that keeps being aggravated by the girth OR she has some kind of bump from something right under the skin.

    Can you get a good light and magnifying glass and really look at that area? Pull the hair back or shave it so you can really see. I have known few that get what almost looks like ingrown hairs from girth pressure and it gets worse in winter with the longer coat. You cannot see unless you look hard.

    Report back on your findings. Poke around too...exactly how big is the sore area?

    BTW, I had one that developed a bad sore spot we could never figure out or find the exact source...until we realized it was the standing martingale as it looped over the girth. Heck of a rubbed spot right between and slightly behind those elbows that was hidden by the winter hair in a spot you basically cannot see unless you crawl under. Found it scraping mud off after turn out whan it was too cold to bathe. Lord no wonder he was girthy and got hump backed when sweat got into it. Poor guy.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  18. #18
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    Unfortunetly I won't be able to investigate today but I will have time to tomorrow. I'll really hunt around and see what I find. I let ya know!
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coobie View Post
    I wasn't sure chiro or massage.
    A full body massage might help you pinpoint if this is the only reactive areas.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coobie View Post
    Mostly left side, girth area down by the height of her elbow-does that make sense? And like I said she's more reactive to the left leg, does work out of it within minutes of trotting.
    I have a gelding who gets sore behind both elbows, but more so behind left elbow. In his case, it's the girth. Because of his conformation, he comes in contact with the side of the girth at each stride and if the girth is hard or he's hitting a buckle, he gets sore. After long rides, he'd even show rub spots. I've had to try several different types of girths--both leather and synthetic--before finding a fleece one that appears to have solved the problem. Fleece coverings did not help. The fact that it's worse on the left side is probably a combination of his natural way of going and my tendency to sit heavier on right seatbone.

    On the other hand, I also have a mare and they can be mighty opinionated about the rider applying leg! So, this could simply be a training issue that you need to work through with her. Personally, I never accept being in season as an excuse for misbehavior under saddle. Geez, I've always had to go to work and make a living even if I was "in season." Like me, that mare has to put her big girl pants on and behave...even if she feels like bucking off the boss!



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