Saddling issue -- not girthy, not sore back, what then???
My 12 year old hates being saddled. Usually if I just go very slowly he is fine. But sometimes he grunts and lurches backwards from the weight of the saddle. Today I was showing my trainer the saddle fit, and I gently placed the saddle on his back without any pads. Whoa Nelly!!! He stood there a second, then grunted and really went backwards. Saddle fell off, etc.
I don't think it is being girthed -- I think it is the saddle itself. Today when he did it, we did not even have a girth in sight. He always wears a thinline pad. I have not had him long, and he was this way for his prior owner and her saddle.
Once he is gradually girthed, walked to arena, gently mounted, and given a good stretchy walk he is fine under saddle.
My trainer and I think it is a pain issue, but where? We just injected his hocks, and at that time he was a little sore in the loins, but way behind where the saddle goes. Plus, to rule out back/muscle pain, I had given him a light dose of robaxin last night and this morning. The robaxin greatly improved his canter, but we still did have the above problem when we saddled him. He is a new horse, and we are still getting physical stuff sorted out.
Withers? High shoulders? Pinched nerve somewhere?
Next step is getting a chiro/acupuncturist out here, but would love to hear and comments. This is such a smart board.
Last edited by ToTheNines; Oct. 14, 2011 at 02:34 PM.
Have you thought about SI joint injections? My horse, who is normally a stoic, good boy, started doing some weird things when I rode. After much money and many different kind of exams, we discovered it was his SI joints that were hurting. After being injected, he's my angel again!
If the saddle is even a tiny bit too narrow, it will pinch the sensitive nerves on either side of the withers. The horse doesn't have to have a sore back for this to be the case.
I'd try a slightly wider saddle and see if you have the same problem (although his initial reaction may still be the same because he may have a learned response to the pain and may anticipate it; but after a couple of saddlings you'd expect that to go away).
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