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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004

    Default 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 01:34 PM.
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2008


    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2000
    Amherst, MA


    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).

    Good luck.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

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