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Crupper Rub

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  • Crupper Rub

    Hello, I'm new to driving my own horse and harness fitting, etc. I previously drove carriages in various cities, for weddings and such and only recently was able to invest in the equipment for my own gelding. I've been ground driving him while I patiently wait for the cart to arrive (alright, I'm not that patient), and I noticed that he's getting a rubbed spot on the underside of his tail from the crupper. Has anyone else experienced this? Do they ever develop calouses where the crupper sits? I ordered him a cover for it, but was curious about this.

    And because I don't think any post should be picture free... Here's one of my hubby driving my obviously frazzled gelding: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kris0227/6933073943/

    Also, I know his breast plate is a little high still, I was playing with fit and such.

  • #2
    Hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like the back strap is too tight. That and you can get larger sized cruppers, which is what your horse may need.

    I would do both, get a larger crupper and loosen the back strap up a few holes.

    Have fun!


    • #3
      You should never get rubs from the crupper. It is either to tight (high) or to narrow. You don't specifically state where the rubs are. I prefer the folded glove leather cruppers. I really do NOT like the molded ones, esp the plastic ones. When you lift the tail, the crupper should hang down at least 2" below his tail, somewhat covering his anus.


      • Original Poster

        Ahhh... Ok. That may be my problem then, I'll loosen it up a bit. It is a molded leather crupper. My trainer had checked the harness fit, but I don't remember if she checked the crupper. I will give that a try tomorrow. Thanks!


        • #5
          Definitely needs to be a bit looser

          the one picture showing the tail head - the split for the crupper to buckle on is rather short , so to make it work the whole strap needs more play

          you can also cover the crupper with a fleece. I prefer using natural real sheepskin. you can get a halter tube and slide it over - some horses like a thicker crupper
          the tube thing also slides off easily to wash


          • Original Poster

            Yea, I already today ordered a cover for the crupper because he does tend to be a thin skinned, more sensitive when it comes to his skin, type of horse. I wasn't sure if it was just him, or it was fitted wrong, or what. So I appreciate the responses! I will adjust it down tomorrow... also, he doesn't tend to move his tail much... ever... at all. He doesn't keep it clamped down, but it's not lifted at any point either. Could this be contributing to his rubbing?


            • Original Poster

              Ok, quick update... I loosened everything up today, but... because of the steepness of his croup, the crupper was still touching the under side of his tail. There's really no way to make it hang freely because his croup is very steep and his tail hangs very low... I never noticed how extreme it was before. I've got a crupper cover on the way, so hopefully that will fully remedy the situation.


              • #8
                If you have the backband out to the last hole, then you need to order a longer backband so that your crupper rests about an inch under the dock of the tail, but doesn't press against the tailbone itself. Ordering a cover for the current crupper will only tighten up the limited space under the tail as it is, putting even more pressure on the tail bone.

                If you aren't doing any steep hills that would cause the saddle to move forward on your horse's back from the tugs going forward, or if you don't use a side check that would put forward pressure on the saddle hook if your horse bears down on the bit enough to pull on the saddle, you can dispense with the crupper altogether. The only reason for the crupper is to keep the saddle from moving forward onto the withers.


                • #9
                  Also make VERY certain no tail hairs are caught under the crupper.

                  I've never yet had a sore from the crupper. But I'm a fanatic about making certain that not single hair is between the crupper and the horse's tail.

                  Good luck to you!
                  The other female in my husband's life has four legs


                  • #10
                    Might possible have something to do with the quality of the harness and stiffness. Might be rubbing like a cheap pair of shoes.
                    Also you need to keep the crupper clean.


                    • Original Poster

                      The crupper is clean, I cleaned the whole harness when I got it. It's a used harness made of biothane, but the crupper is leather. After looking at pictures and talking to my trainer, we think it's the slope of his hind end and his low-set tail. A longer back strap would cause the breeching to be way too far back. I may consider something custom for him in the future if we really get into driving seriously.


                      • #12
                        While you a ground driving just remove the crupper completely.
                        Stabalize the britiching to the shaft loops and you should be fine.
                        Richard Holyoak
                        Diamond H Carriages


                        • #13
                          you can get something like this.

                          Just thread the backstrap through the end and snap the snap on to the backpad/saddle what ever you call it.

                          It will add some length, but I do not know if its enough length. if I were you I would just get a new crupper. Or just remove all together.


                          • #14
                            And some further questions which might as well go on this thread. The pony I currently have was poorly fit by my Wintec saddle, so I got him a better fitting western saddle. For various reasons we haven't ridden hill trails for over a year, so I haven't been using a crupper on him. He needs to get his butt back in shape so I need to get him back to hill work, meaning I need to get him more accepting of the crupper. His back is so short that the tree points have no spare room to shift, and he's 'self-padded' enough that the saddle will shift a bit on the steeper downhills.

                            When I bought him this current pony had packing gear scars everywhere else on him, like many ponies here. I don't doubt his current hatred of cruppers is tied to bad memories of rubs. He is very touchy about accepting one - this morning he clamped down on it and took off bucking before I could get it anywhere near his dock. I can re-acclimate him, but I want to make sure I am setting it up correctly so that no rubs develop.

                            For a riding saddle crupper it needs to hang 1" below the bottom of the dock at a relaxed square stand? or 2"?

                            The Haitians swear by using scissors to trim all the hair around the dock, but I would think that stubble would be more uncomfortable than long hair. In reality, all hair has to be OUT from between crupper and tail? The sides of his tail are well-endowed right up to the dock and I can't see there being no hair contact at all as the crupper comes round the tail bone.

                            Finally, best to re-acclimate him in my narrowest crupper (little finger sized) but switch to something wider before we actually do another mountain ride? My other option is a full linseed-stuffed leather crupper thicker than my thumb, but well shaped. Short rides on the flat to start toughening the skin before we take on the hills? Someone mentioned Witch Hazel, would Sore no More help toughen the skin under there faster? I'm limited as to how often per week I can ride him.
                            HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                            www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


                            • #15
                              PS Yes, buying or at least jury-rigging a set of britchin might be the best answer of all. Not gonna happen before the summer as that is when I could get to the harness maker back home, unless there is a safely creative way to turn a spare girth and pair of spare reins/ saddle strings into britchin. If I ever leave Haiti, he should know how to deal with a crupper anyway.
                              HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                              www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


                              • #16
                                this is from the other half of DriveNJ

                                cute horse

                                if you are replacing pieces for crupper fit
                                you should only need to replace the backstrap with custom

                                measure where on the strap you want the loinstrap(drop) to cross thru
                                the measure how much longer you need for the strap to go to hook up with the crupper
                                and what you need fro the split

                                my first try would be to cover the crupper with sheepskin
                                also good idea to just take it off to ground drive

                                also take off the traces UNLESS you are using them to pull something

                                I like what our trainer did for pulling
                                just attach baling twine and loop it around a fence post
                                the baling twine will wear thru and the post will "fall out"
                                this gives you the opportunity to STOP and let the horse know that YOU will fix it he just has to stand

                                was a great training device for our boys

                                I would ALSO ditch the overcheck and go for a nice caveson
                                you can do as a completely separate piece of equipment
                                that is what we have or some hook up at the crown
                                or some go thru the cheeks with a separate hook on piece

                                best of luck on all of this


                                • #17
                                  This original post is two years old. Not sure what op ended up doing.

                                  As for HIH, I would recommend using breeching over a crupper for riding in hilly areas. The tailbone is not made to be weight bearing or an anchor for the saddle. Pack horses carrying a 200 pound load use breeching, not cruppers.

                                  Go ahead making such a breeching from an old English or western girth for your animal. You need to keep such a breeching clean, no rubbing to cause sores. Horse will probably be easier to saddle, not expecting pain as he does with crupper. A hip support strap should be used to prevent breeching getting too low on his rump.


                                  • #18
                                    Thanks Goodhors, that would be my preference. I have a 5" wide heavy (fender) leather girth that came with the saddle, but Hoover much prefers string girths. That seems a bit wide for breeching? The felt lining on it isn't much and doesn't extend more than 1/16" past the leather (another reason he dislikes it). Better to use an old neoprene English girth, I take it. I have pieces of felt pad I can use to make a end pads and a hip pad where the hip straps will cross. Even with a hip pad, the hip straps should be stable on his croup without using a crupper even if the breeching is loose enough to move with his legs? I'm used to seeing working driving harness always with a crupper. Is that truly just to stabilize the saddle with the checkrein(s), or is it because of the quantity of strapping needed to attach breeching to shafts or swingletrees?

                                    Of course I'll try whatever I make slowly and unmounted first!
                                    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                                    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


                                    • #19
                                      Wrap with a piece of cotton leg bandage / vetwrap

                                      well for one of my horses with an 'apple butt' clamping tail down

                                      I found wrapping the crupper with vetwrap or a piece of cotton bandage ... Making it thicker and more comfortable was the answer

                                      or even better

                                      using a 'bustle' ..... La Salle Harness in RI ...
                                      ...made life much better for my gelding ... No rub .
                                      Last edited by Zu Zu; Feb. 18, 2015, 08:29 PM.
                                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                        This original post is two years old. Not sure what op ended up doing.

                                        As for HIH, I would recommend using breeching over a crupper for riding in hilly areas. The tailbone is not made to be weight bearing or an anchor for the saddle. Pack horses carrying a 200 pound load use breeching, not cruppers.

                                        Go ahead making such a breeching from an old English or western girth for your animal. You need to keep such a breeching clean, no rubbing to cause sores. Horse will probably be easier to saddle, not expecting pain as he does with crupper. A hip support strap should be used to prevent breeching getting too low on his rump.
                                        Haha. I just found this old post of mine. I ended up covering the crupper in sheepskin and never had another issue with it. The overcheck/sidecheck when I replaced the bridle was maintained because he's a pig. I put him on full retirement this year, however, due to a chronic lameness. I brought a young mini along and never had an issue with the crupper, nor have I had an issue with my Friesian cross mare.