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X post, Help! Saddle or pad leaves "bug bite" like bump on wither

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  • X post, Help! Saddle or pad leaves "bug bite" like bump on wither

    Hi everyone!!

    I recently purchased a custom Black Country saddle. When I first started riding in it it would leave two "bug bite" looking bumps on the right side base of my horses withers. I had the rep out and he removed some flocking. It took care of one of the bumps but there is still one remaining when I untack after riding in this saddle.

    I had the rep out again and he said that it isn't the saddle, as it isn't touching that spot. He told me to use a bigger pad.

    I have a few problems with this solution.

    1. I'm supposed to be able to ride in a "Custom" saddle with a baby pad only, something to keep the saddle clean, essentially.

    2. The bump is happening in all the pads I try. More so in a baby pad and less so in a fleece, but it's still there.

    3. My horse has never had this happen, reguardless of pads in any other saddle.

    4. I asked about using a half pad and he said no, that it would alter the fit.

    What do I do? I think it's the saddle, the rep says no.....

    I'm thinking of contacting Black Country directly.

    I'm not happy.

    If anyone has ever experienced this before, please share your thoughts.

    Pictures attatched in following post:
    Last edited by kgro632; Sep. 10, 2010, 02:31 PM.

  • #2
    the links for your pictures are not working.


    • Original Poster



      • #4
        The first thing I would is a visual inspection of the saddle to see if there is any crazy bump in the saddle itself that may be causing the bump. Then put the saddle on the horse's bare back and see if you can find any reason. Have a second set of eyes as well, such as a vet, trainer or someone otherwise well versed in saddles and horses.

        Then call the saddle company with your findings or lack thereof and have someone come out and take a look at it with you and possibly the vet or your trainer.

        I cannot determine any reason. I do know my horse has a mark right below the highest point of her whithers. something she just started showing last year. It is a wear mark, not a bump. I thought it was my saddle or the fact that I don't clean my saddle pads as much as I should, but she still has it all this summer and has not had a saddle on. I am now thinking she must rub it every once in a while as it goes away and comes back.

        It is odd because her environment and management has not changed at all. Maybe age just did something to her skin or something - no idea. I only mention this because something similar may be happening with your horse and it just happened to coincide with the new saddle.


        • #5
          I don't have much help to offer you but I have a horse that gets the same kind of bug bite swellings after riding recently. Exactly as your photos.

          The saddle I've been riding him in recently is new to us (not custom) so it probably *is* that saddle..... but, my horse has a known back condition, broken withers, which makes him incredibly sensitive over the back. So just getting him comfortable riding at all has been a big deal. (fwiw he went very well the first few rides in our 'new' saddle, but had lumps anyhow, puzzling).

          I've asked a vet (chiro/acu/dvm) what the lumps are and she could not tell me. I'm going to be seeing my regular vet next week so I'll be asking her too. I thought they might be a spasm, a friend thought they are a bruise type swelling. Again, fwiw, the saddle never actually touches the spot where the lumps are, there is no contact or direct pressure at all.

          I'm subscribing to your thread as I would love to hear if your vet or anyone else has insights as to what the lumps are and what is causing them. I really hope you keep us updated.

          Good luck.

          Oh, and the only advice I can offer right now is to ride your horse in a different saddle, any saddle, and see if the lumps come back. If they dont, then you know without a doubt its the BC saddle. Sorry this is happening to you.
          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


          • Original Poster

            I should mention that the bump in question disapears within an hour of being untacked and only appears when I ride in this saddle.


            • #7
              My mare (and lots of others I have seen) have this exact same bump, and several vets have told me its nothing to worry about. If anyone has information to the contrary, I would like to hear it, but I don't think its major cause for concern.
              It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.


              • #8
                Then it is the saddle. Call Black Country Saddlery and send them your picture before and after 30 min.
                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                Originally posted by LauraKY
                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                HORSING mobile training app


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by Little Valkyrie View Post
                  My mare (and lots of others I have seen) have this exact same bump, and several vets have told me its nothing to worry about. If anyone has information to the contrary, I would like to hear it, but I don't think its major cause for concern.
                  You may want to read my original thread in the H/J forum.

                  Two people on there have said that they had to have bumps like this injected with steriods to go away...

                  I have forwarded pictures to my Equine Chiro that is also a vet to see what he has to say.

                  I'll keep you posted!


                  • #10
                    Why don't you try riding one time without any pad? If it's the saddle, the bump will still happen. If it's related to some sort of friction from your saddle pad, it won't happen. Might at least isolate where the problem is coming from. Good luck.


                    • #11
                      Is this bump hard or somewhat pliable (as in, you poke it and leave a dent, but not "squishy")? I know several horses who have been getting the (VERY) hard little lumps that need to be injected (even horses with supposedly custom made saddles), but the soft pliable ones are fine. Just my experience.
                      It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.


                      • #12
                        My mare started getting these years ago. Only this one very thin felt-like no-name abandoned-at-the-boarding-barn-and-thus-irreplaceable pad keeps them from happening -- MOST of the time. The bumps (she gets one or sometimes two, right on top of the spine at the withers) are pliable but can't be rubbed away instantly, but they go away after about a half hour, like these. I've never had any saddle fitter or vet be able to explain them, so I am very happy and interested to see this thread.

                        PS Her saddle is definitely not contacting this area. She needs a wide tree and the English-made Coventry is the only saddle I ever found wide enough for her.
                        If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great


                        • Original Poster

                          The lump is pliable, for now. I fear that with continued use it could become hard and permanent.

                          But I have been steering clear of using the saddle untill I can figure out what is going on...

                          I'll try riding with out a pad and see how that goes.


                          • #14
                            The hard lumps I have seen start life as small hard lumps and just get to be bigger ones- they don't start out as these things. One horse at my barn has both types of lumps so the owner had a very good local vet out to see them and she said not to worry about the soft lump on the spine and injected the hard ones.
                            It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.


                            • Original Poster


                              Today I rode in the Black counrty for 30-40 minutes w/t/c, with out a pad.

                              When I untacked, guess what no bumps!

                              I'm going to continue to ride with out a pad for the remainder of the weekend just to make sure.

                              But it looks like my saddle fitter/rep was correct, I need a different pad.

                              Now which one? any suggestions?
                              Last edited by kgro632; Sep. 10, 2010, 02:32 PM.


                              • Original Poster

                                Two rides now with no pad and no bumps.

                                I'm going to try a poly pad and see how that does.


                                • #17
                                  If the poly pad doesn't work try real sheepskin.

                                  Good Luck!

                                  I have two BC's and my horses both love them - so do I!
                                  2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


                                  • #18
                                    if it's a soft lump that goes after a while once the saddle's off, and there's no pain on palpation, I know what it is.
                                    1 of my horses gets this with certain saddles, and my local Master Saddler explained it as follows:
                                    there's a slightly weakened blood vessel in the area which, when pressurised slightly on both sides of the spine by the saddle, leaks a little (think of it being like a leaky balloon) into the surrounding area. once the pressure's gone (because the saddle is removed) the escaped blood is gradually reabsorbed into the tissues.
                                    what troubled me was that it only happened with certain saddles. i found that serge-lined panels soft flocked with white wool, prevented it.
                                    tbh though according to my saddler it isn't anything to worry about.