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Talk to me about under saddle granulomas

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  • Talk to me about under saddle granulomas

    I'm having some bad luck with saddlefit.
    Horse is in a Custom Advantage, which was professionally fitted, but I felt had some slippage issue. Saddler fitted the saddle with Mattes shims and I was told to straighten horse.
    Myself & trainer followed said advice and horse came up with small granulomas, that are now suddenly getting a lot bigger and covering a larger area.

    I had another fitter out, who sold me a CAIR saddle to help heal the back, but I am not convinced.

    I am looking to get fitter number 3 out and hopefully I won't be sold yet a 3rd saddle.

    Any experience with this and any suggestion to use of saddlepads instead of CAIR, if so which pad would you suggest.

    Have you ever injected such with steroids?
    Any other meds that can be injected instead of steroids?

    Right now, I will stick to lunging, until I have a better idea of why these supposedly fitting saddles are causing these problems.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    We had them injected with steroids, and they were gone in 2 weeks. I now use Fleeceworks sheepskin pads, and have not had any further problems.


    • #3
      I have no experience with granulomas, but can second the Fleeceworks pads -- I was rough on them, trail riding, getting dirty and wash after wash, they held up. More than the Christdream (?) ones did...


      • #4
        I had one last year that came back after steroid (Vetalog) treatment. Another round of treatment and it was gone, and stayed away. Recently my horse developed two new ones which will be injected next week. All have been under the saddle, but vet doesn't think it is a saddle/pad issue, just bad luck. While he heals from the injection I have used the PRI Nitrogel pad and cut a hole in the foam padding corresponding to the location of the granuloma. That worked well to prevent recurrence.

        AKB - good to know about the Fleeceworks pad. I am assuming you used this under the regular saddle pad, with the fleece against the horse?
        "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


        • #5
          Mine had a granuloma a couple summers ago. We injected (sorry, I can't recall right now what we used for the first injection) and it did not clear up. It was easy to tell because his was in the hollows under the withers, and caused him to rear if we turned to the right when I was on.

          The second injection I think was Depo, and that cleared it up.

          It hasn't returned and he hasn't gotten any others. We suspect in his case it was from a bug bite.
          I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.


          • #6
            My horse got a granuloma last year that started as an especially angry insect bite in the saddle area. I didn't inject it or try to remove it given the location. Vet told me to try Surpass for a little bit--did nothing. I switched to using wool pads for a while (fleeceworks woolback pad, anything else merino backed--so yes, with the wool directly against the skin, including a Draper therapy pad which is a mixture of celliant and wool on the underside). Invest in some good cleaner for the pads and try not to let them get gross. It did go away over the course of several months (meanwhile, he has another one on his belly that's been there much longer and only seems to be getting bigger). While yours has a different cause, given the sensitivity you are experiencing, try using wool.


            • #7
              When you say you have a slippage problem, do you mean the saddle is sliding to the right or to the left? If so, that can usually be helped by shimming as you said that your saddle fitter did. However, if the tree does not fit the horse you're going to have problems, such as the bumps on his back. I had a boarder whose horse developed a lot of little bumps on both sides of his spine under the saddle, and she had a Custom saddle which had been fit to him 6 months earlier. I think the muscles in his back may have changed thus making the saddle not fit anymore. Or, as sometimes happens maybe it took 6 months for the improperly fit saddle to start really causing problems. If I were you, I'd try to find someone who has a Port Lewis impression pad to test your saddle to see exactly what the problem is. It is a low-tech way to show pressure points under the saddle when the horse is in motion giving you an idea of exactly what is happening and where the saddle doesn't fit. When I used my impression pad on my boarders horse, it slipped right out from under the saddle when she started riding. I've never seen that happen before but obviously the tree did not fit the horses back. She got a different saddle and the bumps went away.


              • #8
                Last summer, my horse developed large granulomas on his neck and back (including under the saddle). I had some biopsied. My vet suspected a reaction to fly bites and she discussed what we *could*do, but suggested waiting a while since they didn't seem to affect his performance. My trainer confirmed that he seemed to be unreactive to them. I just use a regular dressage pad. I religiously hosed my saddle pads after every ride (drenched them, still do). Hair never rubbed on them.

                The granulomas didn't get bigger and went down within 1-2 months. He didn't get them this year, but seemed to get "sweet itch" and a series of small lumps on his neck, legs and sheath.

                My saddle fitter came out to evaluate my saddle about a month ago and we chatted about a lot of things. I asked her specifically what she thought about CAIR panels (that somehow came up) and she's not a fan. She has replaced them with wool in many saddles, which she thinks wool cushions better and she had a very lengthy response about it. Just a FYI.
                Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you all.
                  I was indeed thinking of using a wool Mattes directly against his skin.
                  But I need to have the fit re-evaluated (again) if I am going to use a different pad.
                  I have another fitter coming next week.

                  Thx, J-Lu, I am actually worried about the CAIR, I've not read many good reviews about it, I am concerned this may not be good for him.

                  JannieC, the slippage is more that both trainer & myself feel we need to ride with one stirrup 1/2 hole to a hole longer to sit balanced. We played around with shimming and then went with the shimming as suggested by fitter, but it still felt better and more stable just riding with uneven stirrups, else we are constantly pulling the saddle to one side and back, this may have caused the lumps.
                  The last fitter, who sold me the CAIR, felt he needed a totally different saddle for a while for the bumps to heal. Whether this is right or wrong, I have no clue.
                  I am familiar with the Port Lewis, I used to have one and then sold it, duh, could have come in handy.

                  IPEsq, good to know the Surpass didn't help much, I was actually thinking of getting some, but sounds pointless.

                  SolarFlare thx for sharing, if I inject I'll ask what he plans to use.

                  MissAriel, good suggestion to find a pad that perhaps I could cut out a hole. Sounds like I'll have to go with injections too


                  • #10
                    What causes granulomas? I'm not familiar with this.

                    My friends horse had a saddle sore. He got a thick western pad and cut a hole in it so no pressure was placed on that area of the spine. I believe he bought a different saddle as well. Last time, he had double pads on, but he said to be careful dismounting because the saddle might slip.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 4horses View Post
                      What causes granulomas? I'm not familiar with this.

                      My friends horse had a saddle sore. He got a thick western pad and cut a hole in it so no pressure was placed on that area of the spine. I believe he bought a different saddle as well. Last time, he had double pads on, but he said to be careful dismounting because the saddle might slip.
                      For my horse, it was an autoimmune response to biting flies. He lives outside 24/7 in his own pasture, and has a on-and-off history with reactions to fly bites. He has lived in three very different locations. He has lived in NC for about 6 years, and his reactions have only come up in the last two years (reliably in August-Sept). We've had very odd weather in the last two summers and very odd bug patterns - This year I noted a biting fly I've never seen (my horse lets me smack them dead on him without flinching - that seems to be my job when I hand-graze him). However, he was diagnosed with a mild fly allergy in TX.
                      Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                      • #12
                        I use the Fleeceworks pad with the wool directly on the skin. Interestingly, when I tried a Mattes pad, he got more bumps. It may have been a coincidence or may have been that the Mattes pad has a channel under the spine that does not have fleece. The seam on that channel edge was where he got the bumps. My Fleeceworks pad is uninterrupted wool/fleece, so there is no seam to cause bumps.