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Lower Back Soreness

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    Lower Back Soreness

    3 days ago I went out to the barn to try my shiny new saddle on my boy and as I was brushing him, he practically folded in half when I touched his back. If I touch his lower back area with any pressure he sinks down and the muscles throughout his back spasm. You're probably thinking saddle fit. But he has had the last 4 months off. No saddles on his back to hurt him. He's only 6, lives in a small run by himself. He had some soreness (nowhere this severe though) before but at the time I assumed it was due to compensating because of his hoof abscess because it cleared right up after that did. He's not showing any lameness now, I watchied him trotting, cantering, and playing in my arena. My other horse is lame in the back so I'll be taking them both to the vet soon, I just am trying to research what it could be beforehand.

    That kind of extreme back soreness often can be attributed to bad saddle fit, but it sounds like that couldn't be the issue.

    Other possibilities: hock arthritis. This is less likely with a younger horse, but it's not impossible.

    Pasture accident. Perhaps he fell, or twisted something? But it sounds as though he's in a smallish paddock, so that is less likely too.

    Lyme disease. This can cause body soreness, as well as on again off again lameness, and the lameness can then cause a sore back.

    Poor trimming and shoeing. If the horse has long toes and under-run heels, or hind feet that are trimmed oddly, this can change the horse's gait enough to cause soreness.

    Those would be my top thoughts. I'm sure others will weigh in as well.

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


      Original Poster

      Hadn't thought of the hooves. My farrier is very experienced but my vet's husband is a farrier so I can Getty a second opinion.


        Was your horse being worked frequently before his time off?

        My horse has back issues and i know that when he is off for a while his muscles can get cold and tighten up, causing him back pain when pressure is applied.

        Doing some stretch exercises might help, as well as a liniment gel before putting on a saddle.

        I am not a vet though, so I would definitely get your vet's professional opinion first.
        "Be the change you wish to see in the world" -Mahatma Gandhi


          Original Poster

          Not really, just lightly ridden. He's gone at least 3 months with no major issues. Someone mentioned hind gut acidosis as a possibility. He did go from being on a round bale 24/7 to only getting fed hay 2x a day. The way it was explained to me is that if his stomach is getting empty, the PH changes and kills of good bacteria, causing soreness in this area as well as other symptoms.


            Original Poster

            Well it's still not changing. I have talked to my vet but seeing as she is an hour away and I don't have a trailer, I'm still waiting for her to get to town to check him out. At this point, it couldn't possibly be tying up could it? It's been about a week.


              Original Poster

              My barn manager's wife does some massage/chiro. Do you think that's worth a shot in the meantime?


                Was this a "not a problem yesterday, big problem today" sort of thing? If so, I'd suspect he fell, or slipped while getting up, or otherwise injured/tweaked his back.

                What does "does some massage/chiro" mean? Certified? Or just plays around her own horses? I would not ever let a non-certified chiro do any chiro work on my horse, but someone who does enough massage work doesn't have to be certified to do some feeling around and some bit of work. I wouldn't have a probably with her looking at him from that angle *as long as* I was there.

                Have you take him for some walks, or lightly lunged him, to see his reaction to that sort of "work"?
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  Original Poster

                  He's kept in a small run so it's not like he has much room to hurt himself, but he is a horse so I suppose it's possible. He had been fine then one day BAM I was brushing him and he dropped his back out from under my hand like I'd just whacked him with a hot poker. I've been regularly walking him and doing some very light walk/trot lunging and he doesn't look off or anything. He gets very nervous when he sees a saddle going by him though (did NOT attempt to ride, he just saw me carrying a saddle near him).
                  She isn't certified but has quite a bit of experience. Mostly she does massage but does some adjustments. She helped out my old mare a lot before. Most of the people at my barn use her.


                    you should try acupuncture


                      I'd try bute & robaxin for 5-7 days (no riding) and see what that does before calling a a vet. Maybe he just tweaked something slipping around the paddock or bucking & playing.
                      "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


                        Might be SI joints out. That will cause lower back soreness.