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Sore back...quick "ish" fix?

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  • Sore back...quick "ish" fix?

    I've owned this horse for 8 years and this is completely new & out of the blue. The only thing that has changed is the saddle. It's my daughter's horse, a 15 year old TB. His current saddle is a Kieffer Aachen AP. We had found an Amerigo Cervia to test ride. I had the saddle fitter look at it before she even rode in it. Got the ok for the test-ride, she rode in it exactly four times. The first couple were hacking, then the last two were flatting/jumping, one in a lesson, one in a clinic. The Amerigo person said not to be alarmed if there was some slight soreness as he got used to the saddle due to the more forward design/balance point of the Amerigo. Talk about an understatement...OMG..he's never pinned his ears and bucked under saddle before. He normally loves to work and now he's just crabby. He's not unsound, just stiff & sore. We stopped using the saddle, had him massaged yesterday but he's still ouchy in his old saddle. Last night I massaged him with sore no more & put a blanket on him, today just longed him with out a saddle. Daughter has a PC show this Sunday and her C2 rating the following sunday, so every day counts. I would prefer not to bute him because he's had ulcers in the past. Any ideas to get him feeling better quickly?
    Last edited by chism; Oct. 16, 2009, 08:30 PM.
    "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

  • #2
    Sore No More has always worked the best for me in this situation. My gelding used to occasionally get spasms in his back and the Sore No More was like magic. If there are specific areas that seem worse, you can do an ice massage on those areas - it may help a bit as well. (The way I have done this is to fill a styrofoam cup with water and put it in the freezer. After it's frozen, just use the ice to massage his back, and you can gradually peel the cup away as the ice melts.) You might consider a little Bute, too, if it's allowed - consult the rules and your veterinarian.

    Adams Equine Wellness


    • #3
      Assuming its just muscle soreness- a good Sore no More massage every day and some very light long and low walk and trot work for a few days. Cold hosing can help too if you aren't in the northeast (where it is snowing). My vet likes to use banamine or methocarbamol (depending on the horse) for muscle soreness issues as well. Sometimes it just takes one night and they come out feeling like new.

      I heard that Amerigo stopped making the Cervias because of fitting problems. They were on clearance cheap last year and they still weren't selling fast.


      • #4
        Originally posted by chism View Post
        We had found an Amerigo Cervia to test ride. I had the saddle fitter look at it before she even rode in it. Got the ok for the test-ride, she rode in it exactly four times. The first couple were hacking, then the last two were flatting/jumping, one in a lesson, one in a clinic. The Amerigo person said not to be alarmed if there was some slight soreness as he got used to the saddle due to the more forward design/balance point of the Amerigo.
        Even as a loyal Amerigo fan, I must say that you've been fed a line of BS in the extreme. The horse shouldn't be sore because the "forward design/balance point". If the panel shape is appropriate for the horse, the balance-forward point should HELP the horse by keeping the rider from banging around on its back. An appropriate panel shape would disperse the rider's weight evenly across the back.

        Do a search on this forum re: the Amerigo Cervia. That saddle is notorious for looking like it fits but causing major soreness problems after a few days/weeks/months. There's a reason why that model was discontinued and fire-saled by Amerigo for as little as $1500 new--too many people get all excited that they've "found an Amerigo for a great price" and don't realize what they're buying into with the Cervia. I've met Amerigo dealers who refuse to even stock the Cervia because they can't get rid of them and/or end up eating the money when the saddle comes back a few months later.

        If it's humanly possible, give the horse almost the entire next week off. The only thing that's going to cure the soreness is rest, although a protocol of liniment and ice might buy you some temporary relief and handwalking/turnout/lungeing without tack would help too. If rest is not possible, a very undesirable alternative would be to locate some shock-absorbing padding (like a Thinline half pad) to help disperse the shock. And go back to using the old saddle.

        If all else fails, Bute + Ulcergard might be your only choice.
        Last edited by jn4jenny; Oct. 17, 2009, 10:51 AM.
        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


        • #5
          You can also try giving the horse 20,000 mg per day of MSM, which often works very well to help sore backs. And definitely rest the horse for at least a week or two.
          "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


          • #6
            I'd even go so far as to give 30gm MSM a day - that much for a short time won't hurt, and if the horse is on the bigger side, may even be necessary to do any good.

            Light lunging with just a halter can be beneficial too, as can hand walking up and down light hills.

            Of course, this goes with the massage, but be careful - overdoing the massage, either too hard or too often, can keep things sore.
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • #7
              try robaxin. worked on my horse when his back got sore, relaxed all of the tight muscles


              • #8
                Robaxin and Back on Track sheet if you or someone you know has one.


                • #9
                  Carasoprodol (soma), a magnetic blanket or a heated blanket.. truthfully it's just a bandaid and not a fix but it's sounding like you are looking for a bandaid...


                  • #10
                    Heated blankets and magnetic blankets and anything else like that are not really bandaids. They are *part* of a fix.
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      back on track or magnetic blanket...
                      Agree that you have been fed a line of BS about the saddle fit. Give the horse a week off, and I would strongly suggest you not keep that saddle, find a different saddle fitter...


                      • #12
                        Scratch from the upcoming events and the horse will be immediately sound...

                        Seriously, though, if you can find someone who can come do some accupuncture (particularly if they can do some electoaccupuncture,) it really does help resolve back things very fast.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JB View Post
                          Heated blankets and magnetic blankets and anything else like that are not really bandaids. They are *part* of a fix.
                          Weeellll I kinda think they are. It is JMO tho. In my experience, a horse that uses itself correctly ought not to have body or back sore issues. Again, just my experience.


                          • #14
                            Oh, I agree, but when you have the insult of a saddle that caused the back soreness, the horse can't use himself correctly without some help, whether that is just pure time off, or with the use of massage/magnets/heat/etc.

                            And, because they are horses, even those who use themselves correctly can still get sore. The horse who offers a lot, and the rider just takes, can get sore from over-use, even if it's proper. They can get sore from doing non-ridden things. They can get sore from dietary imbalances, ie not enough selenium or magnesium.

                            All sorts of reasons a good self-using horse can get sore
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chism View Post
                              The Amerigo person said not to be alarmed if there was some slight soreness as he got used to the saddle due to the more forward design/balance point of the Amerigo.
                              That saddle fitter just flat needs a new job. TO even SUGGEST that is a disgrace.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by LMH View Post
                                That saddle fitter just flat needs a new job. TO even SUGGEST that is a disgrace.
                                I hate to say it, but crappy dealer rep info seems to be a chronic disease with Amerigo. I had a major SNAFU with the Michigan dealer in 2006. Thank God I had self educated regarding saddle fit because the rep wanted to sell me the COMPLETELY wrong saddle model, tree size, and seat size. The Amerigo national brand manager straightened it out, but too many other customers would have laid down and taken the recommendation.
                                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by rodawn

                                  Your horse cannot work in this saddle. It is radically changing his behavior. If you persist, he will just quit working and his behavior will start getting much more violent and your daughter could get hurt. You need to accept the fact that this is just not the right saddle for him and look into other saddles. For now, go back to his old comfy saddle while you shop around for something different.
                                  Thank you to all who replied.

                                  Rodawn - This was addressed in my OP. The "new" saddle is a non-issue, other than being the genesis of this thread. I stopped using it the second he came up back sore and have already returned it. I have a Kieffer AP that fits him beautifully (which we will continue to use until the RIGHT CC saddle is found).
                                  The treatment plan has consisted of robaxin, sore no more massages and a single dose of bute. I'm happy to report that he's much better today, we longed him for the first 15 minutes prior to daughter's flat lesson, he was a much happier camper.
                                  Last edited by chism; Oct. 17, 2009, 02:13 PM.
                                  "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                                  • #18
                                    Chism, that's excellent that he is feeling better. I know how frustrating it can be when they are sore and you cannot fix them overnight, especially when you accidentally caused that soreness.


                                    • #19
                                      I would also try using Suprass on the horse's back. It's a nice alternative to horses that are sensitive to Bute. Good luck, I hope you're able to get him right for your event!


                                      • #20
                                        "House of Duct Tape and Physical Therapy"

                                        If you want more, do a search with the above phrase. I developed a tried and true technique for fixing back pain during a saddle hunt.

                                        You might need to lengthen the bute and robaxin phases of this by a day or so, but here are the basic ingredients and plan:

                                        A generous supply of bute for a day or two-- depending on your paranoia/the size and importance of the event.

                                        Robaxin for three days (starting on the same day as the bute)

                                        Time off, but *encourage your horse to roll* at least on days one and two. Day three, if he has palpated well on day two, put him in a loose bitting harness for 10-15 minutes of walking and trotting. Or long line him. He needs to do "long and low" without someone on him. Let him roll again if he wants.

                                        During all this, as much T/O as possible. You want to break the cycle of pain and muscle tension. Meds help, but so does movement.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat