Equine Saddling Problems
Saddling problems can sometimes be mistaken for behavioural problems. These saddling problems can often arise due to physical problems so do ensure you don’t reprimand your equine friend without checking thoroughly. For example, if your horse has particularly high withers, then a flat-pommelled saddle will cause distress and saddling problems.
Symptoms of Saddling Problems
• Pain – ranging from the less severe (anticipation of pain when tying the girth) to much more serious underlying pain such which might have vertebral origins
• Girths that are tied up too tight can cause “cinchiness”, where the horse will hold its breath, flatten it ears, swish its tail – all in anticipation of a sharp tightening of the girth causing saddling problems. Girths can be made from uncompromising material, which, when tied too tightly, can cause girth galls which is a saddling problem. These are repetitive lesions caused by tightness and rubbing on the same area whilst the horse is in motion, over a period of time.
• Buckling under the weight of the saddle when tacking up, which can indicate back sores, problems with the spine, tenderness
• Moving away from the saddle
• Becoming lame when saddled.
Causes for saddling problems
• Incorrectly fitting saddles will cause saddling problems. Your horse’s spine must be considered. Repetitive mounting from the left side can cause misalignment of the spine; a saddle has which does not have an intact tree. This will cause pressure sores and once again, lead to saddling problems.
Treatment for saddling problems
• Make sure your saddle fits correctly
• Consider of mounting both alternate sides can help maintain alignment, thus avoiding saddling problems.
• Do not work your horse until the symptoms for saddling problems have been removed.