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Sore back

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Painted Horse
Reg. May 2005
Posted 2013-09-01 5:05 PM (#154466)
Subject: Sore back



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Location: Northern Utah

I've been pretty lucky over my years of horse experiences to not have many ailments afflict my animals. So while I consider myself a pretty experienced horseman, I'm really a novice when it comes to dealing with horse afflictions.

So I am looking for better answers to problem my gelding has developed this summer. I have a 10 year old gelding that has been my main riding horse for the past 5 years. This past April we did a tough ride into the Robbers Roost area of Southern Utah. After two days of serious riding he developed a sore back with some swelling centered over his spine where the back of the saddle ends.  No hair rubbed off, no galling, just some slight swelling, sore to my brushing him. I gave him a few weeks off and the swelling slightly reduced.

I then rode him near canyon in late May and notice him short stepping his walk. He seemed a little sore in his front right shoulder.  He moved just fine at faster gaits. But just seemed a little off at walk.  And the soreness to brushing/pressure came back when I removed the saddle,

I took him to equine chiropractor. Who told me he damaged a tendon along his back. she adjusted him and told me to give him a month off.  Which I did. I was also in to my regular vet a week after that for teeth and coggins. While working on his teeth we discussed his soreness.  He looked him over and felt the gelding was just sore in the front shoulder and that was causing the short stepping and to change out my saddle pad for a little more padding for the back.

I've keep him on light duty this summer. He is still being rode/worked, I'm just not putting as many miles on him as past years. I did change him out to much thicker wool felt pad in place of the Navajo blankets I used in the past. The bump on his back has receded but is far from being gone. He does still show some signs of soreness on long rides or when I ride him several days in a row. Such as camp out where he gets 15-20 miles a day for multiple days.

An Outfitter I bumped into in the Wind Rivers a month ago had a horse with a similar bump.  He had cut out his pad to avoid contact with his bump. I noticed this and ask.  He called it a Kidney Bump and said once a horse has it, It never goes away. He told me to just adjust my padding to avoid pressure to prevent soreness and live with it.

Any thoughts or advice from you that may have seen this on your horses?

 

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bbsmfg3
Reg. Dec 2006
Posted 2013-09-01 7:43 PM (#154469 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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Where you confident the Chiro did a thorough job? Many are only after the $.

1st think I'd do is get another Chiro, and verify everything is OK, here. AND if the back is out very bad it can take several times to get it right. If they are very bad, after an adjustment they should not be hauled or walked any way, but straight for at least a couple of hours, sometimes longer.

A thicker pad probably will not help you. You may have a horse that is not symetrical from side to side, if so, you need a pad to compensate. The Saddleright pad is one.

Either the saddle or the horse has probably changed shape in the loin area.

This problem happens a lot with rigid tree saddles. Especially when the horse gets a bit older, and more muscled in the loin area. The only cure here is a flex panel saddle.

Sometimes you can do some good with an adjustable pad, ie, shims. This can get to be more expensive than a new saddle.

If, you don't let those bumps stay for too long, and find a fix, they usually go away.

Edited by bbsmfg3 2013-09-01 7:45 PM
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Painted Horse
Reg. May 2005
Posted 2013-09-01 9:37 PM (#154472 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back



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Thanks Bob,

 

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kellicope
Reg. Jul 2010
Posted 2013-10-10 2:19 PM (#155279 - in reply to #154472)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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Location: Central IL

I too had a similar experience w/ one of my horses who was later diagnosed w/ a roach back - no amount of chiro work would fix the issue.  I ended up purchasing a flex panel saddle that eleviated the issue.  The new saddle corrected the issue we were having w/ the proper saddle fit and no more lameness or soreness.  I would contact a saddle fitter or look for a flex panel saddle.

On a side note, I do have one for sale if you would be interested.  It is a custom made saddle w/ the orthro flex panels built in.  I used this saddle on one of my OTT horses I purchased a few years back and have since sold.

 

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Marla
Reg. Mar 2008
Posted 2013-10-10 7:58 PM (#155280 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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trimming your saddle pad will work just like the donut shaped pads that you use to alleviate pressure from corns on your own feet. It takes the pressure off the sore spot without the cost of a new saddle. Worked wonders for my endurance gelding.
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Marla
Reg. Mar 2008
Posted 2013-10-10 8:01 PM (#155281 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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trimming your saddle pad will work just like the donut shaped pads that you use to alleviate pressure from corns on your own feet. It takes the pressure off the sore spot without the cost of a new saddle. Worked wonders for my endurance gelding.
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Painted Horse
Reg. May 2005
Posted 2013-10-10 11:45 PM (#155283 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back



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I bought a new Wool saddle pad at my Vets recommendation.  Now to bring myself to cut a hole in it.

 

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cajunmuleman
Reg. Oct 2011
Posted 2013-10-11 1:31 PM (#155288 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back



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I had similar situation with a mule and use a wool pad with slit in it and removed the center portion between the last two slits and to this day ( knock on wood ) have not had a problem. Like you said with yours it only shows up after 2-3 days of hard mountain riding. I use a blanket on top of the wool pad. According to a local tack supply you have to use a certain type of pad if using on top of versus below the wool pad.
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cajunmuleman
Reg. Oct 2011
Posted 2013-10-11 1:33 PM (#155289 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back



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I meant a certain type of blanket not pad
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jackbrat
Reg. Sep 2005
Posted 2013-10-16 3:02 PM (#155387 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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I too have this same exact problem with my mare. Sore back where the cantle of my saddle sits. She does not want me brushing her after a ride. I almost think it might be a friction issue? She sweats so profusely (nerves) that the saddle moves a lot even with a breast-collar. (she also has a huge swinging walk gait-almost a camel walk) The only saddle that does not make her back sore was my Sommer Oakfield endurance saddle. It is a panel saddle. There is complete spinal clearance so that the saddle never touches the spine. All the other western saddles I have used, sit on her spine in the rear part of the saddle and make her sore. Unfortunately, dummy me, sold the saddle : (   I have also tried every saddle pad out there. The endurance ones are the best as these people really ride. A lot. I have a few Skito pads and now an Equipedic saddle pad. Hopefully I will find something that works or get a new saddle.

An interesting saddle that has the spinal clearance and is not too pricey....the new Abetta Stealth saddle. Has the separated back panels in the saddle. The back part of the saddle does not sit on the spine at all. These saddles are synthetic and super comfy if you get the one that has the memory foam seat. But you have to get one seat size larger as the foam takes up one seat size. I really want to try one of these and wish a local tack store had them. I just can't afford to purchase a panel saddle right now.

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gliderider
Reg. Nov 2009
Posted 2013-12-08 11:57 AM (#156160 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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How is the horse doing now? what was done? I have been to busy to be on computer but now that is is well below 0..ha! and are you giving an anti inflammatory when you do ride? I don't believe in masking pain every day. Bute will not cure the problem but inflammation can make the sore tendon ? muscle take longer to heal if you do find the fix. Who broke the horse and was it ridden to young by a heavy trainer? Could it be simply arthritis? Have you considered an X-ray? If you do have one I suggest scheduling one just after a ride so inflammation will show up better.
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Painted Horse
Reg. May 2005
Posted 2013-12-08 7:39 PM (#156162 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back



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The bumps have diminished, But are still visable.I've talked to several old cowboy guides. One was riding a horse with the same kind of bumps on his back. He called them Kidney Bumps and said once a horse has them, they will always have them. He just cuts a pad so as to not irritate them.It looks more like something I may just have to live with and exercise caution not to rub or irritate on this horse.I always slow down my riding in december. Short days, Cold temps and too many Christmas parties and shopping take away the motivation to get out riding. So he will get this month off, Usually in January, I get cabin fever and can't stand not be out. So we get back out on the trails. I will definitely ask the vet to look him over again this spring when he is in for shots, coggins etc./
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RidnClyde
Reg. Jun 2012
Posted 2013-12-09 3:35 PM (#156170 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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Gosh, I have sympathy for your situation.  I've got a short coupled (bodied), high hipped QH/Paint who got swollen withers from a standard treed Jack Brainard saddle because it was too long.  I first went thru pads, doing cutouts, to keep the pressure off those areas but it didn't work for the horse.  Then finally started testing treeless saddles (demo's on loan).  Long and short is had to go Freeform western treeless with an Equipedic pad.  One of the tests I did was after short periods of riding, used a "laser temperature gun" to find the hottest spots.  Sure enough, it was the withers area.  Those temperature guns are also good for detecting hoof trouble.

Anyway, good luck.

 

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jackbrat
Reg. Sep 2005
Posted 2013-12-09 10:38 PM (#156175 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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Do you have pics of the horses back with these "bumps"? Would be intersting to see pics.
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Painted Horse
Reg. May 2005
Posted 2013-12-10 9:32 PM (#156193 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back



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I thought I did, But looking thru my photos. can't find any. I'll have to take a picture or two tomorrow. Of course, I've not ridden since before thanksgiving and his winter coat is about as heavy as it will get. So they won't show as much as during the summer
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jackbrat
Reg. Sep 2005
Posted 2014-05-21 1:05 AM (#159155 - in reply to #156193)
Subject: RE: Sore back


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Location: Northern CA
after re-reading your post, it sounds like a lameness issue to me. I'm willing to bet it's his feet or something else. Maybe his shoulder? Lameness will eventually show in the horse's back after time. (compensation) Do you experience saddle shift to one particular side all the time when riding?
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rhooton
Reg. Dec 2013
Posted 2014-05-29 2:57 PM (#159278 - in reply to #154466)
Subject: RE: Sore back



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I had a similar issue when I purchased a new saddle.  First time I put it on my mare and tried to ride her she 'crow hopped'.  I checked the back of the saddle and noticed it seemed to be riding down on her back more where it is laced together in the back.  I tried strapping the saddle down on a barrel, mink oiled it good and raised the front of the saddle...an attempt to 'dovetail' the rear of the saddle.  Left it like that a few days, got a thicker pad and tried the saddle again.  She didn't seem to mind it after that...however, when I removed the saddle after a couple of hours riding and started to brush her down she was extremely tender on her back with some swelling...point is, anybody want to buy a slightly used saddle?  Saddle shop told me some saddles just don't fix some horses and he'd be glad to make a trade with me...go figure...LOL.  Anyway, I'm back to riding her with the OLD saddle and have no issues. 
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