Saddle Up Series - Understanding Your Horse's Back - Part Two
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   26th Jun 2013   •   3,597 views   •   1 comments
Believe it or not, an ill-fitting saddle is not the only cause of back pain in horses, although it is the leading one. Back pain can be caused by a number of different things. The following are a few prime examples:

General strain, or ‘wear and tear’. Horses in hard work, particularly those competing regularly in high levels, will always take some strain regardless of how well conditioned they are. If the horse is not correctly maintained with regular treatment and therapy to ascertain its soundness, it will eventually begin to feel some degree of pain from the work.

Poor riding. A rider who sits skew – as so many of us do – can cause the horse’s back to twist, or cause the saddle to sit incorrectly across the spine. This puts more pressure on one side of a horse’s back, forcing it to compensate and causing injury. Likewise, a rider with poor balance can compensate by balancing on the reins, thus causing the horse to hollow and use itself incorrectly. A rider who is loose and bounces in the saddle can cause bruising to the back, and a rider who sits too heavily with weight positioned too far forward or back can cause incorrect muscle use. All of these riding problems – and more – contribute hugely to the discomfort of the horse.

Related Article: Kissing Spine - Could This be Troubling Your Horse [Video]
Related Article: Taking Care of Your Horses Back

Mouth pain, or ‘bridle lameness’. If a horse has a sore mouth - usually caused by poor riding, a badly fitting bridle, poorly maintained teeth, or a bitting problem – this causes the horse to try to escape the pain through hollowing his back, causing more pain through compensation.

Lameness. Like with mouth pain, a horse compensating for soreness in the hooves or legs will put extra strain on his back.

Conditioning. If a horse is unfit or under-conditioned for its level of work will certainly suffer back injury, as the muscles won’t be strong enough to accommodate the work, and will take great strain. This is particularly common in competition horses coming back into work, or horses recovering from injury. This strain is the reason why it is so important to have a properly constructed fitness program for a horse that has lost condition. Poor condition can also be caused by an inconsistent schedule or poor feeding regime. The bottom line is that the horse must be cared for and exercised appropriately for its level of work to avoid injury.

And, of course, accidents. If a horse jumps awkwardly, falls in a hole or gets cast in the stable, any number of injuries become possible as a result.

Knowing these causes of back pain can help a rider try to avoid it, but with a horse in hard work, strain will always be inevitable. That is why the rider must be vigilant, and always keep a sharp eye out for signs of back pain in their horse, so that they might detect and treat the problem before it exacerbates.
The following article looks more closely at how to identify back pain in horses.
Saddle Up Series - Understanding Your Horse's Back - Part Two
One thing that always irritates me is riders who ride heavy in the saddle. I'll be out for a full day's hunting and have seen several girls who just thump up and down on their horse's back, and I sit there wondering how long it'll be before that horse decides it's all too much?
I think on a day's hunting, no matter how tired you get, you owe it to your horse and his back to ride as lightly as possible, after all, he's trying his best to carry you all day.
I'm really enjoying these articles, I especially love your ones about anatomy/ tack, they're really interesting.
  Jun 27, 2013  •  4,254 views
 More News by Polo the Weirdo
Adult Rider Reality
25th Nov 2018   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
As a child and junior rider, I remember looking up to the adults with awe and envy. I remember thinking how lucky they are to be able to do everything the way they want, go to shows on their own, buy whatever tack they want, and w ...
Baby Horses are kind of like Farts
18th Aug 2018   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
Have you ever experienced while attending an extremely proper and dignified horse show, an elegantly dressed person suddenly erupting, at the top of their very polite lungs, WHY YOU LITTLE FART! And, having had this strange experi ...
Interview with Magic Mike
21st Apr 2018   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
Michael Kenneth de Vrye, AKA ‘Magic Mike’, is a 31 year old Equine Behaviourist from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was born into a horsey family, and began his equestrian career through work riding for his aunt – Diane Botes of ...
Meeting Magic Mike
15th Apr 2018   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
My first meeting with Mike was something of a serendipity; one very fortunate but unequivocally unplanned coincidence. And a more fitting set of circumstances I truly can’t imagine, since the very horse around whom this meeting ca ...
How Long Does it Take to Back a Horse
30th Dec 2017   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
We all know that backing a young horse is not for the weak-hearted. Horses struggle with new experiences at the best of times, and often backing involves throwing a thousand new questions at once at a young horse not yet equipped ...
Twelve Days of Christmas
23rd Dec 2017   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
Tis the season of giving, everyone! And for those of us with horses, this means that the Christmas stockings will be full fit to burst! With vet bills... and thrown shoes... and wasted food... and bits of broken tack... and that t ...
Team Weirdo Professional Circuit
17th Dec 2017   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
It has been an interesting year for Team Weirdo. For starters, I’ve not been able to come up with a better name than ‘Team Weirdo’, and I guess it has stuck, which is... inconvenient, I suppose, but not unfitting. Beyond that, 201 ...
So You Want To Buy A Horse
11th Dec 2017   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
So, you’ve decided you want a new horse! You’ve got your empty stable full of fresh shavings, your life’s savings (and a few week-old carrot pieces) in your fanny pack and all the dreams and expectations in the world! You’re all s ...
  View All News by Polo the Weirdo
©2002 - 2018   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
325 Members Online 241,750 Registered Members 2,503 News Articles 10,465,527 Unique News Article Views 231,106,974 Website Views