Wow it’s hot here in Missouri in July! What a great time to make a quick and easy check of your saddle fit.

When you unsaddle your horse and he’s nice and sweaty under the saddle pad, look for dry spots. These are areas under the blanket that have no sweat and therefore appear to be dry. The reason for the dry spot is that the saddle is creating pressure points and blocking the sweat glands. The most likely place to find these is under the front of your saddle on each side of the withers. Dry spots also lead to white spots on your horses back and withers. The same pressure that causes the dry spot leads to trauma of the hair follicle, turning the hairs in the damaged area white. Below are some examples of hair follicle trauma:

Hair Follicle Trauma

Hair Follicle Trauma

If you find these dry spots on your horse it would be a good idea to start looking for a saddle with a wider tree. If we continue to ride our horse in an ill fitting saddle that  pinches him, muscle atrophy can and will occur, leading to shorter amount of time that our horse will be useful and sound. It could also lead to problems such as cinchiness or bucking.

Note: Cinchiness-sensitivity in the girth area, caused by cinching up to hard or too fast. Leads to pulling back while tied, bucking when mounted immediately, possibly even rearing up and flipping over. This can be avoided by cinching your horse up slowly and moving him around a bit before pulling your girth up for a final tightening.


By Christy Mellington

1937 days ago
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