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The Equine back & saddle fit

Understanding some basic equine anatomy goes a long way in understanding why the saddle must fit correctly for your horse to perform pain free. We need to be able to identify saddle-bearing area. This is important because pressure outside this region can do significant harm to our horse’s back and result in behavioral and performance problems. Some signs that your horse may have saddle-fit problems, and secondary back pain: • White hairs under saddle area • Bites or acts out when saddled or girthed • Anxious when mounted, won’t stand still • Bucks/kicks under saddle • Bolts • Chips or rushes jumps • Trouble with leads/lead changes • Improper muscle development – no topline • Stiff to warm up/cold-backed • Trouble with collection or lateral work • Won’t enter the arena • Hunter’s bump • Dry spots under wet blanket (suggests a bridging saddle) • Behavioural issues Always refer to a professional for saddle fit. After your saddle has had a proper saddle fit, it is best to have some bodywork performed so as to release any tension caused by the previous saddle and to not have recurrent issues once saddle is re-fitted


 

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