saddle rubbing

Joined
11 September 2011
Messages
38
hi everyone:)
I've noticed my horse is starting to get some fairly nasty looking rubs on his back, where the back of the panels would be. Its not down to skin yet, thank goodness, but the hair is definatly being rubbed away, and I think this is probably because of his saddle.
The thing is, I have just bought a brand new saddle because the old one wasn't fitting. The saddle was fitted by no less than 2 qualified saddle fitters and while he had previously been getting a sore back, this problem is gone. So I am pretty sure it cannot be because his saddle fits really badly. I don't think it fits perfectly, he is a strange shaped horse but it fits as best as any could short of a custom saddle.
I think there might be a bit of a problem in that he is very pockety in the withers, so after a few minutes with me on his back, it tends to sink down into those pockets and come up a bit at the very back (the balance always looks slightly tipped forward when I get off) so I was thinking about sticking some foam under the saddle at the very front to try and fill that in until he puts on some more fat and topline muscle. (I already ride in a saddle pad with sheepskin half pad). Could the saddle coming up at the back be causing the rubbing?

I was wondering how common this was and if there was anything I could do to stop it. I was thinking of sewing some satin on my saddle blanket at the back where the rubs would be, would that help? We are just coming out of winter here and he is shedding, if that changes anything.

thankyou!
 

rambling

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 March 2011
Messages
278
Location
Ireland
I would have noticed something similar especially with the Winter/Summer coat change .

I have been told by a few saddlers that my saddle is a good fit and he has never had any problems from it. It must be moving a little though if its rubbing the loosening hair out .
I change to a pure sheepskin ( just like one from the butchers only bought in Sweden) instead of a numnah and it never does more than accelerate the loss of loose hair.
If you are in the Southern Hemisphere you may well be able to get a nice big sheepskin easily
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Last edited:
Joined
11 September 2011
Messages
38
hmm I might look into that, tnx
I'll probably wait until he's lost all his winter coat though and see if I can get away without it because those things are SUPER expensive here at least...:(
 

Tammytoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 June 2011
Messages
1,633
Location
Yorkshire
The pockets that you describe are indeed muscle wastage. Your saddlers should have recommended you use a numnah with foam inserts at the front to allow the muscles to redevelop and showed you how to fit it. Were your saddlers independent remedial saddle fitters who take account of such things as muscle wastage, or a shop employed saddler simply fitting the saddle to the shape of the horse?

Also have you had your horse's back checked to make sure there is no underlying cause for the rubbing? As has been mentioned, when horses are changing their coats even the slightest rubbing can show up.
 
Joined
11 September 2011
Messages
38
one of the saddle fitters was an independant one, who was also the equine massage theripist we've had a couple of times to look at the horse, the other was from the saddlery, bringing the saddles. They looked at putting foam inserts in a half pad but due to my horse being really annoying (too long to explain, to do with his topine muscles) the inserts would just cause more problems, which was why I was thinking just a narrow piece of foam that would only fill in his wither pockets but not cause the same problems elsewhere
 
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