Saddles and lumps (granulomas)

lara b

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Hi,

Looking to see if anyone has had a similar experience who can offer some advice/insight (sorry it's long winded!)

My 21 year old cob has developed granulomas in the saddle region (a the back of the saddle where the near side back panel rests) and I am looking for some advice as to possible solutions. He has always had an odd lump (vet thought fly bite reaction) in that region and generally it's never been any bother other than the odd saddle adjustment if the hair started to look rough in the area.

However over Christmas he developed protein bumps all over his body and whilst most went down (vet said to leave well alone at that point) the ones in that area stayed and have mineralised. They were doing ok until end of Jan when they suddenly went from a bit of rough hair to a raw sore (with a second sore developing over time)! Took him straight back to the vets and he has been treated on going since, initially with steroid cream/non localised injection and more recently with a course of oral steroids. (He has also had his back checked by his chiropractor who said there were no indications of tightness in the muscles in the area).

I got both my saddles (albion K2 dressage and gp that he's had for 5 odd years) refitted the instant it happened (they had been a bit low in front so where a little unstable behind) and have used them on and off over the last few months but despite the saddles seeming to fit now the nodules still become pink and sore when they come into extended contact with the saddles (saddles directly onto his back as this seemed to give the least friction). I compete at Medium level BD so probably do put a fair amount of pressure through my seat (although I'm 9 stone and he's a 16h 650kilo cob!). I've tried a variety of holes cut out of pads/creams/gall salves all to no avail.

I have now been riding bareback for the last month whilst he's been on the oral steroids to let the whole thing rest and whilst the swellings are definitely reduced with the steroids they are still slightly raised areas and both of the mane culprits are still bald (am thinking the hair maybe just won't grow back now).

So in my long winded email I guess what I am trying to ask is:

1) Has anyone had a similar problem and if so was it solved and how? My non horsey OH thinks they will just harden up if I keep riding with the saddle but I really can't see how that is fair to my lad and also I think they won't they will just get worse!
2) If I go the route of a new made to measure saddle will it potentially still have the same problem of rubbing the lumps sore simply due to the fact that they are slightly raised and hairless and in a heavy pressure area? Even riding bareback I can't use a saddle pad over the area as it rubs and turns them pink again :(
3) Would I be better to go back to some sort of soft cut away padding to alleviate pressure from the area?

Only other option from the vets side is to cut them out and start the healing process from scratch but vet thinks due to the large area involved (there are about 5 lumps in total 3 of which have hairloss) that could be a long time off work which we are both worried about given his age.

Any help/advice you can offer would be gratefully received.

If I can figure out how to upload a picture I will!

Thanks
 

Booboos

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Freddy gets granulomas even though his saddle fits very well, but he is prone to various allergic, skin reactions. What works for us is to use a clean saddle cloth each time, wash the saddle area with hibiscrub before riding, then clean again with water after the ride and brush thoroughly with a brush that removes hairs and dead skin.

This tends to avoid the problem, but now that your horse has sores that become iritated have you tried Vaseline to help with the rubbing?
 

lara b

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Freddy gets granulomas even though his saddle fits very well, but he is prone to various allergic, skin reactions. What works for us is to use a clean saddle cloth each time, wash the saddle area with hibiscrub before riding, then clean again with water after the ride and brush thoroughly with a brush that removes hairs and dead skin.

This tends to avoid the problem, but now that your horse has sores that become iritated have you tried Vaseline to help with the rubbing?

I've tried gall salve (which gummed up all the surrounding follicles and caused massive bald spots!) but not vasaline as such, maybe will try that or lanacane anti chaff gel.. have a feeling they will rub off too quickly though
Thanks for replying :)
 

bounce

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Mine has developed these in January this year and they were so big and numerous we opted for steroid injection into the lumps which has proved successful in reducing them. But we have had an adverse reaction to hibiscrub also as we were keeping the area clean with hibiscrub and she started losing all her hair and a layer of skin like a chemical burn. This has now resolved after applying a lot of flamazine cream but some of the lumps remain but are smaller. Due to the adverse reaction we haven't treated since but I will be asking for oral steroids next time just in case of any further reactions.

Mine is out of action at the moment due to a fetlock injury so haven't ridden since the skin reaction so hair has grown back in most places other than a couple of the lumps which are now flat.

I am tempted to try the anti chaffing stick that runners use when I can ride again over the hairless lumps to see if that helps as the skin seems more delicate in that area now.
I have also bought some Bickmore Gall Salve from America that has good reviews but haven't as yet tried that. I apply coconut oil to keep the skin at its best. But I think keeping the area as clean as possible may be the best method.

I would say that the 6 weeks out of work has definitely assisted in decreasing the size of the lumps along with the steroid injections directly into the lumps. I have also eliminated everything from her diet other than hay and grass chaff to see if they may be an allergy but since I haven't been riding I haven't noticed any new ones come up but do not know whether that is a coincidence with not getting sweaty.

Sorry my post doesn't give you the answer you are looking for. My vet sent pictures to Prof Knottenbelt at Liverpool but even he couldn't assist with the answers.

We have no idea what causes it but the saddle fits well and I will always be using a sheepskin numnah from now on and washed after every ride. I think it is a reaction to sweat but it has also caused hypersensitivity as she has also had hives at the same time after a schooling session in the rain.
 

lara b

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Mine has developed these in January this year and they were so big and numerous we opted for steroid injection into the lumps which has proved successful in reducing them. But we have had an adverse reaction to hibiscrub also as we were keeping the area clean with hibiscrub and she started losing all her hair and a layer of skin like a chemical burn. This has now resolved after applying a lot of flamazine cream but some of the lumps remain but are smaller. Due to the adverse reaction we haven't treated since but I will be asking for oral steroids next time just in case of any further reactions.

Mine is out of action at the moment due to a fetlock injury so haven't ridden since the skin reaction so hair has grown back in most places other than a couple of the lumps which are now flat.

I am tempted to try the anti chaffing stick that runners use when I can ride again over the hairless lumps to see if that helps as the skin seems more delicate in that area now.
I have also bought some Bickmore Gall Salve from America that has good reviews but haven't as yet tried that. I apply coconut oil to keep the skin at its best. But I think keeping the area as clean as possible may be the best method.

I would say that the 6 weeks out of work has definitely assisted in decreasing the size of the lumps along with the steroid injections directly into the lumps. I have also eliminated everything from her diet other than hay and grass chaff to see if they may be an allergy but since I haven't been riding I haven't noticed any new ones come up but do not know whether that is a coincidence with not getting sweaty.

Sorry my post doesn't give you the answer you are looking for. My vet sent pictures to Prof Knottenbelt at Liverpool but even he couldn't assist with the answers.

We have no idea what causes it but the saddle fits well and I will always be using a sheepskin numnah from now on and washed after every ride. I think it is a reaction to sweat but it has also caused hypersensitivity as she has also had hives at the same time after a schooling session in the rain.

Sorry to hear you are having similar problems (and injury to boot!). Just an FYI it was the bickmores that made mine lose great areas of hair! My vet thinks it basically built up on the skin then pretty much 'waxed' the hair! So use sparingly if you do use it! Shame as it did work well as a lubricant (it's just that the excess got pushed by the saddle into the surrounding areas!).

Annoyingly sheepskin seems to be the worst for friction on mine.

Good luck for yours too, what a pain hey!
 

bounce

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Thanks for the heads up on the bickmores, I think I may avoid using that.

How about trying the new lemiuex air flow numnahs that have bamboo technology. I'm tempted to try one of those as should keep the heat away. I'm waiting to see them in the flesh before buying one. I used to use a premier equine airflow numnah but think that triggered mine off through friction as it had an anti slip surface.
 

Christmas Crumpet

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My horse gets them and I have found washing his back well with maleseb whenever he gets sweaty (twice a week in the winter and more in the summer) gets rid of them.
 

lara b

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Thanks for the heads up on the bickmores, I think I may avoid using that.

How about trying the new lemiuex air flow numnahs that have bamboo technology. I'm tempted to try one of those as should keep the heat away. I'm waiting to see them in the flesh before buying one. I used to use a premier equine airflow numnah but think that triggered mine off through friction as it had an anti slip surface.

Spent last night drooling over the horse health catalogue! Might just be tempted by one of those!

p.s think the body glide stuff that runners use can be quite sticky so might cause more hair loss so think lanacane which is more of a powdery finish might be better but who knows!
 

lara b

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My horse gets them and I have found washing his back well with maleseb whenever he gets sweaty (twice a week in the winter and more in the summer) gets rid of them.

Thanks malaseb is great (if pricey!) been using that at the start and definitely helps with prevention if caused by sweat I would think (mine were from a feed reaction unfortunately) but don't think it can help the mineralised ones we have unfortunately :( Thanks though
 
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