Some are saying kissing spine, others saying wrong fitting saddle?

Joined
3 March 2021
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12
Hi Everyone,
I recently bought a 14 yr old tb geldning, he has been perfect; very well mannered on the ground (couldn't get much better) and also great while riding. He was out of work for a year when I bought him and we are working slowly to bring him back in. However he has started to rear or buck when being mounted but as soon as your up and walking he is 100%. I am currently waiting for his saddle fitter to get back to me with his conclusions, I have had his back done also and all seems fine. Some are saying its kissing spine; however he would have surely been sore from the start? also he would not just ride out of it?
We also were told by the vet to give him pain relief for 3 days and on the third day to ride (he was perfect to mount etc whilst on pain killer) so the vet has ruled out behavioural. Next step is an x-ray just looking some advice or opinions.
I have just purchased a girth sleeve, riser and this new saddle which should be here within the next week.

Any help would be great
 

Amymay

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Has the saddle actually been professionally fitted to him?

Are you mounting from the ground, or a mounting block?

Has the horse raced/how long had he been a leisure horse?

What do you mean by you’ve had his back done?

Was it a private sale?

Was he vetted?

Why was he out of work for a year?
 

Fanatical

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27 March 2009
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1,584
Could be literally anything! Almost certainly pain - but that pain could be anywhere and could be caused by anything.
Definitely a vet job.
 

be positive

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He could have KS but as he is not long back into work he could just be slightly sore from the increase in exercise, a saddle that may need regular tweaks as he changes shape or numerous other niggles that can effect older horses, and young ones, the fact he responded to 3 days off and bute means there is pain somewhere but even if KS show on xray it does not always mean it is the cause of whatever is going on, they are often secondary to issues elsewhere.
I had a livery that had KS on xray but after treatment to hocks and a good rehab aimed at getting her back stronger and working better she has been fine with no treatment to the KS, vets were going to operate but a 2nd opinion changed that plan.
 
Joined
3 March 2021
Messages
12
Hi Everyone,

Sorry my first explanation was pretty brief! But thank you so much for your replies!

Has the saddle actually been professionally fitted to him?
No, I had a saddle fitter out when I first bought him; he gave me a temporary saddle until he developed more muscle, topline and put on more weight. However, this was around 3 months ago and he is due to come Saturday. However, people at the yard are saying this is probably not the problem; in my opinion I do feel it may be because the problem has only started in the last two weeks (he has been in consistent work but only the last 3/4 works can you see significant weight gain, muscle development etc). As I have said all fingers crossed that it is just the saddle.

Are you mounting from the ground, or a mounting block? Getting a leg up or mounting block. It is literally only until he walks forward 2/3 steps and then he rides perfectly. He is currently out and I will not be riding again until I solve the problem; in the beginning we thought it was behavioural but since I realised it was not he has not been ridden.

Has the horse raced/how long had he been a leisure horse? Why was he out of work for a year? Yes he was flat raced and point to point raced for 7 years. Since that he was hunted and showjumped up until last year. A local man purchased him with the hopes his daughter would take up riding again, however she has not. This is why he was in a field for the year, he held out hopes that she would take it up but after a year he decided it was unfair on him to be left standing in a field.

What do you mean by you’ve had his back done? I have had a horse chiropractor out and physio out to check his back.

Was it a private sale? Yes, all previous owners (the raceyard, man that hunted and showjumped, and the last owner) have all been so helpful; he has never had this problem before and they were able to provide evidence through vet checks, previous x-rays (he was x-rayed before the second home as the man previously had problems with other horses kissing spine and wanted to rule it out)

Was he vetted?
Yes he was vetted.

Vet input:
Vet is coming on Friday to assess him, he does not feel it is kissing spine as he said this would more than likely have been a problem from the get go and that he would not be riding out of it (as stated once you mount and do about two/3 steps he behaves and moves brilliantly)

Other Suspicions: I am lucky to be at a yard with amazing and experienced people, some suspect kissing spine (minority but still) others ulcers (possible due to his lifestyle change) others feel just muscle pain due to being in work again (again very light work to build him up consisting of just flatwork and hacking) and lastly the majority do feel it is the saddle. I know that many will say I should just wait for the vet prognosis but my nerves are away with me, just looking for other advice and opinions until the vet gets out.
 
Joined
3 March 2021
Messages
12
Hi Everyone,

Sorry my first explanation was pretty brief! But thank you so much for your replies!

Has the saddle actually been professionally fitted to him?
No, I had a saddle fitter out when I first bought him; he gave me a temporary saddle until he developed more muscle, topline and put on more weight. However, this was around 3 months ago and he is due to come Saturday. However, people at the yard are saying this is probably not the problem; in my opinion I do feel it may be because the problem has only started in the last two weeks (he has been in consistent work but only the last 3/4 works can you see significant weight gain, muscle development etc). As I have said all fingers crossed that it is just the saddle.

Are you mounting from the ground, or a mounting block? Getting a leg up or mounting block. It is literally only until he walks forward 2/3 steps and then he rides perfectly. He is currently out and I will not be riding again until I solve the problem; in the beginning we thought it was behavioural but since I realised it was not he has not been ridden.

Has the horse raced/how long had he been a leisure horse? Why was he out of work for a year? Yes he was flat raced and point to point raced for 7 years. Since that he was hunted and showjumped up until last year. A local man purchased him with the hopes his daughter would take up riding again, however she has not. This is why he was in a field for the year, he held out hopes that she would take it up but after a year he decided it was unfair on him to be left standing in a field.

What do you mean by you’ve had his back done? I have had a horse chiropractor out and physio out to check his back.

Was it a private sale? Yes, all previous owners (the raceyard, man that hunted and showjumped, and the last owner) have all been so helpful; he has never had this problem before and they were able to provide evidence through vet checks, previous x-rays (he was x-rayed before the second home as the man previously had problems with other horses kissing spine and wanted to rule it out)

Was he vetted?
Yes he was vetted.

Vet input:
Vet is coming on Friday to assess him, he does not feel it is kissing spine as he said this would more than likely have been a problem from the get go and that he would not be riding out of it (as stated once you mount and do about two/3 steps he behaves and moves brilliantly)

Other Suspicions: I am lucky to be at a yard with amazing and experienced people, some suspect kissing spine (minority but still) others ulcers (possible due to his lifestyle change) others feel just muscle pain due to being in work again (again very light work to build him up consisting of just flatwork and hacking) and lastly the majority do feel it is the saddle. I know that many will say I should just wait for the vet prognosis but my nerves are away with me, just looking for other advice and opinions until the vet gets out.
 

deb_l222

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Joined
19 January 2012
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1,252
Location
Barnsley
This is going to sound terribly harsh but just concentrate on what your vet has to say and stop listening to a million and one different opinions on your yard and online. You can ask 10 different people their opinion and get 12 different answers and this will just blow your mind.

Pay the vet for the job he / she is being asked to do, accept their diagnosis (other people really DON'T know better), treat accordingly and see what happens. If there's no improvement, then re-evaluate.

Personally I would never trust anyone who could diagnose KS without x-rays so I would bin off whoever has said this to you. Good luck and try not to stress so much - you sound terribly stressed, even through the written word!
 

skint1

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11 February 2010
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5,045
Having been there many times with horses having various problems over the years, I would strongly second deb_l222's advice, listen to your vet/other professionals. People mean well, and they are only going by their own (in many cases valid) experiences, but every situation is different. I think we all do to some extent armchair diagnose our own horses and other horses that we know, but always with the proviso that a vet should be consulted for the bottom line. Good luck, hope it goes well for you!
 

sbloom

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14 September 2011
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4,872
Location
Suffolk
Whatever you find is the cause I would view it through the lens of posture, I'm a saddle fitter and we are learning SO much more about posture, and ultimately poor posture can lead to that awful range of issues from KS, through SI, to hocks and suspensories. It sounds like whatever it is you've caught it early and it's less likely to be serious in that case, so definitely don't panic.

I would really have a look at all the clues, does he move straight, stand straight? Stand with his legs at 90 degress to the ground (seldom camped out more importantly seldom camped under)? Heels underrun especially behind? Odd musculature, lack of topline etc? There are so many small clues that we see in so many horses that we often ignore them. Brilliant webinars around with the lockdown, The Equine Documentalist did one at the weekend that can still be purchased on proprioception/inputs and posture. Fascinating.

Vets are definitely the ones to say about KS or not, but what I will say is that when your main tools are drugs and injections, sometimes the bigger picture is missed about how best to fix the problem, and build long term soundness, which is where reading around can really help.
 
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