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Home:Equine Diseases: Equine Saddling problems

Equine Diseases

Equine Diseases - Saddling problems

Description of Equine Saddling problems


Saddling Problems

Saddling problems are sometimes mistaken for behvioural problems. Firstly, check that your horse’s saddle fits correctly. The saddle MUST fit correctly or you are inviting saddling problems. For example, if the horse has particularly high withers, a flat-pomelled saddle will cause distress. You should have your horse’s saddle checked by an expert saddler to avoid saddling problems.

Saddling problems can often lie in physical conditions. These should therefore be investigated one by one in order to arrive at the reason for your saddling problems.
The main physical problem involved with saddling is pain.

Saddling problems can be caused by pain resulting from a girth which is too tight causing “cinchiness” -the horse will hold its breath, flatten it ears, swish its tail – all in anticipation of a sharp tightening of the girth. Another cause of saddling problems can occur due to girths that are made from uncompromising material, and which are tied too tight causing painful girth galls. These are repetitive lesions caused by tightness and rubbing whilst the horse is in motion.

Saddling problems can also be due to pain with vertebral origins. Check this out with your vet.


Another cause of saddling problems is repetitive mounting from the left side which can cause misalignment of the spine, so consider mounting from both sides to help maintain alignment.

Check to see if the saddle has an intact tree. If not, it will not sit on the back correctly and will cause pressure sores and further saddling problems.

Saddling problems are also indicated by buckling under the weight of the saddle when tacking up., biting, kicking, moving away from the saddle and becoming lame when saddled.