Cavallo Helps You Spot Signs of a Sore Back
If you’ve ever experienced back pain, then you know how dramatically it can affect your routine. Imagine how back pain feels to your horse, when he’s also carrying you. Horses can show back pain in many different ways; here are some common signs that your horse has a sore back.
Reluctance to Move Forward
One of the first symptoms you may notice is that your horse becomes reluctant to move forward or to fully use his body when under saddle. Horses suffering from back pain may seem to suck back and even avoid your leg, traveling with a shortened stride. In extreme cases, your horse may even rear or buck in response to the pain.
Reluctance to Travel in a Frame
If your horse is suffering from back pain, he may be reluctant to travel in a frame. Horses often lift their heads above the vertical in response to pain, and what may seem like evading the bit can actually be an attempt to reduce pain as the horse travels. If your horse goes around with a hollowed back and won’t travel in his usual frame, there may be a physical issue at fault. He may be attempting to avoid the discomfort by dropping his back away from the perceived source.
Resistance to Picking up a Certain Lead
Sometimes, horses experiencing back pain which is worse on one side may be unable to pick up a canter lead in that particular direction. Consistently counter cantering or cross cantering may indicate that your horse’s back hurts or that his muscling is unusually tight on one side.
Falling in at the Canter
Horses with back pain may also fall in at the canter. You may feel that your horse is running through your inside leg, cutting corners and falling in toward the center of the ring. This is generally less painful for your horse than holding his body up and staying on the rail is, and if your horse starts this behavior up suddenly, it likely indicates a physical issue.
If you suspect that your horse may be suffering from back pain, the first step is to have your vet perform a workup of your horse to help diagnose the issue. You may also want to consider having chiropractic or massage work done on your horse, and you’ll definitely want to verify that your saddle fits correctly. Many horses can benefit from the added shock absorption, balance and comfort provided by a Cavallo Total Comfort System Saddle Pad. With time and treatment, you can generally relieve your horse’s back pain.