Practical tips to help minimise cold-backed symptoms include:
- Regular (at least annual) saddle and physiotherapy checks to identify problems before they become established.
- Walk your horse round the yard for a few minutes once tacked up before mounting to allow the back muscles to warm up and start to stretch.
What does a cold backed horse mean?
The term ‘cold-backed’ is used to describe a horse displaying symptoms of a sensitive or painful back. These symptoms can range from very mild, such as discomfort when the girth is tightened, to more serious, lasting until the horse has warmed up and the muscles are relaxed.
How do I know if my horse is cold backed?
The typical sign of a cold-backed horse is when the horse dips from the pressure of the saddle or the rider. Other signs include discomfort when the girth is tightened or reluctance to be mounted from the floor.
What causes a horse’s back to dip?
A dipped back often occurs in older horses when the back muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues responsible for holding the vertebrae in alignment weaken, allowing the spine to sag. When lordosis appears in younger horses, it often is caused by deformed vertebrae that prevent the spine from aligning correctly.
Why has my horse started bucking?
First of all, a horse that is bucking seriously has to put its head right down, which is harder to do if its pulling against its withers. If a normally well behaved horse suddenly starts bucking, check the saddle fit and get its back and teeth checked – it’s probably pain.