The majority of horses experience some form of back pain and often times this pain is due to an ill fitting saddle. Horse back conformation can vary significantly amongst horses making it difficult to find a saddle that fits one particular horse perfectly. Signs that your saddle may be causing your horse pain and impending movement are ears pinned back when saddling or riding, inability to collect properly under saddle, lack of forward motion under saddle, dry spots when you remove your saddle pad (your horse should sweat uniformly under the saddle pad if the saddle and pad fit correctly), development of sores, tender spots and white hairs under the saddle.
Obviously if your saddle does not fit your horse, the best solution is to find a saddle that does and I recommend consulting with a certified saddle fitter to find the best saddle for you horse. However, if your saddle is a good match for your horse and your horse is still experiencing pain, here is a solution to your problem!
The Shoulder Relief Girth and Cinch
These girths and cinches actually change the position and angle of the billets to prevent the saddle from interfering with the shoulder, which decreases pain and frees up movement.
Learn More About the Shoulder Relief Western Cinch
Learn More About the Shoulder Relief English Girth
My Personal Experience:
"I purchased a horse about 6 months ago who came to me with back issues due to having to work in ill fitting saddles his whole life. "Rio" has large white spots on either side of his back from the saddle cutting off circulation and impinging the nerves. I wanted to make sure that I didn't make the situation worse, so I went on the hunt to find a saddle that fits him correctly. I was able to find a saddle that fits him well, but due to his large shoulders, I was still having trouble getting him to move freely under saddle. Finally I found the shoulder relief cinch! This cinch allows his large shoulders the room they need to move while under saddle and I am happy to report that he has been pain free ever since! I loved this cinch so much, that I purchased a second one for my other horse. I wouldn't ride with any other cinch now!" ~ Dr. Angelique Barbara
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Dr. Angelique Barbara is the founder of Angel's Animals LLC, a company that has developed online animal bodywork courses for both owners and professionals. Dr. Barbara's unique teaching style along with the dynamic layout of the courses allows people of different educational backgrounds from all over the world to benefit from her knowledge.