Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Just a quick post really as I am swamped with work. I was away for a few days last week and while I was gone Echo managed to pull one of her front shoes off. She had only just had them on! And with my farrier being on holiday, I had to get another farrier who was visiting the yard to put it back on again, as I didn't want to cause more problems by having her walking unlevel for a couple of weeks. It cost me £20! I was horrified - just to put a shoe back on! We had even found the shoe, so all he had to do was nail it back on.
Anyway. Also while I was away, Echo had physio, and Ella rang me afterwards and said that Echo was pretty sore on the left side of her back under the saddle area. She also had a bit of soreness at the back of the saddle on the right. She treated it and it loosened off well, but I really don't know what to do now.
I'm still not happy with this saddle. It just doesn't seem to sit right on her back and it pulls over to the right so easily. I rang the saddler, considering it's only been less than a month since she came out before, but she can't come and look at it for at least a week yet. I asked the physio if I should avoid riding her in it and she said it probably wouldn't hurt her too much to ride a couple of times, if the saddler can't come out straight away. So I have long-reined her mostly for the last few days and then yesterday took her out for a 25 minute hack. She was very stressy (and the tension won't have helped her back), although she hasn't been ridden for a week and a half, but once she calmed down she seemed ok. It's tough, riding in a saddle that I know is hurting her, but I don't know what to do. it doesn't seem like any saddle will ever fit her. We are now onto our 6th saddler, and it looks like she hasn't been able to make something fit either. It drives me mad!
One thing I do wonder about, is whether this soreness might just be normal. She hasn't had a saddle on consistently for nearly 18 months now and I reckon if I hadn't exercised for 18 months and then was expected to start again, I would be a bit sore. Perhaps I am asking her to work under saddle for too long at a time - we were just building up to 35 minutes of walk. Another suggestion from someone at the yard was to start trotting her under saddle too - as this will relieve the constant pressure that walking with a rider creates. I just don't know!
So tonight I did her yoga exercises and long-reined her. We are now up to 50 minutes, with between four and six stretches of trot, probably of about 30 seconds each. It's getting me pretty fit! I even put my cardio trainer app on my phone on today, to measure how far we go, and in 50 minutes, we walked 5.1km at an average speed of 6km per hour. I was going to go for a run afterwards, and decided I needn't bother! 50 minutes is quite a long time to be walking round a field, but with all the trotting and reining back, as well as going over poles, it doesn't get too boring. It was really hot and muggy tonight though, so she was a little lazy towards the end.
And so our circular issues go on. The physio spoke to my vet after treating Echo last week (it's very convenient that he also treats her horses and she sees him quite a lot). He said not to worry too much about the soreness in her back and to just try to sort the saddle issues (Ha!) but not think too much about whether the back pain could be linked to the suspensories. He will be coming to assess her again at the beginning of August and I really want to be up to an hour of ridden work by then, but I just can't see it happening. We will at least be up to an hour of long-reining with lots of trotting, so hopefully he will be able to see some improvement.


achieve1dream said...

I'll be back to read your blog, but wanted to say thank you sooooo much for your comment on my post about riding Chrome. I really appreciate everything you had to say. :D

Cat said...

It is possible that the soreness is more to do with her being reintroduced to ridden work after a lengthy time off. If the physio hadn't been due to see her anyway, it might have gone unnoticed and resolved as her back muscles strengthen again. I understand your frustration though, you are doing your very best to help her, but it's tiring trying to think everything through and work out if it's all related or linked and to try and find solutions. She is getting the best foundation to strengthen her though with all the long reining you are doing. Hopefully the saddler will be able to suggest something for you. Thank you for the comment about Wolfie's blog.

elle said...

Have you tried a shim saddle pad? My cob mare had wonky shoulders and i ended up with a thorowgood t4 synthetic saddle (figuring the less weight the better) in their cob shape with a prolite shim pad underneath, with more padding on her weaker side. they do a dressage saddle designed for cob shapes too, and if you are only after a leather saddle 'kent and masters' are built around the same tree.

I found that the cob shaped tree allows much more room for the shoulder to move. I even have one on my hannoverian who has big shoulders.

achieve1dream said...

How frustrating!! I guess the soreness could be from not having a saddle on for so long.... I hadn't thought of that. How are we to know if it's normal soreness or bad news soreness? Don't you wish they could talk to us??? That would make things so much easier! I wish you could try a treeless saddle, but the good ones are so expensive!

Daily adventures while training my young horse.