| Saddle Sores are patches of sore skin that develop under the saddle. |
Symptoms of Saddle Sores include:
1. Raised, thickened areas of dead skin.
2. Patches of rubbed hair on the horse's back.
3. Tender areas on the horse's back.
4. New patches of white hair.
Saddle Sores can be caused by they following:
1. Incorrectly fitted saddles
2. Unevenly stuffed saddles.
3. Dirty saddles and numnahs.
4. Over tight rollers with insufficient padding.
5. Bad riding.
The damaged area must be protected from further trauma so rest the horse or restrict exercise to lunging without a roller. If the skin is broken, wash with warm water and cotton wool. Dry the area and apply wound powder or an antiseptic ointment. Keep the area clean and dry until it has completely healed.
Toughen up newly healed skin with regular applications of surgical spirit. Do not ride the horse until the wound has completely healed and when you begin to ride again, ensure you use a thick numnah or shock-absorbing gel pad to protect the horse's back.
To prevent Saddle Sores:
1. Check the fitting of the saddle regularly.
2. Use a thick numnah or gel pad under the saddle.
3. Keep things clean - wash numnahs regularly, keep the saddle clean and supple, groom the horse thoroughly before saddling and wash any sweat from the saddle area.
4. Check the rider is not out of balance or sitting in a crooked position.