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Boney spine

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1 Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:30 pm

uno

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Horse Daughter's main ride, Nojack is an 8 year old Clydesdale X Thoroughbred gelding. 16 hands.

His back changed constantly over the past 8 years, he grew for 7 of those years! He now seems to have settled into one back shape :impossible to saddle.

He has the large framed shape of a Clyde coupled with a very prominent spine and high wither of a TB. He is currently at a stable where the general reaction is, Eeek! Feed this horse! BUt he is not underweight. He is wormed and his teeth were done this fall. He was on grass all summer (at the stable, no grass here!) and went into the winter FAT! His ghastly spine shape just seems to be his unfortunate lot in life.

He has lost some weight, as all horses do but it seems to come off his spine first, where he can least afford to lose it.

HD is working him now, getting him ready for jumping season and going to try her hand at dressage (go plow horse, go!). But finding a saddle that fits them both well is proving impossible. He is high spined, dipped in the back, large ribbed, uphill.

If anyone knows how to make a horse gain fat on his back, let me know. (gee, he should follow my diet!) Or if anyone has an English saddle they might want to sell that might work for this awkward but adorable guy, also please let me know.

2 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:45 pm

Hidden River

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I went to a saddle fitting clinic when my daughter was taking lessons at an English barn and they had some nifty pads you could buy that you can put shims in to that correct for narrow spines, narrow withers, etc. She should look into those.


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
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3 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:02 pm

uno

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Hidden, I do know that she has a few different foam pads and wedges (I call them potato chips) and has recently ordered a wool pad, waiting for it to arrive.

Plus someone explained that the width of the rider's pelvis determines where the rider's butt and the saddle meet, so a saddle that is comfortable for one rider might be miserable for another rider. She has found a few saddles that might fit him, but don't fit her. She, apparently, has a wide pelvis. Must get it from her father's side of the family.

4 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:43 pm

fuzzylittlefriend

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Has she looked into an adjustable saddle? She could contact the saddle dr shes wonderful she might be able to help. SHe can send you a kit to take tracings and measurements and might be able to find something for her.

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

5 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:00 pm

uno

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Fuzzy, do you mean a treeless saddle? SHe has a few Wintecs with the interchangeable gullet systems. She finds they are a little too flat for his curvy back. They fit very well on her fat backed, porker QH type, but not so much on boney TB type.

This stable has no shortage of horse experts, saddle experts and stretchy pants experts. She's had LOTS of advice on saddle fitting.

6 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:10 pm

Piet

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If you can find a good old stubben jumper saddle or BR ( I ride with the J. Lansink saddles) those all fit very well with lots of room for high skinny withers. Then a good pad and sheepskin under it, girth tight. Does the horse have rubbing marks or wounds on his withers? Anyway, yes saddle fitting hocus poces (money grabbing business) I need a saddle that fits me and all horses I ride. I suggest a European build multi sport (not sure the translation of veelzijdigheids zadel) or jumper saddle.

http://pvgflemishgiants.tripod.com/

7 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:12 pm

fuzzylittlefriend

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Haha I bet she has. NO I was thinking something along the lines of wintec but they can only do so much. My saddle is adjustable by the saddle fitter only. SHe can take it apart ( which she would not let me see said I would cry) adjust it, width, add stuffing, remove stuffing what ever and back on we go. Shes a dealer for lots pricy saddles but also has a good used saddle selection and if you give her a budget she can work with. SHe can even try and work with what you have and make it try and fit. Shes at the coast but I bet will be up in april for the jumper show at krc then the dressage show in may. Does not help you now.

I had a really great thick sheepskin pad with like 2 inches of gel in it before I got my new saddle. Was wonderful and kept him from bucking me off ( tried once not to put it on...big mistake). Saddle fitting sucks!

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

8 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:53 pm

Magdelan

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I once had an endurance saddle for my Arab who had a really high wither, plus short in the loins. He had a very free moving shoulder. That saddle had plenty of room between it and the horses spine. Maybe an endurance type saddle could be found? Not so good for show jumping maybe  Question .

9 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:36 pm

uno

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I think she was wanting an actual jumping saddle. (you know, they all look the same to me!).

Piet, someone suggested Luc Childerich saddles and someone loaned her a CWD to try it was, in her words, $3000 of perfect leather wrapping her butt. The horse had no comment. I will suggest your saddles to her.

Fuzzy, she has a friend who has taken a saddle making course. We have one custom made western saddle here that is to DIE for! It's a loaner. We'd love to have an English one hand made but she has to sell a kidney first.

Piet, no, the horse has no rub marks, no soreness. He has been ridden very little until recently and is not worked too hard under saddle at this time.

10 Re: Boney spine on Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:54 pm

uno

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THis post is being typed by Horse Daughter herself:

The saddle he's currently being ridden in is a Wintec Pro Jump, the older style with the equisuede seat. With a medium gullet it sat too high in the front and tipped me back. It now has an extra wide gullet in it and it sits painfully close to his withers and the bridging caused by the built-for-a-Quarter Horse type flattish panels is obvious. The one saving grace is that is has the CAIR panels and as you ride in it, they even out as best they can to the horses shape. The saddle can make do for light occasional riding but will not do for the 5 hour trail rides I go on. The saddle is comfortable for me.
The saddle before this was a wide tree Barnsby Whitaker jump saddle (like the Milton) which I loved dearly. But the panels in the rear were fairly flat so the saddle sat level on a level horse but tipped me back on Mr.WithersUphill. I cried when I sold it.

So his problem is anything wide sits on his withers, anything narrow perches up on them and pinches. I tried a friend's medium (fairly wide type medium) CWD jumping saddle, it was the best fitting saddle I've tried on him yet, and my bum was happy in it. If I win the lottery my problem will be solved.

Stubbens and often Crosbys tend to hurt my bum, but I like super cushy. Stubben jump saddles seem hard to find, I usually only see the all purpose and dressage models for sale. I do want a true forward flap jump saddle.

Hope this gives some fitting info you can use to help me, thank you!

PS - My wonderful mother (Uno) tries hard but is relatively clueless despite the hours long lectures on my saddle fitting woes.

11 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:53 am

Schipperkesue

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I can only imagine the pain of riding him bareback!  Shocked 

12 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:22 am

Magdelan

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Oh crikey, ya, bareback sounds impossible.  

I always thought the Aussie work saddles looked pretty nice.  What about something like this?  It looks super comfy to me.  I'm not really well educated on saddles and makers names, I rode for the first 3 or 4 years bareback and was never educated in any style of riding other than trailing all over the countryside and following my nose -  I guess English would be the word though (as opposed to Western).  Never went to pony club or anything with a style of discipline so I know some horsey language but not a lot.  

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whoops, sorry again, not a jumping type



Last edited by Magdelan on Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:23 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : saw link was not for a jumping saddle)

13 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:20 am

uno

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Surprisingly she did ride him a lot more bareback when he was younger, but it seems as he matured his spine (bones/frame) got larger and more prominent. He is not a great bareback ride, although on her previous horse, Britta, she was almost exclusively a bareback rider.

Magdelan, HD had and sold a saddle like that, we call them Aussie Stock saddles. She claims the stirrup leathers pinched her legs. But what do I know? Nothing, apparently!  Rolling Eyes 

14 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:44 am

Magdelan

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Ah well, the search must go on then :-). I realised after I pushed the submit thing that it wasn't for jumping either so was not going to be the one. If anything more suitable comes across my path I'll make sure to post about it. You never know. hope she finds it soon  Smile . Has she put adds in craigslist, kijiji, castanet etc in the wanted section? just an idea.

15 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:36 am

fuzzylittlefriend

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Contact leslie she might be able to find that for you less expensive.

My saddle although made by "custom" saddles is an off the shelf model but they can stlll mess around with it. ANd is the most heavenly piece of buttery leather to sit in. I agree cushy is best!

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

16 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:02 am

Fowler

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I don't know anything about this but since when does that stop me? Here's a site where they discuss saddling a horse that sounds similar (to me anyways).

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17 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:53 am

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Aside from his high-withered-ness, it sounds like he may be lacking in muscle along his topline, resulting in a prominent spine.  Stop reading now if this is NOT the case.

Poor muscling along the spine, or topline, can be the result of hollowing out due to pain, whether he shows signs of pain or not.  As I recall, you have described Nojack as easy-going and agreeable, so I'm not surprised to think that he may also be pretty stoic too.  These 'strong silent types' can go on and on without complaint, but their body tells a different tale.

I wonder - has HD had a chiropractor or acupuncturist or massage therapist etc. have a feel around?  A horse who is unwilling to engage his topline due to pain is going to atrophy, and this will result in the muscles beside the spine dropping away, creating a hollow, swaybacked and bony appearance.

18 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:58 am

uno

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FArmchiq, he has been seen by Britt Mills. We have no reason to think he's in pain HOWEVER...I think you might be on to something. NOt only is he a stoic type, but he's a wee, tiny bit lazy too. He'd rather drizzle around the arena all loose and floppy than work at collecting himself. Because he is, in HD's words, a conformational train wreck, he has to work harder to collect himself. She has been told (by a heavily accented German gentleman who likes to shout about things) that he is not on the bit and needs to work against resistance and quit dropping the reins every time he gives to the bit.

There is a divergence of opinion. HD was taught (and usually follows this approach) that when you aks the horse to give to the bit, or collect, and he does, you reward him by letting off the pressure. It seems Nojack, as soon as the pressure is off, thinks the request is also off and flops right back down to loosey goosey, flopsy mopsy. THe German fellow says you gather the bit and KEEP the bit so the horse has resistance against which to work. Ah, everyone has a style and opinion!

So all of this is to say that he may very well need to develop his topline by collecting under saddle and staying that way. His spine may change under correct work.

19 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:29 pm

Karaandblue

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I was just thinking the same Farmchiq.
Uno what does he get supplemental to his grain? My mare had a hard time muscling up and putting weight on as a three year old. She benefitted hugely from beet pulp mixed with Podium. Excellent feed. Beet pulp must be soaked but not an issue if he's at an arena or barn. I would definitely suggest those as a way to put general weight on him.
Sure hoping you all get it figured out.

20 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:33 pm

authenticfarm

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farmchiq articulated what I was going to say. If it's not pain-related, he may just not be wanting to hold the frame that is required to add muscle there.

Some of it may be his conformation, too. I've got a flat butt and all the squats in the world aren't going to give me JLo's booty. If he is simply not built to be able to hold collection and work that way, he may just never muscle up along the spine.

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

21 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:01 pm

uno

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He gets no grain, no supplement. He eats hay. He poops a lot.

HD says his shoulder is way bigger than his butt and indeed collecting is difficult. Says his trot is a dream, extended trot to die for, but his canter is a jarring nightmare. I will try and post a pic.

22 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:56 pm

Echo 1

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Saddle fitting is the bane of my existence! My guy is VERY short backed, narrow and built slightly down hill. NOTHING FITS!!!!! I gave up and don't ride anymore....problem solved for me! As for Fuzzy's saddle.... well it's dreamy.

23 Re: Boney spine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:59 pm

Echo 1

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Saddle fitting is the bane of my existence!  My guy is VERY short backed, narrow and built slightly down hill.  NOTHING FITS!!!!!   I gave up and don't ride anymore....problem solved for me!  As for Fuzzy's saddle....  well it's dreamy.

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