Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:44 pm Post subject: Muscle Atrophy In the Lions, HELP!
I just encountered this website on pure chance and I cannot emphasize how much this has helped already. I do have a question for the famous author of this site.
My sisters pony had wide withers and has a wide tree saddle. The saddle fits perfectly in the front but is causing the muscle to decay in the back.
It slants back, where almost like a teeter totter all the weight is on the back of the saddle and none on the withers at all. There is a huge dry spot on the withers and a huge wet spot on the lower back. There is even now an impression of the end of the saddle on her lower back. It remains there even after a week of turnouts and being in no contact with the saddle.
My question for you, is:
What can I do to diminish this imprint and return her to full use of her lower back?
I know you dont believe in pads, but if it fits in the front, wouldnt a pad just help the muscles grow again and then level out her back and then she wouldnt need a riser pad in the back?
It sounds like this saddle is bridging terribly. Bridging happens when a saddle does not make full contact: it does not touch all the way down the horse's back. It only touches at the front and the back, causing pressure points at the front and at the back.
Indentations such as you describe are caused by damage to the muscle. The pressure causes the tissue to die off, sometimes with noticeable scar tissue and sometimes without. Generally there isn't much you can do for indentations more than a hand's width behind the shoulderblade; the muscle is damaged and you cannot to much to fix it.
What you can do is give the horse a month or two to recover from the bruising (you can't see it, but if the muscle is damaged enough to indent, then there is a lot of associated bruising). Then move to a saddle that does fit, and that particularly does not place pressure on the damaged areas.
So if I'm looking for a saddle that fits, and her lower back has an indent, isn't nothing really going to fit? Her shoulders are thick and muscley but its just the lower back where the end of the saddle is. Could I get her a riser pad in the back while her back is regrowing muscle?
She is getting accupunctured every 10 days and gets chiropracted monthly.