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Discussion on Small white patches on sorrel gelding

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Mona Zaidi
New Member
Username: mz4horse

Post Number: 3
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 18, 2007 - 5:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My 13 yr old Arab has in the past few months acquired white patches on his coat - the largest ones are where the saddle's D-rings sit on both sides of the horse, each almost 2" wide. There are others, one in the shoulder area (much smaller) and another couple in the lower barrel area (also small) where there's no saddle coverage. I am concerned that it has to do with saddle fit - I got him a like-new used western synthetic saddle a few months back, we ride 1-3 times a week only, sometimes on trail. Or is it something else, should I call my vet to make sure? (My trainer thinks the saddle fits OK when she feels his shoulder, but it's a big 'coincidence' so I am not sure).
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19238
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007 - 12:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Mona,
Since you have spots appearing all over it does make the saddle less likely but if you have 2 appearing in exactly the same spot on both sides of the horse it is more likely the saddle. Occasionally horses develop white spots on the body for no known reason that are not usually symmetrical and may disappear later so I would not worry about the ones not associated with the saddle. Some folks call them bird spots. Maybe during these times pressure spots form more easily? Are the D rings irritating the skin?
DrO
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Mona Zaidi
New Member
Username: mz4horse

Post Number: 4
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Thursday, Sep 20, 2007 - 12:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you DrO! There is no sign of skin irritation under the D-rings area, but he is terribly itchy right there when I take the saddle off. Your assessment makes things a lot clearer, and I feel it resonates the truth of what's going on - Most likely it is time to order a custom-fit saddle, something I've been postponing in favour of the economical synthetic ones. Or at the very least getting an Arab-tree saddle off-the-shelf, and giving that a try? (This saddle has a regular QH tree; my Arab is big 15.2hh). Do you happen to know some reputed saddle-makers/companies I could look up? Many thanks !!! :-) Mona.
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Muffi Delaney
Member
Username: muffi

Post Number: 169
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Thursday, Sep 20, 2007 - 2:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Valley Vet on online has ones you can try before you buy. Looks like a good deal and lots of variety
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Debra McKay
Member
Username: maximum

Post Number: 16
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Sep 20, 2007 - 5:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a QH gelding who does the same thing. At times he will have white rings around his eyes and then a few months later, none. Sometimes spots here and there. They come and go constantly. I know his sire was a red roan and wondered if that had anything to do with it.
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 511
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Thursday, Sep 20, 2007 - 6:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mona, I've got an Arab about that size and an Arab saddle has NEVER fit him -- he needs full quarter horse bars. Many of those synthetic saddles do not have full bars, but semi instead. I gave my guy a backache with one of those, and his hair also wore thin from the fit.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19241
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Sep 21, 2007 - 8:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

There are many very reputable saddle makers and I would not know where to begin with a recommendation for you. It is more important to see what is available locally, check the reputation of saddles you like, and check if it fits your horse correctly. I personally think for 75% of the horses too much is make of saddle fit and a good all purpose saddle will fit those horses. Occasionally you find horses unusually flat or with a prominent wither that needs special consideration. We have been riding synthetics (Wintec and Dover) for 20 years on all our horses (Walkers and Pasos) and have been delighted with their performance and durability.
DrO
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 512
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, Sep 21, 2007 - 4:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I too use synthetic saddles most of the time and like them fine. The Big Horn with full quarter horse bars is what fits my Arabs. The Arab saddle with the flatter and shorter bars fits my paint horse. I once had to give one of my Arabs (who is very stoic) 60 days off (Veterinary diagnosed and treated) and then change saddles because his back got so bad from an ill-fitting saddle, which had not been a problem until I added a camping trip with long hours of daily riding on top of my team riding and practices. Though I switched saddles and only did light riding to get through the team's show season, ultimately he needed the 60 days completely free of riding to totally recuperate. How often, long and hard one rides can make the results of saddle fit problems more serious than will happen with just trail riding. There are also a few overly sensitive horses out there who will act badly if anything is uncomfortable.
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 72
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Friday, Sep 21, 2007 - 7:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Mona,

Tack shops around here will do a tracing (or let you trailer your horse in) and try lots of saddles on for fit. Synthetic saddles have gotten really good these days.

I have owned only one horse who truly needed a custom saddle, and she has obvious and extreme old back damage, high withers, and generally odd conformation. Her custom saddle was transformative for her. Custom saddles are expensive and need to be re-fitted from time-to-time in order to continue to be useful. It's a huge PIA, and I would never do it if there were a chance of finding an off-the-shelf option.
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 513
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, Sep 21, 2007 - 7:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Must agree with Elizabeth. I had an expensive custom saddle made after my horse rested 60 days for his bad back. By then, of course, he had put on weight and his back had changed so that when he became fit again, the custom saddle didn't fit him that well, and was never comfortable for me. The cheap saddles are a good option because if they wear out or don't fit after a while, you don't have that much invested and can replace them.
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Karen Trojnar
Member
Username: karent

Post Number: 111
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Friday, Sep 21, 2007 - 9:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have to admit, I love my Crates Lite Rider endurance saddle and use it every time I go trail riding. But at home, I always ride in my 8 year old, used to black, now faded to green abetta synthetic saddle (I did change out the plastic stirrups). It is comfortable, light, and fits every one of my walkers. I will absolutely buy a new one when this one wears out.
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 514
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Saturday, Sep 22, 2007 - 8:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Abettas are very comfortable for rider but I know of instances (myself included) where horses developed severely sore backs, resulting in lengthy rehabilitation periods after being ridden frequently in them. I've got one myself and love it but have not used it for years. Though I had checked the fit with my trainer who thought it was okay, the narrower configuration was causing slight bridging. Another friend of mine with an Arab had to quit using hers as did a friend with a Tennessee Walker. All of us had been using these over a period of time and eventually developed severe back problems in our horses.
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Shari Robertson
Member
Username: srobert

Post Number: 201
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Saturday, Sep 22, 2007 - 9:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Arabs can be tricky to fit. We have learned that the hard way - spent money on lots of saddles that we ended up pretty much giving away.

We have had very good luck with WIntec saddles - dressage and hunt - fitting our arab. His western saddle is a quarter horse futurity saddle - the smaller skirt and short tree fits him to a tee. But, we have to be very careful about finding the right saddle for him. He is a horse that will tell you immediately if the saddle isn't right. He is normally an extremly pleasant willing horse but gets downright crabby when the saddle isn't right. As a result, my daughter rides saddleseat in saddle that is very old, unstylish, hard as a board, slippery and REALLY uncomfortable for the rider, but the horse's opinion is what counts here! He loves it...
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1398
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 - 9:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a short backed Arab also, and she has a pronounced dip in her back, rump higher than the withers.

I used my treeless Bob Marshall sport saddle (the one made by Circle Y, no longer made by them) for many years only to realize that I was putting it too far up to make it look right. She got sore from it, large bump on one wither/shoulder, and I realized it is too long over all. I use a Big Horn saddle now on her, in fact we have two, one for me, one for when my 13 year old daughter rides her, same bars, different seat.

Something I didn't see mentioned, was the importance of a good SADDLE PAD. I use the IMPACT GEL now, and I think that is wonderful! Unfortunately we only have the one, so if we all go riding, that leaves a regular wool type pad, or the Skito Pad, for the rest of the horses.

I also use the Classic Equine Soft Touch Cinch. Doesn't slip, nice and wide, soft, don't have to over tighten.

Just giving you more to think about before you toss the saddle and start buying new saddles. If it seems to fit o.k., I'd start with looking for a new pad, new cinch. You can also get some nice cinch ring covers.

Heck, wrap the horse in bubble wrap, then saddle up! Just kidding...it's frustrating to get the horse comfy. I have to put layers of foam, in different configurations, on my Arabs back, one piece on the lower side of her withers, sandwiched between the pad and saddle, before every ride, so I know the frustration.
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Dove2
Member
Username: dove2

Post Number: 239
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 - 11:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a short-backed horse too, but with thick shoulders. A full QH bars saddle usually too wide, and a regular QH bars pinches his shoulders. I agree with Angie that the IMPACT GEL pad is great. I was still getting some dry spots behind the withers with it though and bought the Clinton Anderson PRS (pressure relief system) saddle pad in wool. It completely eliminated the dry spots and made for much more even contact. So I'd rate these two pads as excellent.

Angie, I'm now (yet again) looking for a western saddle with some flair in the shoulders. Which Big Horn saddle do you use/like?
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1403
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 - 8:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dove,

My saddle has the number 269, that's the bigger one I ride in; the other one has 102 on it. I think the 269 is semi qtr horse bars, the 102 is full. Both have 13" fronts, I am guessing I meant the width across. (I had researched them online, and not sure what my notes mean anymore) And mine has a higher cantle. It's almost as comfy as my treeless; not bad for the price. I bought them both used.

I read somewheres that there are very few saddles that are built wide and with a nice flare in front. Or was that on tv? Anyone run across such an article or something one of the clinicians was talking about? I thought there were brands named too. Dang this brain drain with age!
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Leilani
Member
Username: leilani

Post Number: 362
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 - 11:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a Black Rhino by Dave Genadek. I had it custom made for my older mare about 5 years ago. It has full QH bars (flares for the shoulder) and fits both my QH mares very well.
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Dove2
Member
Username: dove2

Post Number: 240
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 - 5:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Leilani, I am soooooooo jealous! Saddles by Dave Genadek are considered the best saddle around! I'll bet it's appreciated tenfold in the past five years. Did you do all the measurements for the saddle fitting yourself? If you ever want to sell it or hear of any used Genadek saddles, please let me know! (she says with pockets turned inside out)

By the way, does he call his wide saddles a number 2?
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Leilani
Member
Username: leilani

Post Number: 364
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 - 3:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dove2,

I had such a good time ordering the saddle. Dave had me take all kind of pictures, above her, both sides, rear, picture of me on her bareback and the tracings. They were so helpful as I ordered the saddle from the tree up.

Check out his site; there are some used saddles. Leilani
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Leilani
Member
Username: leilani

Post Number: 365
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Monday, Sep 24, 2007 - 3:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oops, yes Dove2 the full QH bar is #2.
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