PDA

View Full Version : Advice please: swayback horses



cbz
10-03-12, 08:51 AM
We have a large thoroughbred at work that is what we call a "weightbearer" (meaning he takes our largest riders and sometimes they are very unbalanced as well).

He has a long back and because he is used for giving lessons, he never really works on the bit or builds up a topline and has become rather swaybacked. For obvious reasons, a lot of our saddles are the cheaper Wintecs and they seem to have rather square panels (looking from side on) and they are digging into his back.

Basically, we need to change his saddle and, ideally, prevent him from being ridden by the deadweight riders (no muscle tone) and the ones who don't care if they are slumped to one side (VERY unbalanced).

Has anyone found any particular type of saddle that suits a swayback shape? I know there are also saddle pads that claim to help so what about these? (We need the saddle to also come in a 17.5" or 18" size for these bigger backsides).

cbz
10-03-12, 08:56 AM
And we have another horse who has the WORST quality hooves I've ever seen - each hoof would have four or five cracks running from top to bottom. Our (NEW) farrier is working to correct the horrendous angles that the poor horse suffers from the last (SACKED) farrier.

But I would also like to feed a supplement to improve him and was hoping to keep it cheap. In the good ol' days, gelatine was considered adequate and jelly crystals was a cheap way to feed it.

Can anyone advise a better, cost-effective way to improve hoof quality?

cyrus
10-03-12, 08:56 AM
Tree less saddles- and good pads- and if the rider sits crooked they slip off :)
Might need good insurance tho.

Stocky
10-03-12, 09:01 AM
A friend of mine has a horse with a pretty bad sway back she rides him in a Keiffer (not sure which type, munchen perhaps? Sorry I can't spell it) bought second hand and has had it fitted by a good fitter. No special saddle blankets on him buy since putting a good saddle with a good fit on him he has been a lot better to work with and his back isn't sore so often anymore.

Ness3
10-03-12, 09:13 AM
We have a large thoroughbred at work that is what we call a "weightbearer" (meaning he takes our largest riders and sometimes they are very unbalanced as well).

He has a long back and because he is used for giving lessons, he never really works on the bit or builds up a topline and has become rather swaybacked. For obvious reasons, a lot of our saddles are the cheaper Wintecs and they seem to have rather square panels (looking from side on) and they are digging into his back.

Basically, we need to change his saddle and, ideally, prevent him from being ridden by the deadweight riders (no muscle tone) and the ones who don't care if they are slumped to one side (VERY unbalanced).

Has anyone found any particular type of saddle that suits a swayback shape? I know there are also saddle pads that claim to help so what about these? (We need the saddle to also come in a 17.5" or 18" size for these bigger backsides).

Hi CBZ

I have a spare treeless that is equivalent to approximately 17.5" - 18 as I was quite large when I first got it. The saddle has been and is literally sitting in around gathering dust. I gave it a clean up on Thursday and was about to sell it but I am in no hurry at all. If you think it can be put to good use and would like to give it a go please let me know. If it proves to be working I would be happy to donate it. It comes with the appropriate saddle pad for the treeless.

I live about 5 mins away from where I think you work ;) so getting it to you won't be a drama.

LisaL
10-03-12, 09:21 AM
Treeless saddles are really bad for swayback horses. They don't distribute the pressure properly. You can use a wintec if it's properly fitted.

Trot poles and cavelletti, set up grids for him to do morning and night, do them once a day without a rider/saddle and make a game of it with him, let him succeed and reward him as he learns to use his back.

You can get the beginners going over trot poles at walk and trot during the lesson, this will teach them how to feel lifting and stretching of the back, and it will be good for him to lift and stretch.

tgh05
10-03-12, 09:30 AM
I think a cob saddle is made on a shaped tree and has padding to conform to a "dippy" back .
I have a really good quality one that was custom made for me and a horse with a very short and slightly dippy back.. it's kinda banana shaped....

I also have a new treeless that you can have if you want.. but treeless saddles give little rider security so I doubt they would suit the passengers .

btw cbz.. mea culpa....completely forgot about the leathers.. will pin a note to my tiny brain and look this am .. otherwise a donation as penance for my slackness

Harriette
10-03-12, 11:28 AM
A few saddles made for ' pony' backs

County are a flexi tree, so some give, but still good weight distribution.
Kieffer seem to have some flex too.
Crosby cadence has a 'bent' tree

I assume your issue is bridging?
Cavallo and cashel do saddle pad specifically to address bridging, it may be an option if your happy with the saddle he already has.
Think they are 3/4 inch thick at the front, so maybe an gullet size issue?

cyrus
10-03-12, 04:08 PM
:) Thats why I suggested treeless, as it would be kinder to the horse to not let those riders on him, as he continues to hollow out, it will just cause more and more issues as he ages. Just because is he is a kind soul, I would urge you to think about how he would be feeling as a dippy backed horse, with an unbalanced rider.
There are belly lift exercises and polework etc that could all help him get stronger - but age does wear us away too.

In saying that, the old dippy backed horse I have, is much happoier in heather Moffat semi treed saddle, he was also pretty happy in the Wintec Isabells. All the Issys were professionally fitted to him.

If nothing else- you can try a thinline pad, or a skito pad, that might help under the saddles you have.

The treeless saddle he likes best- he also has a skito pad under it too.
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/cyrus44/010120121289.jpg
The actual dippy back- 21 yr old horse
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/cyrus44/181120111202.jpg

cbz
10-03-12, 06:47 PM
Cyrus, he's not an old horse. He's only 12 and he's an unfortunate body shape. He is in a riding school that coaches disabled riders who can't choose their way of riding, or how they ride. That is his lot in life, unfortunately. On the other hand, he is looked after and loved and is very gentle with all riders so we want to find a saddle that will be comfortable for him.

LisaL, that is certainly something we could try but finding time to lunge him twice a day is the trick when there are 28 horses to look after and at least a quarter of them would definitely benefit from lungeing as well. Asking the riders to help with it would not work so well for the reasons, I've outlined to Cyrus above.

tgh05, thanks for the offer of a treeless saddle but I've heard that they require the rider to be super-balanced or they are even more uncomfortable than a treed saddle and, again for the reasons I outlined to Cyrus, I am really attempting to protect his back from an unbalanced rider combined with a badly fitting saddle.

I'm thinking I'm going to try a thin line pad and maybe a cavallo pad. However, first stop is Graeme Aitken!!!!!!!!

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

cyrus
10-03-12, 07:15 PM
Does he need to wear a saddle with those riders?

maybe a thinline bareback pad could help?

Thinline in my shoes sure feels good to me, and my horses love the thinline pads- worth a try.
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001893328748&ref=ts

cbz
10-03-12, 07:32 PM
Does he need to wear a saddle with those riders?

Ooh yeah!

Thanks for the link!