HomeHorse HealthEquine Massage TipsPinning Down Back Pain In The Horse – Part 1


Pinning Down Back Pain In The Horse – Part 1 — 8 Comments

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  4. I have a six year old warmblood dressage horse who has extremely big movement 16hh.  He finds it very difficult to pick up canter and lift withers into transition.  He is obviously in pain somewhere.  I have had him checked out with vets and also saddle fitters and all say he is good.  He is sound and moves well until you ask him to pick up canter.  I can feel something holding back in the shoulder area which is causing him discomfort – would really appreciate your advice.

    • Hi Sue,

      It really sounds like you probably need a chiropractor to take a look at him.  I’m afraid I can’t really offer any insight without an in-person evaluation where I can actually see how the horse is moving and laying hands on to feel for tension in the body.  But horses can be out at the withers and need adjusting there.  They can also have issues with the 1st rib being out, which is incredibly hard to see, but causes them a great deal of discomfort.  If you are sure that your saddle doesn’t have too much rock in it (not allowing the horse to lift its back fully to collect into canter), and it is not impinging on the movement of the scapula (many saddle fitters don’t check for the width of the saddle while the scapula is at it’s full extension position), then I would recommend the chiropractic route or have a reputable bodyworker come out to do a thorough eval of him.  It is also possible the the problem is somewhere in the back end that doesn’t allow him to properly collect.  Sorry I couldn’t be of more help with specifics 🙁



  5. My horse is lame. There doesn't seem to be a problem with his legs or feet but I have noticed that he has sore withers. I think it was caused by his saddle and recently had him fitted for and bought a new one, but then he went lame, so I haven't used it as yet. Would sore withers cause front leg lameness? If so, what would you recommend for this problem…chiropractor or equine massage?

    • Hi Annie,

      It’s quite possible that your horse’s withers are out and/or has a pinched nerve there affecting his front legs.  Your best course of action would be to enlist the help of a chiropractor to check that out for you.  I always recommend a good massage before chiropractic to help relax everything and help facilitate the chiropractic adjustments. 



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