We caught up with Clare from Team Sweet this week……..
As horse owners/riders we are constantly making sure our horses are happy and healthy through the means of good stable management which can cover anything from good nutrition, the best bedding for your horse in his stable and exercise, whether that’s ridden or time out in the field.
But don’t forget there is even more to consider if you are planning to ride your horses –
- Have you had your horses teeth checked?
- Have you had your horses back checked?
- Have you recently checked that your tack still fits well and is it still safe to use?
Horses change shape all the time and its easy to forget to check your tack regularly, but the fact is we can all forget to check that our tack still fits our horses well – if you ride regularly like myself and see your tack daily, it is easy to miss small changes in your horse and their tack, especially if you have a genuine, kind horse that does not let on that anything is wrong.
Humbug recently showed symptoms of a sore back following a ride, as I untacked him I felt his back in the area where the saddle panels come into contact with his back, I soon learnt that he was slightly sore especially to the right hand side – however prior to this there had been no warning, no bucking, napping, reluctance to work or anything that would indicate an issue with his saddle .
I immediately looked at the panels of the saddle and realised the flocking in the panels had flattened though general use of the saddle – I do check my saddles regularly when I clean them, so this had been a very gradual change over a good amount of time.
I contacted my fantastic saddle lady and arranged a date for her to come out to check/re-flock the saddle. As I had a 2-week window before the saddle lady could come out to us, I decided to give Humbug some time off to help any sore muscles recover. I used my infra-red rug to help increase blood flow to his muscles, alongside some heat massage gel, both to help sooth any sore muscles. After a week I started lunging him and walking him out in hand and he feels so much better, he has even enjoyed some lunge jumping, I have not put his saddle back on as I would not risk him being sore again.
The saddle lady came out and checked the saddle and has agreed the saddle panels need re-flocking, but what is more worrying is she is concerned that the tree may have twisted ever so slightly at the front of the saddle – the saddle has since been taken back to the factory to have the tree checked!!! I am pleased I made the decision not to re-introduce the saddle until it had been checked and repaired.
Humbug is much better in himself now, I’m now just waiting to hear the findings on the saddle, and then we shall go from there.