Muscles Affected By Tight Fitting Saddles
The muscles where the saddle causes pain and pinching are the Trapezius muscle which lies behind the shoulder blade, and in the Longissimus Dorsi muscles, lying on each side of the spine. This is the longest muscle in the horses body. It runs the full length of the back from the last few Cervical Vertebrae to the Pelvis and Sacrum. It helps define the topline and is the muscle on which we sit. It is responsible for extending the spine (dip the back) and raising and supporting the head and neck. It is the main muscle used in turning, rearing, kicking and jumping.
If the girth has been tightened too tight and if the buckles of the girth are directly against the ribcage without padding underneath it, it will cause pain and sensitivity along the rib cage and muscles of the horse.
Saddle and the sliding Scapula:
The sliding movement of the Scapula should be taken into account when fitting a saddle. It is important to ensure that the saddle does not pinch or restrict movement as discomfort will result in pain and poor performance. A tree that is too narrow or pinches may restrict scapula movement and cause pain resulting in short steps and hollowing of the back.
We use Gel Pads to make our saddle more comfortable.
We get our Gel Pads and Gel Front Riser Pads from the Tack Shack, Linda 021 976 8044