A cold backed horse is a horse that is stiff and resistant to the touch along its back, usually after a period of rest. It is one of the most common issues faced by horse owners, and can be a major source of frustration for both horse and rider. Fortunately, there are a number of steps owners can take to help their cold backed horses feel better. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of cold backed horses, and provide a variety of tips and techniques for helping them.
What Causes Cold Backed Horses?
Cold backed horses are caused by a variety of factors, including poor warm-up and cooling-down, lack of exercise, and improper fitting of the saddle. In some cases, the horse may simply be too sensitive to the rider’s weight, or may have a medical condition that makes him more likely to become cold backed.
Warm-up and Cool-Down Routines
A good warm-up and cool-down routine is essential for preventing cold backed horses. During the warm-up, the horse should be walked slowly and steadily for at least 10 minutes. This will help to loosen the muscles and prepare them for work. After the warm-up, the horse should be exercised at the appropriate level for his age and fitness level. During the cool-down, the horse should be walked slowly for at least 10 minutes. This will help to loosen the muscles and prevent stiffness.
Regular exercise is also essential for preventing cold backed horses. Horses should be exercised at least five days a week for at least 30 minutes each day. This will help to keep the muscles loose and supple, and will also help to prevent stiffness.
Proper Saddle Fitting
A properly fitting saddle is essential for preventing cold backed horses. The saddle should be well-padded and fit snugly, but not too tight. The tree should be wide enough to allow the horse to move freely, and the gullet should be wide enough to prevent pressure on the spine.
Massage and Stretching
Massage and stretching can be helpful for cold backed horses. Massage can help to loosen tight muscles, and stretching can help to increase flexibility and range of motion. It is important to remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the massage or stretching.
Acupuncture and Chiropractic
Acupuncture and chiropractic care can also be beneficial for cold backed horses. Acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation and pain, and can also help to improve circulation. Chiropractic care can help to realign the spine and improve posture.
Nutrition and Supplements
A balanced diet and appropriate supplements can also be helpful for cold backed horses. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is essential for muscle health, and supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine can help to reduce inflammation and improve joint health.
Herbal remedies such as devil’s claw, yucca, and turmeric can also be beneficial for cold backed horses. These herbs can help to reduce inflammation and pain, and can also help to improve circulation.
Finally, it is important to schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian to monitor the horse’s health. A veterinarian can help to identify any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the horse’s cold back, and can also provide advice on treatments.
Cold backed horses can be frustrating, but with the right measures, they can be managed successfully. By following the tips outlined in this article, owners can help their cold backed horses feel better. Warm-up and cool-down routines, regular exercise, proper saddle fitting, massage and stretching, acupuncture and chiropractic care, nutrition and supplements, herbal remedies, and regular check-ups with a veterinarian are all important steps that owners can take to help their cold backed horses.