Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saddle fit

Apologies for the blurriness of the photo, but you get the idea. I've been meaning to post this photo since I took it mid last week. This white patch (and it's matching sibling on the nearside) were not there last weekend. Maz had her showerproofs on for a few days early last week, because, well it was raining! Come Wednesday when the rugs came off, this pair of beauties were in full white glory.

To say I was stunned (and a bit shocked) is an understatement. They are evidence of muscle damage caused by a saddle: the trainer's saddle. I know this because 1) she has not been ridden in any other saddle in the last 4 yrs and 2) these two patches correspond to two areas of swelling and tissue damage Maz had when I pulled the pin on the trainer. What I find remarkable is that the trainer told me he had only ridden the mare three times (although that's not what told other people, in front of me!).

The other point of interest in the location of these patches is what lies underneath. Not just muscle and muscle junctures (lat dorsi, traps etc) but also acupressure points and nerve pathways. We take for granted the body of our horses because they are so large, and seemingly strong, powerful and resilient. They are not. I love these white patches as much as I loathe them (for the pain that Maz has obviously endured) because they demonstrate so clearly how quickly and easily muscle damage can occur in such an athletic animal; and because they also demonstrate how complex, intricate and fragile the whither area is (amongst others).

My hope now is that the white hair is temporary, and with good massage, exercise and feed, the hairs will shed and be replaced by healthy dark brown hair that should be there.

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