In the last article we talked about some of the tools of the trade, one being your brain and seeking knowledge and the other being the martingale. In this article I would like to talk about another piece of tack that is sometimes overlooked as a source of a problem. That would be your saddle and pad.
An improperly fitted saddle and pad that is uncomfortable can lead to a lot of discomfort in your horses back. This will show up in dry spots after riding and eventually soars on the area around the withers and down the back. This effects not just the comfort level of your horse but also their performance and attitude towards training. Lets think about it in human terms for just a second. If you had a soar spot in your back and could not tell a single person about it, yet your boss continued to work you. Lets say that your job is picking up boxes and you start to arch your bad to compensate for the pain but that lead to you putting to much stress on your knees and eventually your knees hurt along with your back. Eventually you just quit from the pain and your boss sends you to the doctor cause your knees are bad so he fixes it but sends you back to work with the same bad back. There are a lot of times that we have to look at our horses ailments a little deeper than just the surface.
The saddle may fit you well but may be very uncomfortable for you horse. If this is the case and you do not want to go through the hassle of finding one that fits you both, there are pads that you can get that are molded to fit your horses back which makes him comfortable and also allows you to be comfortable too.
It is also important to use protection boots on your horse if you are working them in a performance manner or teaching them to learn a new maneuver.