Saddle Slip as an Indicator of Hind-Limb Lameness

British researchers learned that saddle slip could indicate subtle or low-grade hind-limb lameness.

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Based on the current study, saddle slip occurs in a high percent of the horses with hind limb lameness, and saddle slip may actually be an indicator of subtle or low grade hind-limb lameness, said Greve. | Photo: iStock

Whether you’re out for a light hack or heading into the show ring, a saddle that slips off-kilter is a potentially dangerous nuisance.

This problem can occur for various reasons–from rider position to asymmetry in the horse’s back shape to ill-fitting equipment–leading owners to try different saddles and additional padding, often to no avail.

Intrigued by other possible causes, Line Greve, an intern at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), in Newmarket, U.K., recently completed a study alongside Sue Dyson, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the AHT, to document the correlation between saddle ship and lameness. They presented their results at the British Equine Veterinary Association’s 51st annual Congress, held Sept. 12-15 in Birmingham, U.K

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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