When Tack Hurts

Your horse can’t tell you where tack hurts, but he can express sensation through his movement. Any sort of tack can impact the horse’s attitude and well-being. Tack can cause discomfort or pain by undue pressure, or even its presence against skin
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Resistance to your cues, time off for injury, or even permanent damage–painful equipment impacts your horse’s performance. Just as a shoe must fit your foot, any type of strap or apparel needs to conform to the horse. When you apply any piece of saddlery to your horse, the item influences the animal in some way. Tack remains in place through gravity or through enclosing a portion of the horse’s body. The inner surface contacts the horse, and by its contact can cause irritation or even injury.

Most of the time, the contact is trivial and the horse tolerates the feel of the equipment. Effects of tack vary according to the length of wearing–the horse wears some tack for a short, supervised period, while other items are left on the horse while he’s in a stall or at turnout.

Your horse can’t tell you where tack hurts, but he can express sensation through his movement. Any sort of tack can impact the horse’s attitude and well-being. Tack can cause discomfort or pain by undue pressure, or even its presence against skin, muscle, or bone. We’ll explore the possible effects of various types of saddlery and horse clothing, excluding injuries caused by saddle fitting.

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Written by:

Award-winning writer Charlene Strickland lives in Bosque Farms, N.M. She has published 8 books and over 600 magazine articles, and is a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists.

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