Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Saddle Sores

Saddle sores occur when focal pressure develops in an area from an ill-fitting saddle that damages skin and tissue resulting in hair loss, abrasion, or a full thickness skin wound.

Treatment requires rest to allow healing. Prevent re-injury with the use of a proper fitting saddle. In cases where a horse must stay in work under saddle, sometimes holes be cut in the saddle pad to protect the area.

Occasionally, infections of the withers can occur secondary to saddle induced trauma. These can be confused with fistulous withers, a potentially contagious disease.

Prognosis & Relevant Factors

The prognosis is good if the problem is corrected and saddle fit is remedied.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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