Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Dry Spots under Wet Saddle Blanket

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If your vet will assess the fit of your saddle.

When you remove a saddle from a horse that has been heavily exercised, the hair coat covered by the pad should be evenly soaked with sweat.

Dry spots or an uneven sweat pattern under the saddle pad can indicate problems with saddle fit, and should prompt you to check the fit of your saddle and consider that your horse may be experiencing discomfort and potential injury.


Consider whether the horse has shown signs of discomfort under saddle or resistance to training. Press on the dry areas, assessing whether the horse shows a pain response. Once the hair has dried, feel for heat in the area. Are dry spots present on both sides of the back? Are they symmetric left to right? Do you notice areas of swelling or hair loss? Are there white hairs appearing on the back?


Share your findings and concerns with your vet. Some vets are also expert saddle fitters. Either way, they may recommend particular fixes, different tack, additional diagnostics or assessment of saddle-fit by an expert.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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