What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Stiff Neck or Back, Resists Lateral Bending


This observation can be split into cases that are obvious in the horse at the walk, and more subtle cases of not bending sufficiently under saddle. In severe cases, horses are so stiff they have difficulty reaching their feed or water.

Training, riding and physical conditions can all contribute to an observation of seeming stiff under saddle. If your vet has ruled out physical causes, then you can focus on training and riding.
  • Code Yellow

    Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

your role


What To Do

your vet's role

Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Has the horse been vaccinated recently?
  • When did you first notice this?
  • When did you last think your horse seemed normal?
  • How is your horse's attitude and appetite otherwise?
  • Is the horse current on vaccines, including encephalitis, West Nile and Rabies?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?
  • Does the stiffness seem more in the neck or back?

Diagnostics Your Vet May Perform

Figuring out the cause of the problem. These are tests or procedures used by your vet to determine what’s wrong.

Very Common
Less Common
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Diagnoses Your Vet May Consider

The cause of the problem. These are conditions or ailments that are the cause of the observations you make.

Very Common
Less Common
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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP