The white area of the Infrared Thermal Image to the left lets you see what your horse is feeling and what his behavior might be telling you...that he is experiencing muscle inflamation and damage caused by an ill-fitting saddle.
The correct fit of your saddle is critical to your horse’s back health and to his ability to perform the job you have assigned him. Many horses experiencing difficulty with working in ill-fitting saddles, or with incorrectly fitted saddle pads and half pads, display behaviors that are confounding, experience frustrating and expensive 'mystery' lamenesses, and/or are labeled as ‘bad’ when they act out their pain.
Think of the topic of saddle fit in this way: a horse being ridden with a too small saddle (narrow in the gullet or the tree) would be like you wearing high-heeled dancing shoes that are too short, too narrow and pinch your toes. It would not take long for you to kick off your shoes or to leave the dance, rather than continue on in pain or to develop blisters. Our horses cannot make the choice to 'leave the dance' or 'kick off their shoes/saddle' (although they might be telling you they wish they could). They must rely on us to correctly choose the equipment we use with them. If there is a problem with the equipment we have chosen, our horse’s bodies and behaviors will communicate their pain.
If your horse is displaying antisocial tendencies when being groomed or tacked; has confounded you, your trainer and/or your vet with unidentifiable lameness; or is exhibiting any of the performance challenges listed below, it may be due to back pain relating to saddle fit.
Possible Indicators of Poor Saddle Fit:
Problems such as bridging, saddles which are too wide or narrow, even lumpy flocking can all be picked up with Infrared imaging.
The pre- and post-ride images are expertly reviewed to analyze the fit of the saddle and, if there are fit problems, the effect that the incorrect fit is having on your horse’s back.
Our onsite diagnostic saddle fit evaluation includes, static and dynamic measurements, evaluation, and analysis; saddle fit diagnosis for both the horse and rider; and recommendations for solutions.