ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] back soreness

Re: [endurance] back soreness

K S Swigart (katswig@deltanet.com)
Thu, 11 Jul 1996 10:18:25 -0700 (PDT)

What I do (don't know if this is the answer) is to run my hand fairly
lightly along the horse's back first to prepare it for the fact that I am
about to check this (that seems to minimize the reflex action) and check
for any heat or swelling at the same time.

Next time over I will push a little harder (easing up on any area that I
have notice heat or swelling) and see if I get a reaction. If I do, I
will check each side individually to see if I get mmore reaction from one
side than the other (to me this seems like a sure sign of sorneness).

If I find what I think might be a sore spot I will gently push on it,
increasing pressure (without rubbing along its back) and see if he
reacts. Gradually increasing pressure is not the way to get a reflex
action (just think about what a doctor does on you to check the reflexes
in your knee...one quick tap).

Mostly, however, you just start to get a feel for it. Experienced vets
(especially experienced endurance vets) can just tell the difference
between a reflex action and one that is caused by soreness. ANd they can
do so fairly quickly. Quick rub down the top line, if they get a
reaction, check it again with a different pressue. Then, if they don't
get a reaction, the first reaction was probably just a reflex.

WIth time, you can get the same "feel" for it.

THis is to find a surface sorness that could be caused by having just
worked hard under saddle. Chiropractors may be looking for a deep, long
established soreness (which a good one can tell by looking at the horse's
way of going at the walk). THis may not be sensitive to topline pressure.

Topline, surface soreness is what endurance vets are looking for when
they check "back and whithers" Deep soreness that affects way of going
will show up in the "gait" or "impulsion" section of the test.

Hope this helps.

Orange County, Calif.