>Have been reading the white hair/soreness issue with interest. Does the
>appearance of new white hairs ALWAYS indicate that the saddle is
>damaging the skin and muscle below???
No, it depends on the pattern observed. (There are NEVER absolute
statements - NEVER <grin>) There are a number of genes responsible for
graying and roaning that express themselves in different ways. My old
Arab mare had gray roaning along the spine and at her dock/tail head.
It didn't indicate any saddling problems, or that I sat on her spine or
The white hairs indicating damage from a saddle are generally found
wherever the saddle presses too much. This is generally seen 2 or 3
inches below the withers, and may unilateral or bilateral. I have also
seen them where the rear panels of the saddle sat in a saddle that
"bridged" a horse with a mild sway to his back. The areas under the
white hair will often have a coarse or thickened feeling to the tissue
from scarring of underlying tissue.
Can you get rid of the white hairs? Only Miss Clairol will know! There
really aren't any creams or ointments to "cure" the white hairs. They
are seasonal - they will come in with a summer or winter coat, depending
on which hairs were most affected.
Blue Wolf Ranch
soon to be Bruceton Mills, WV