Cold backed ... what does it exactly mean?

Discussion in 'General' started by xxxkristinaxxx, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. xxxkristinaxxx

    xxxkristinaxxx arab_equine


    I am riding a cold backed horse at the moment.
    I have a slight idea of what it means, the horse has a sensitive back.

    The horse i ride is fine when i ride her. She just extra sensitive/grumpy when i groom her belly area.

    Would appreciate it if you could explain to me what a cold backed horse is

    Thanks x
  2. Pink's lady

    Pink's lady Banned

    Cold backed traditionally means grumpy and sensitive to tack up and touch the back area.

    To me there is no such thing as a 'cold back', only a sore back. A horse tha's grumpy to tack up or touching the area is sore and trying to tell you so. Saying they're just 'cold backed' just gloss' over the problem:(
  3. Mehitabel

    Mehitabel New Member

    echo PL, except it can also be remembered pain - horses have long memories and often carry on reacting after the cause of the pain is gone.

    if she doesn't like having her belly groomed then she may just be ticklish - experiment if you can with different brushes or cloths and see what she fins tolerable.
  4. becs

    becs New Member

    I thought mares often had sensitive bellies, especially if they'd foaled. Maybe they're extra protective of an important area to them?
  5. capalldubh

    capalldubh New Member

    She may just never have been properly habituated to having her tummy touched, so has become sensitised. I'm not sure it occurs to some trainers that horses don't automatically accept having their vulnerable areas touched, so they just launch in with a brush, and the horse never learns to relax when it's happening.

    Maybe work out a gradual desensitisation programme and see if she improves :)

    Agree with what everybody said about cold backed - horses don't usually have to be accustomed to being touched there - their mum, field mates etc. would all touch that part of them. If she's twitchy about that, it's because something has hurt/frightened her in the past (or still hurts?).
  6. joey_olop

    joey_olop I Love My Olops!!!!!

    I use to ride a horse that was supossedly cold backed-she didnt like the intial 'mounting up' but once you where on her back she was fine. I think it was something else wrong but people just fobbed it off as cold backed-she went on to be a driving horse in the end :eek:
  7. Colour_Crazy_Gi

    Colour_Crazy_Gi «.zσℓα.»

    Im guessing that was the situation you had to be very light on her back?
    I used to ride a little pony who was 'cold backed' and when we got on him, if we sat like we normally did (3-point) he would bronc/buck you off. So we had to lightly walk him round the menage in 2-point, slowly easing ourselves into the saddle. He was a fantatic pony though, was bought to us to be schooled and sold as he kept rearing, now back with the owner who was going to sell him and the last i heard (which was about 1 yr and 1/2 ago) he was off jumping 3ft 3 tracks =D He was so great xD

    x x x
  8. Pink's lady

    Pink's lady Banned

    And the reason they 'ease off' is that a warm up is the sensation dies in their backs as the blood supply is shut off (think how cold toes feel) and it's not so sore anymore. The mucle is still dying though:(
  9. coss

    coss Schooling fan

    my horse is cold backed. there is no specific definition for it as no one knows entirely what it is. to me it is when the horse takes longer to relax and get warm with the saddle on. i used to ride a pony at my old riding school and he was cold backed, as winter started to set in he would be tense in his back when you tacked him up, a 5-10 minute walk with just tack and he was fine.
    My horse needs longer, and he needs consistent work. due to this i don't ride him over winter as it is very stressful. come spring i only lunge him for few weeks and do ground work then i will start riding him again as the warmer weather comes up. from my experience with horses that are cold backed it is just that they need more time to warm up and let the saddle settle before mounting. maybe it is caused from people mounting too soon and trying to work them before they are warmed up when they are younger and they remember the pain, i don't know.
    Surely if it was just pain related it would happen all year round and they wouldn't tolerate being worked and relax into their work if it was just pain related?
  10. xxxkristinaxxx

    xxxkristinaxxx arab_equine


    i am wondering if she actually is cold backed.
    I was told by her owner she is for the first few mins of riding.
    But i have ridden her 3 times a week since the start of jan. and she just seems normal to me, and she doesnt mind being mounted.

    She is sensivtive on her belly whatever brush or cloth you use. Shes also very very sensitive when you brush the top inside of her back legs ..... she kicks out.

    And yes she did have a foal when she was very young, (4 or 5) and shes 13 now.

    Thanks for all the relpies

  11. coss

    coss Schooling fan

    sounds like she just needs regular work then. and the sensitive belly and legs isn't connected. could just be where she had a foal

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