Girthy, scurfy

Jane&Ziggy

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You must all be getting fed up with Sid threads!

I know girthiness can have a lot of causes, from saddle problems to ulcers. Can it also be caused by skin issues? Sid is grumpy to be girthed, however patient and slow you are. I've put a sheepskin sleeve on his girth, which he doesn't object to, but after an hour or so he starts trying to nibble at and scratch the skin behind his elbow on the left hand side, essentially right under the girth. When I took the pad off today there was a lot of scurf on the girth in that area and when I gave him a scratch there I thought he was going to collapse with delight!

I can't find any broken skin or any sores, rubs or scabs. He just seems really sensitive and itchy. I've got some balancer coming from ForagePlus which I hope will help him, and I'm planning a bath, but what else could I do?
 

domane

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I have Gracie on Forage Plus' Winter Balancer and it's done wonders for her skin and general itchiness.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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I have Gracie on Forage Plus' Winter Balancer and it's done wonders for her skin and general itchiness.
I knew I'd read that somewhere! I had a word with the very informative staff at ForagePlus and have chosen their Summer Skin balancer - just a little pack to trial first. Mattie is on the Gut Balancer because he's old and sore and likely to develop ulcers if I don't take care of his tum.
 
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carthorse

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Is the sheepskin a proper sheepskin or a fake one? If it's not a proper one see if you can borrow one that is, maybe that will make a difference. Whatever you use make sure it's washed after every use and rinse it really well in water in case there's a slight reaction to the soap you use.

It does sound like his skin in general is a problem, poor Sid. Does the balancer you've got coming include much linseed? If it doesn't I'd be tempted to get a sack of micronised linseed and try feeding that, I'd also take as much out of his diet as possible in case there's some sort of food sensitivity - I know I've had problems in the past with alfalfa and I've heard of people having problems with soya too.

It may not be practical with how you keep him, but if he's got much coat I'd be tempted to clip him right out so that the air can get to his skin, you can see what you're dealing with and the surf will be easier to deal with with baths and regular grooming.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Is the sheepskin a proper sheepskin or a fake one? If it's not a proper one see if you can borrow one that is, maybe that will make a difference. Whatever you use make sure it's washed after every use and rinse it really well in water in case there's a slight reaction to the soap you use.
It's a real one, I don't hold with fake sheep! I'll make sure it's kept clean.
It does sound like his skin in general is a problem, poor Sid. Does the balancer you've got coming include much linseed? If it doesn't I'd be tempted to get a sack of micronised linseed and try feeding that, I'd also take as much out of his diet as possible in case there's some sort of food sensitivity - I know I've had problems in the past with alfalfa and I've heard of people having problems with soya too.
I have a bag of linseed and can easily add some to his feed. He only gets organic chaff and organic grass nuts from Agrobs, no hard feed.
It may not be practical with how you keep him, but if he's got much coat I'd be tempted to clip him right out so that the air can get to his skin, you can see what you're dealing with and the surf will be easier to deal with with baths and regular grooming.
I have a set of clippers coming! I think he might be more comfortable with as little coat as possible, too.

Thank you for your experience and advice :D
 

chunky monkey

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Id wash him then see if hes still itchy. Does he have long hairs on the girth area. If so id clip or scissor off the hair. The only trouble with clipping at this time they are more prone to midgey irritation. With some hair left it protects a bit.
It could be just sweat irritation or the long hair pinching his skin. My cobby still has a lot of long hairs under his belly currently. Is it scurffy or rain scald type scurf. Do you think hes not been washed down after being ridden. In which case id suspect rainscald type scurf. Trimming the hair will make him easier to wash off after work.
 

Jessey

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Niko had scurfy itchy skin, then when I put him on a little Alfa I thought he had mites, he was chewing his legs and itching them on anything possible and as soon as his rug came off he was chewing all over, and nearly falling over for a scratch. Getting rid of the Alfa helped but he was still itchy, a good bath recently and a rinse with lavender wash has made a massive difference, in fact I don’t think I’ve seen him chewing himself all week which normally I would have.
 
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carthorse

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It's a real one, I don't hold with fake sheep! I'll make sure it's kept clean.

I have a bag of linseed and can easily add some to his feed. He only gets organic chaff and organic grass nuts from Agrobs, no hard feed.

I have a set of clippers coming! I think he might be more comfortable with as little coat as possible, too.

Thank you for your experience and advice :D

Poor Sid, it does feel like my advice is always to get the hair off him so it's either easier to apply lotions and potions or wash him! I honestly don't have a problem with hair on horses most of the time 😂
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Id wash him then see if hes still itchy. Does he have long hairs on the girth area. If so id clip or scissor off the hair. The only trouble with clipping at this time they are more prone to midgey irritation. With some hair left it protects a bit.
It could be just sweat irritation or the long hair pinching his skin. My cobby still has a lot of long hairs under his belly currently. Is it scurffy or rain scald type scurf. Do you think hes not been washed down after being ridden. In which case id suspect rainscald type scurf. Trimming the hair will make him easier to wash off after work.
I wouldn't say the hair on his girth area is long, I guess he was clipped a few months ago, but it's quite long. He really is a hairy chap left to himself, I think.

I suspect he has been hosed every day (and probably hence the mud fever, as he's not been out over the winter) just to keep him "looking smart" poor bugger.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Poor Sid, it does feel like my advice is always to get the hair off him so it's either easier to apply lotions and potions or wash him! I honestly don't have a problem with hair on horses most of the time 😂
He doesn't seem to mind being clipped one bit (except where the mallenders are) so I think running him as a skinhead for the rest of the summer is probably a good plan!
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Ferguson doneky used to get really itchy we clipped him right out looked daft and shampooed in malaserb and that seemed to calm it. i have added linseed to Buddy's food and his coat is a lot shinier and softer, he has an old patch at his girth area - had it when i got him - it is raised and a bit scurvy and i think was caused by the sweat never being taken off when worked, so i used No Sweat neat on him every time he is ridden, it's very cooling and minty and seems to just clean up without them getting wet, so perfect in winter. Poor sid, this is probalby the first time in his life he has been looked at properly and treated.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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Ferguson doneky used to get really itchy we clipped him right out looked daft and shampooed in malaserb and that seemed to calm it. i have added linseed to Buddy's food and his coat is a lot shinier and softer, he has an old patch at his girth area - had it when i got him - it is raised and a bit scurvy and i think was caused by the sweat never being taken off when worked, so i used No Sweat neat on him every time he is ridden, it's very cooling and minty and seems to just clean up without them getting wet, so perfect in winter. Poor sid, this is probalby the first time in his life he has been looked at properly and treated.
I suspect you might be right, in which case he has earned all the TLC I can give him!
 
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Skib

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I was particularly told not to buy sheepskin for my od share. Not porous enough. I bought pure wool which is breathable. Then she had two covers and one could be washed every week. I still have a bottle of the special washing liquid for the washing machine.
 

carthorse

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Interesting because the reason my saddler recommends it is they don't sweat under as badly and it has fantastic cushioning, If you have wool but not sheepskin @Skib then what is the wool attached to, or is it woven or knitted?
 

Jessey

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Interesting because the reason my saddler recommends it is they don't sweat under as badly and it has fantastic cushioning, If you have wool but not sheepskin @Skib then what is the wool attached to, or is it woven or knitted?
Sheepskin is technically the wool still on the skin (leather), most horse stuff is sheep’s wool on a woven back, though it’s generally referred to as sheepskin still 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

domane

Gracie's mum
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Niko had scurfy itchy skin, then when I put him on a little Alfa I thought he had mites, he was chewing his legs and itching them on anything possible and as soon as his rug came off he was chewing all over, and nearly falling over for a scratch. Getting rid of the Alfa helped but he was still itchy, a good bath recently and a rinse with lavender wash has made a massive difference, in fact I don’t think I’ve seen him chewing himself all week which normally I would have.
Ooh yes, I can't free G alfalfa either.... mega itch reaction!
 
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carthorse

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Sheepskin is technically the wool still on the skin (leather), most horse stuff is sheep’s wool on a woven back, though it’s generally referred to as sheepskin still 🤷🏻‍♀️
Exactly, and I've been told that it's worth paying the extra for proper sheepskin rather than wool attached to another material - better cushioning and better sweat absorption, For numnahs to help with slipping go for ones cut out in one piece rather than several pieces stitched together. Proper sheepskin is well worth the extra cost imo.
 
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Jessey

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Exactly, and I've been told that it's worth paying the extra for proper sheepskin rather than wool attached to another material - better cushioning and better sweat absorption, For numnahs to help with slipping go for ones cut out in one piece rather than several pieces stitched together. Proper sheepskin is well worth the extra cost imo.
I've always been told to go for proper sheep's wool not synthetic, but not any preference between on or off skin, though I prefer off skin but on a natural backing to maintain all the wicking properties of the wool without the heat trapping of the leather.
 

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