Updated: Jan 25
The most important prevention of sore backs in the horse is saddle fit. Poor saddle fit can trigger behavioral problems, induce physical elements and limit equine ability. Proper saddle fitting is probably the most important factor in equine health and performance.
Computer-aided analysis of saddle fit is a great way to help identify and reduce the incidence of back pain caused by an ill-fitting saddle. A sensor pad is placed under saddle, and pad pressure is recorded and analyzed by a computer while the horse is ridden. The image looks like thermography, with various colors representing different degrees of pressure. This could be a useful tool in the evaluation of lameness and back pain in performance horses.
One other saddle fitting tool that is highly recommended is the EQUImeasure kit. It creates a 3-D model of the equine back and will help to assess the fit of an already existing saddle, assisting in the selection of a new saddle and helping in evaluating of an equine's back symmetry.