Monday, March 23, 2015

hunter bump

Since I started riding Isabel, she has developed a deformity in her back that I've not-very-fondly referred to as a hunter bump. It's not particularly easy to photograph, but essentially there's a raised area over her spine toward the end of her back before the SI region. 


Our chiro was never particularly worried about it when asked - she was more concerned with how peaked Isabel's SI joint was. Our saddle fitter referred to it as squishy edema and said I could try massaging it out. Whatever the case, it's always bothered me. 

the lighting shows a dip between the bump and the SI joint

The above photos were taken when I brought home all those trial saddles in mid-January. My new saddle arrived on trial in the first week of February, and I finalized the purchase with a saddle fitting a few days later. 

So Isabel has been wearing a fitted-to-her saddle for about 6 weeks, with another 3-4 weeks of going in trial saddles that all fit better than the wintec.


And you know what? The bump has gone down. It's still there - but is WAY less prominent. I also suspect that her SI is less peaked. Again, photographic evidence is difficult as the spine's topography is tricky to capture and I'm not exactly skilled at picture taking lol. 

But I think the lesson here is kinda clear, even if the pictures aren't. My impression is that a well-fitting saddle will have more positive ramifications in Isabel's comfort and longevity than any amount of lessons. And I don't think it's at all a coincidence that Isabel's flat work has lately improved in leaps and bounds. 


princess prefers equipment that fits

What about you - have you ever made an equipment change or adjustment that paid instant dividends in your riding or your horse's general way of going?


22 comments:

  1. That's an awesome development! A friend recently got a new saddle that fits her horse, and he has stopped acting like a complete fool. Some horses really do appreciate saddle fit more than others!

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    1. isabel didn't seem bothered by the fit while we were riding, but she was quite defensive about getting tacked. some of that has become a learned behavior, i think, but we're working through it. i'm definitely VERY happy to see her looking (and feeling) better now tho!

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  2. That's really interesting! My Quarter had that when we first got him, I blamed it on him being underweight at first but then it stayed for awhile even when he looked good. We switched saddles and it went away,..hmm!

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    1. huh, yea the bump can supposedly be caused by a variety of things - some much more serious than others - but cool to hear that your horse's disappeared with better fitting tack too!

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  3. Wow, that is awesome! I hope that my new saddle and shoulder relief girth will help Apollo go on the contact more...but I still have to pick up my saddle :P

    Happy to hear your good news! :)

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    1. i really really hope your new saddle works out for you - it's certainly been a long time coming! hopefully Apollo loves it :)

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  4. Argh, you've convinced me! I need to have the fitter out for my two soon.

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    1. i really couldn't be happier with the results for isabel. little things that i didn't even realize were symptoms of poor fit have slowly started disappearing. and my constant paranoia about her back has had no cause to flare up recently - as she doesn't appear back sore in the slightest any more. what a relief!

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  5. Simon has a hunter's bump, which neither my chiro or my saddle fitter has ever gotten particularly excited about. The vet thought it was actually due to some kind of injury since his spine also looks funny there... I prefer not to worry about it too much.

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    1. yea your experiences of the bump not really inspiring much excitement one way or another are in line with my own... and i had resigned myself to not really doing anything about it (tho it did bother me). so seeing it go down after the saddle fitting was definitely an unexpected bonus!

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  6. I had always thought a hunter's bump was a skeletal thing not a muscular/edema thing, but this is very interesting. Glad it went away with a better fitting saddle! Looks like Isabel may have a tiny roach in her back which probably made it more prominent too, but I could just be seeing fake things due to lighting/hard to photograph conformation.

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    1. that tiny roach you see is exactly the bump in question. a little googling suggests that it is frequently a skeletal thing - but very occasionally can be caused by an ill-fitting saddle and the horse overcompensating for the pain by moving in a less efficient manner.

      i'm suspecting that it was the latter in Isabel's case since the bump (or roach) has gone down a lot - to the point where you *almost* wouldn't notice it if you weren't looking

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  7. Yet another reason for me to want a "real" saddle over my wintec! Lol. No idea about the hunters bump, but I'm very glad it seems to be reduced! Spine things scare me...

    Maggie has a really peaked SI joint too - maybe it's an Arab thing? It makes her just a liiiitle bit downhill which I hate to admit. Grr

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    1. i would have been fine w our wintec if it had actually fit the horse... but alas, it didn't and it took me a long time to realize just how bad it was for the poor horse haha.

      i'm not super sure about the peaked SI joint and what causes it - but plan to ask our chiro more about it at our next session (and will report back!)

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  8. I remember the first time someone mentioning a "hunter bump" and I had zero idea what it was and had to google haha That transformation is quite amazing, so glad that saddle is doing you both a world of good!

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    1. thanks - i'm so happy the saddle is making a difference, esp considering we want to view these types of purchases as investments haha

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  9. Getting my WOW saddle really helped both me and Vallu. And then getting the saddler out 2 months later to get more air pumped into the front of it really helped with my seat (wasn't leaning forwards) and with Vallu's front leg movement (I wasn't leaning on his shoulders so he had space to move forwards) So glad it's helping her :)

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    1. awesome that you love your new saddle so much!! i was actually casually browsing used dressage saddles the other day and saw a WOW and thought of yours haha... they seem like great saddles!

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  10. Glad to hear the saddle seems to be making a difference!

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    1. thanks! i've got my fingers crossed that the chiro will agree the next time she sees izzy :)

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  11. I always thought the hunters bump was much further back...regardless would not worry about it!

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    1. yea, i'm not sure this would technically qualify as a hunter bump - that's just what ive been calling it. all the same tho i'd rather not call it anything bc i'd rather it just go away!! haha

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