Your thoughts on saddles contributing to back pain.

Discussion in 'Horse Riding' started by Deb2, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Long story short, I have a long history of back pain from (you guessed it) riding accidents.

    Naturally my back is getting worse as I get older, but to my sadness I have discovered that my (very expensive) lovely custom made saddle is causing me much more pain to ride in than my sisters very old, very well used wintec stock saddle.

    I have been using the old stock saddle for the last month or so as its heaps lighter to get in and out of the car to take to adjistment place, but on sunday, for our planned ride under the tunnel I thought I would take my custom made halfbreed out for the ride......My pain threshold went through the roof, and even by today has not settled back to its usual teeth grinding pain.#(

    Now, with much sadness, I am wondering if I need to accept that this saddle is no longer suitable for me as it causes much jarring up through my spine. This was not the case when I had it made and for several years after, but with the degeneration of my back, it is an issue now. I dont blame the saddle at all.

    I would like to hear from others that have had to choose a saddle with the riders comfort being of paramount importance.

    I dont really mind the style, I just want to be able to ride for the next nine years, then I've told my doctor he can do what he likes with my back then....JUST GET ME TO FIFTY!

    I am finding the old stock wintec quite good, but no lower leg stability is my only gripe.

    I have a friend who will lend me her Jessica dressage (wintec type) as she says it is supper soft.

    Any other suggestions?

    And do you think the right saddle can prolong the riders riding life?

    I look forward to reading about other peoples experiences, and the solutions that they found worked.

  2. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Your saddle has to be comfortable (not agonizing) for you, would you keep a saddle that made your horse feel crippled? Time to find it a good home?

    Different saddles for different folks... The Isabel Werth which so many people rave over, makes me look like the worlds first horseriding duck, and a 20 minute ride left me with 2 days of lower back pain. If I had to feel like that everyday, I would avoid riding. Be kind to yourself and buy a big uncool puffy cushion saddle to ride on.
  3. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    And what brand would that be.:D

    Thanks for your comments blackbat.**)
  4. Cadabby

    Cadabby Well-known Member

    Hi Deb,

    What about a more shock absorbing pad underneath the saddle? Or is it the actual saddle that's causing the pain? I know you can also get sheepskin covers - perhaps if you could find one with gel/foam padding that might help?
  5. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Thanks Em (Caddabby) I do have a shock absorbing pad under the saddle, and I've been using a sheepskin seat saver as I have lost weight in the last year and was finding the seat too roomy, so started using the seat saver to take up some room.

    I really do think the saddle is contributing to the jarring and pain, but open to suggestions.:)*

    How are you finding your treeless? How was it at the clinic on the weekend? How good was your horsey, you must be stokked.:)*
  6. TB4Me

    TB4Me Well-known Member

    Maybe check the balance of the saddle, if your legs are not sitting directly under your body then your back is going to have to work really hard to get you out of the saddle and that can cause pain.
  7. pso

    pso Gold Member

    Ditto TB4Me...Check the balance...

    And thinline pads are great for lower back pain (theres even a thinline saddle now)

    I find anything but an isabell gives me a sore back (but only a balanced isabell!)
  8. Cadabby

    Cadabby Well-known Member

    The treeless I'm finding to be excellent in every way except one - it doesn't sit straight! I'm constantly having to shift my weight in the saddle to get it to straighten up. :mad: Going to e-mail HorseConnection to find out what I can about it. Leg position, comfiness of the seat etc is all great, and Abs seems to like it too :)
  9. dopeyqh

    dopeyqh Active Member


    I can tell you a story and then give you my advice.
    I am 15 years old and already permanently disadvantaged for life because of my back. I have three dead discs in my spine along with scoliosis to make the problem worse. There is nothing I can do to make my discs normal again and they will be dead until I die.

    One of the three discs has a bulge in it that presses on my spinal cord, causing me severe back pain all the time.
    The only thing that can be done to remove the bulge is surgery- which would make me even more damaged and "disabled" which my surgeon is refusing to undergo with me at such a young age- or a 2 years wait for it to shrink back. Simply standing and walking makes my back hurt and I can't do things like normal girls would at my age and haven't for the past 8 months (ie Balls, Dances, Concerts, Sport etc.)

    I have been allowed by my surgeon to ride my horse as it is not harmful for backs, providing you ride the way which best looks after your back. I also need to swim to build up core strength to help support my back, as well as Pilates (I would definitely recommend this to anyone with back pain).

    With regards to riding, the saddle types that helps me the most are the A/P or dressage saddles (both Wintec made). STOP RIDING IN THE SADDLE THAT HURTS YOU. As much as you may love it, if it is doing you harm you can't use it. Your health always takes priority. I'd say try the Jessica for comfort as the dressage saddles are what have done me best, however everyone is different. Find what is best for you.

    I can truly sympathise with you and your back pain and wish you the best of luck in finding the right saddle that can let you be at ease while riding.

    Good luck. :)

    ***edit***: the saddle I use now is an Isabell and is just great. Was told to go bigger than what you would in any other english saddle ie if you usually are 17" go a 17.5" or 18". It worked for me and god it's a beautiful saddle and so good for my back :)
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  10. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Thanks for all the helpful tips and advice guys. I will take on board all that has been said, and thanks dopeyqh for sharing your story...I can relate although I am much older.#(

    In my first post I stated the saddle which my friend would loan me to try was a Jessica, but since checking with her its accually an Isabell (the wintec type material). I knew it was a girls name, but silly me got the wrong one.;) Interesting to note the good and bad comments on these saddles.

    TB4Me and PSO, I think your both onto something re the balance of my custom made saddle. When I bought it I was two jeans sizes bigger than I am now and I found rising trot very easy, now I feel that my hips are much further back from my heels as the seat is too roomy for me and rising trot is hard work and I can see my toes (and in fact half my foot) infront of me, so this really is the crux of the problem isint it?

    Thanks for letting me bounce ideas of you all, and it's quite clear to me now, sadly time to peruse the for sale signs.:(

  11. dopeyqh

    dopeyqh Active Member

    Deb I use an Isabell its fantastic for my back. Always been told to go upwards in size with these to what you usually would in an english saddle and it's worked for me (I'm usually a 17" and was told to go up to a 17.5" or 18". In an 18" and beautifully comfy and great for my back.)
  12. tilda

    tilda Well-known Member

    i second the thinline pads work wonders for sore backs **)
  13. Violet

    Violet New Member

    Ah yes, there are many of us riders for whom back pain is an issue.
    My brief history, 3 disc bulges, spinal surgery on worst disc about 1 year ago. Other back issues, stenosis, spondylosis, osteoarthristis.
    After surgery told never to ride out of a walk again...... I was advised most emphatically by my surgeon that riding is harmful for spines because of the jolting motion. But that is most probably for crumbly spines like mine.
    Post surgery, (and, ahem, ignoring medical advice) I'm currently competing elementary dressage.
    The saddle I use ain't cheap but hey, neither was a spinal operation. I have a Kieffer Kur and Always use a mounting block to get on and off my horse now. I find this helps not having to do the big hoist upwards onto the horse.
    As a result of the surgery I am pretty unbalanced and it will be an ongoing process to try and ride 'straight.'

    And yes, off the horse, pilates, pilates, pilates.

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