4 Signs of Back Pain You Might Be Missing

Don't miss these subtle signs of back pain in your horse that you might not even be noticing.

Horses can develop a sore back for many reasons, such as working too hard or having a deeper problem going on that you can’t see. It’s important to always be on the lookout for back soreness so you can fix the problem before it gets any worse. Read on to learn about four signs of back pain that you might not be noticing. 

back pain

1. Stumbling

When a horse has a sore back, he will try to compensate by moving differently than normal which can lead to awkward strides, missteps, and stumbling. When horses stumble due to back pain, it usually occurs behind not just in front. 

2. Arching of the Back

While it is common for horses to drop their back in response to pain, they might also round it upward in a defensive posture. Make sure you are looking for this sign along with dropping their back so you don’t miss anything. 

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3. Cross-Cantering

If a horse is looking to move in a way that doesn’t cause pain to its sore back, he might have trouble holding his lead, particularly in the hind end. If your horse is constantly cross-cantering or swapping leads behind, check his back to see if there’s something going on that you can’t see. 

4. A Reluctance to Go Forward

If a horse is dealing with a painful back, he might resist or balk when asked to go forward. This is often interpreted as a behavioral issue, but there’s a chance it’s due to a sore back. Before fighting with your horse too much, get their back checked out to rule that issue out. 

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