There are several types of saddle sores: saddle galls, an abrasion caused by the tack rubbing parts of the skin; and heat rashes, rashes caused by dirty saddle pads or even allergic reaction to a synthetic pad. Heat rashes can turn into saddle sores if the cause is left unfixed.
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Once a horse has a saddle sore, you should immediately find the problem and fix it. Does the saddle not fit? Are you leaning a little to one side when you ride instead of staying centered in the saddle? Is the pad wrinkled? Does it have dirt, leaves, or other lumps on it? Once you discover what the problem is, you can work on fixing it. The best thing to do is to stop riding for a week or two until the sore heals completely.
According to the Animal Desk Reference, there are several oils that can be used to help heal the saddle sore, whether is is raw, something that occurs in extreme cases, or just slightly swollen. The book recommends applying several drops of Melrose or/and Idaho balsam fir on the wound daily. Other excellent oils include Roman chamomile, geranium, helichrysum, lavender, and myrrh. You can also use the Animal Scents Ointment one to two times a day, mixing a small amount of it with some of the above oils if desired.
Of course, prevention is the best cure. Before tacking up, you should make sure your horse doesn't have an dirt on his back, brushing him down if necessary. Make sure the saddle pad is smooth before you place the saddle on his back. If you need to adjust the saddle, do not slide it forward, an act that can wrinkle both the saddle pad and the horses hair. Instead, lift it and set it into place.