KER.com - Full Article
February 19, 2020
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff
Saddle enough horses and you will run into one that detests girthing. A horse that is sensitive to cinch-fitting, sometimes called a “girthy horse,” usually displays signs of protest, including tossing the head, pinning ears, wringing the tail, stomping a foreleg, kicking out with a hind leg, and worse. Is girthiness an expression of resistance, a sign of shaky work ethic, or could there be an underlying cause?
Veterinary researchers set out to determine the causes of girthiness in a retrospective study of 37 horses admitted to the University of California, Davis. Although identifying the exact cause for girth aversion remains a challenge, 12 of the horses studied were diagnosed with gastric ulceration. In addition to gastric ulcers, the horses were found to have sundry orthopedic issues (10 horses), ill-fitting saddles (3), reproductive tract neoplasia (1), and various diseases (10), including liver abscessation, vena cava aneurism, sternum pain, and urinary tract infection...
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