Saddle sore

A saddle sore in humans is a skin ailment on the buttocks due to, or exacerbated by, horse riding or cycling on a bicycle saddle. It often develops in three stages: skin abrasion, folliculitis (which looks like a small, reddish acne), and finally abscess.

Because it most commonly starts with skin abrasion, it is desirable to reduce the factors which lead to skin abrasion. Some of these factors include:

If left untreated over an extended period of time, saddle sores may need to be drained by a physician.

In animals such as horses and other working animals, saddle sores often form on either side of the withers, which is the area where the front of a saddle rests, and also in the girth area behind the animal's elbow, where they are known as a girth gall. Saddle sores can occur over the loin, and occasionally in other locations. These sores are usually caused by ill-fitting gear, dirty gear, lack of proper padding, or unbalanced loads.[1] Reducing friction is also of great help in preventing equine saddle sores. Where there is swelling but not yet open sores, the incidence of sore backs may be reduced by loosening the girth, but not immediately removing the saddle after a long ride, thus allowing normal circulation to return slowly.

See also


  1. Hayes, Capt. M. Horace, Veterinary Notes for Horse Owners, Stanley Paul, London, 1977
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