Could equine ulcers be causing my Dressage horse’s back pain? The answer is quite likely yes. Equine hindgut ulcers, or Right Dorsal Colitis, is a serious problem for competition horses, especially Dressage horses. Research has been done that specifically shows the right bend can suffer in dressage horses, as the majority of the hind gut lies on the horse’s right side.
When a horse consistently carries itself in a crooked manner, from ulcers or any other specific pain, he is putting his spinal health in jeopardy. By attempting to not use the painful area, he is putting undue strain on other areas of his anatomy not designed for that kind of pressure. It is not uncommon for an ulcer stricken horse to refuse to bend right, thus making the back, loin, sacro-illiac (SI), and even neck areas extremely sore.
Muscles, ligaments, tendons and bone can be affected by this and it only gets worse with more work and effort. Eventually, the horse begins to no longer move his joints and limbs in a full movement range which then places unnatural stresses on those areas too.
Avoidance of right canter lead, dis-jointed canters (especially in the hindlegs) and reluctance to canter at all eventually become normal for the horse. After a long enough time, this constant crookedness can also cause the bony changes of kissing spine in the horses back, which is an extremely painful and debilitating condition