I half-lease a chestnut TB mare who has a lovely, pleasant attitude that defies all the stereotypes of that description. She’s at a small dressage barn where she receives really excellent care. Her work is split between rides with me and rides with lesson students in the trainer’s program. All are adults. Trainer is thoughtful about who she has in program, from my perspective.
The mare is girthy, in the most pleasant way possible. I go slow - a hole or so each side with breaks interspersed for me to put on helmet, bridle, walk to ring, etc. She is obviously bothered by it - she might try to bit the wall if we’re in the stall; only occasionally does she turn and make a face at me (again, she’s a lovely lady). I’m assuming that other students aren’t being jerks about putting the girth on, but I don’t know. We use a neoprene girth. Saddle fits her well; trainer is careful and attentive to saddle fit (like, takes a look at the beginning of every lesson, has invested in nice tack and pads for all horses).
I was wondering today if there are things I can do to make this girthing more comfortable for her. Sheepskin/fleece? Bodywork on her sides? I don’t know that it’s ulcers - she has no other indicators, and has 24/7 turnout.
She’s been this way since we got her (several months ago), but a death in my family took me away from the barn for several weeks, and I feel like I’m suddenly realizing this is something I should address for her. Any suggestions appreciated.