Back Pain in horses - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Back pain and back issues is a common issue for horses and their riders. Issues might present themselves as actual pain in the back, lameness, 'misbehaviour', reluctance to be saddled or appears 'girthy'.

Kelsey Cathriding 29 10 21

The longissimus muscles are the external back muscles that we can see and it runs down the entire length of the horse's back. Deeper within the spine lies the multifidus muscle. 

This muscle forms attachments between the individual vertebrae.

when we evaluate a horse’s topline. These muscles often palpate sore, and show spasm and external signs of discomfort.  get fatigued and sore if they are asked to support and stabilize the entire spine on their own.


Signs of back pain and injury in horses

  • White hair marks in pressure areas (eg. around withers)
  • Poor performance/reduced performance
  • Lamenss, tightness, uneven gait
  • Discomfort when pressure placed on the back

The only thing that builds muscle and a 'topline' is the mechanically correct work and healing high quality food. If he is not getting the correct type of work, than he can not develop the correct muscles. It's the same with humans - good exercise and good quality food!

Classical dressage and biomechanics

The only way to develop the correct muscle is to use the classical system of dressage. If you already are trying this, then be sure to check that what you are doing is correct.

Philippe Karl has a thorough and scientific approach to training, that is in harmony with the horses physical capacity, and also supports his nature and psychology.

Although these books and DVDS cover high school training as well, the fundamentals are always the same and Philippe speaks in a language that is easy and comfortable to read.

Create relaxation - rhythm, engagement and balance will follow. We have to however create circumstances for these events to occur.

McDowells Products

Tendon and Bone
Tendon and Bone has been successfully used by McDowells Herbal to promote the re-growth of attachment points and the re-tensioning of stretched or damaged ligaments. Our Tendon and Bone can assist during this training to repair muscle tearing and damage created by tension. 

Equihemp-Pro is a certified organic hemp meal. Highly digestible and safe protein source with all the essential amino and fatty acids required for a healthy diet. Hemp protein is a good source of cool energy and with its unique combination of essential amino and fatty acids is a super food that can ease joint pain and inflammation, support cardiovascular health, improve the condition of the skin, coat, hooves, and tail, and act as a digestive aid. Hemp is high in fibre and vitamin C, vitamin E, and chlorophyll, and is highly palatable. Unlike soy and other legumes, hemp does not contain trypsin inhibitors and oligosaccharides, which can cause stomach and gastric upsets.

This formulation has evolved from a consideration of the dangers of administering phenylbutazone (Bute) routinely to horses sensitive to its side effects. Traditionally White Willow Bark and Devils Claw were used for pain relief. These herbs have been traditionally used to reduce pain from inflammation and support in the healing process. This formulation may be used safely for both emergencies and in the long term for comfort.

Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Get in Touch

We are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. AEST. You can also contact us by phone or email.

02 6331 3937
+61 2 6331 3937(Int)


McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

EMAIL info@mcdowellsherbal.com  |  PHONE 02 6331 3937  |  INTERNATIONAL +61 2 6331 3937