If you're like me,
Back in the fall, when the weather turned cooler, I started looking into the Back on Track products that I have heard so much about. Most anecdotal feedback on the BOT products are highly positive, but the goods are somewhat pricey - $70 for a saddle pad and $250 for the mesh sheet.
I started thinking about the properties of the BOT products I was interested in. Namely, the ceramic-infused fibers which radiate heat back to the body. Which then presumably translates into a looser and more mobile horse. Using the highly scientific theorem that HEAT = GOOD, I decided to invest $7 whole dollars into a highly technological device used extensively in Geriatric and OBGYN medicine.
This miraculous device is called - wait for it - a heating pad.
Armed with my find, I made my way to the barn to see what Boca thought of this crazy/brilliant idea of mine. I put the heating pad directly on his back, under where the saddle would sit. I then put the saddle pad on top of it, to create that warm and toasty, fresh from the dryer feeling.
And Boca LOVED it. Every night before I rode, I would put the heating pad on for 15-20 min as I groomed and tacked up. He would literally go completely still, cock a hind foot, and fall asleep. Droopy lip included.
I actually noticed quite a bit of improvement in a number of ways. Normally, Boca used to be fidgety about tacking up - shifting his weight around and moving his bowels often (symptoms of KS). Once on - he was extremely cold backed - not standing at the mounting block, scooting forward, kicking out (also symptoms of KS).
Using the heating pad was a huge difference in how our rides started out. He was definitely looser, more relaxed, no hump in his back, no cow-kicking at the leg or scooting forward.
And so, I am passing along this equestrian life hack to you, so that you may benefit from my wizardry. You're welcome :)