Skin Problems

Skin lumps on your horses back?

Skin lumps on your horses back?

Skin lumps on a horse’s back can occur for a number of reasons.

An ill-fitting saddle is a common problem and, quite apart from saddle sores, can result in the development of small, hard lumps of fibrous tissue in the saddle area.

Fly bites and irritation due to midges are other common problems, and can cause swellings and nodules to develop, as can the aberrant migration of some intestinal parasites.

Finally a number of types of skin tumour can develop, which may also have a similar appearance. Skin tumours ranging from melanomas (particularly common in grey horses) to squamous cell carcinomas can also appear elsewhere on other parts of the body.


  • As long as small skin lumps cause few problems, leaving them alone may be an option.
  • However, lumps that grow rapidly, or that cause pain or sensitivity when touched, may need to be either biopsied or removed, and this treatment may necessitate several weeks off work while the wounds are healing.
  • Where masses on the back are concerned, it is also important to make sure that tack is a good fit, and that the skin circulation to affection areas is optimised by using a gel pad or foam pad under the saddle to reduce the pressure in the area: massage may also be helpful.