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 Discussions on Fitting Saddles to the Horse
 Contoured pads vs. regular square ones..confused!
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bluestellardust
Tenderfoot



Canada
3 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  5:05:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit bluestellardust's Homepage Send bluestellardust a Private Message
I am looking to buy a western pleasure/ trail/ endurance saddle. From reading info. about saddle fitting the horse, the rider etc. I understand that any saddle should be tried also with a pad. Right? So, are there any advantages to these contoured pads versus say a good, solid, simple wool blanket/pad? I train my horse on the trails(conditioning, aerobics) in an forward english jumping saddle with a wool half pad for close contact. But this saddle is not the best for trails. So any insights would be welcomed as I'm a total newbie with western gear!

Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  6:06:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
What I have found is that the contoured can help with fit of the pad so that it doesn't pinch on the withers but like with saddles they don't really fit all backs. The contoured ones have so much of a rocker to them that on my flat backed mare it doesn't work at all. The idea is that it will shape more to the back but if it doesn't follow the shape right it isn't going to make a difference. They can really help when you have a horse with high withers or a sway back. On these backs the normal straight pads get stress points.

I think that no matter the pad you have to remember to tent it up over the withers no matter if it is shaped for the withers or not. I have started using Todd Slone pads and I really like them. They are two pieces of felt(one on each side) instead of the one big square piece. These does help with shaping to the back but it isn't contoured as much as some are. I like the felt(1/4-3/4") over other types because it does form fit. If you use one pad and saddle on one horse. After awhile the felt fits to both. I don't care for a thick pad so I only go as thick as I have to. The thicker the pad the more I feel like I'm floating above the horse but it also alters the fit of the saddle. So I try not to go even to 1" unless I have too. With the Slone pads I have been going a little thinner and then adding a single layer blanket over it just for looks and color.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  6:06:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
What I have found is that the contoured can help with fit of the pad so that it doesn't pinch on the withers but like with saddles they don't really fit all backs. The contoured ones have so much of a rocker to them that on my flat backed mare it doesn't work at all. The idea is that it will shape more to the back but if it doesn't follow the shape right it isn't going to make a difference. They can really help when you have a horse with high withers or a sway back. On these backs the normal straight pads get stress points.

I think that no matter the pad you have to remember to tent it up over the withers no matter if it is shaped for the withers or not. I have started using Todd Slone pads and I really like them. They are two pieces of felt(one on each side) instead of the one big square piece. These does help with shaping to the back but it isn't contoured as much as some are. I like the felt(1/4-3/4") over other types because it does form fit. If you use one pad and saddle on one horse. After awhile the felt fits to both. I don't care for a thick pad so I only go as thick as I have to. The thicker the pad the more I feel like I'm floating above the horse but it also alters the fit of the saddle. So I try not to go even to 1" unless I have too. With the Slone pads I have been going a little thinner and then adding a single layer blanket over it just for looks and color.
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