Adding a wykham pad to a side saddle, does is make your saddle bigger?


Well-Known Member
11 November 2007
Wigston, Leicestershire
OK, I know this is going to be a specialist question but I know that there are peeps here who ride side saddle so maybe you guys can give me some advice ?
I posted this on another side saddle board that I'm on but all they talk about is dating (men not saddles) so my question has fallen on deaf ears

I've read in different places that the old name side saddles were
built on a standard size tree and then obviously, the panels were
stuffed to make the different sizes (like narrow, medium, etc).

I had my saddle stuffed narrow to fit my old loan horse, a narrow high
withered Arab (before I had is reflocked, it fit like a narrow medium)
but looking at the tree and comparing one of my medium-wide and wide
wintec gullets to the points on my saddle, the tree of it pretty
much has the same "spread" or width across the points as the wintec

Now, I may be getting a new horse on loan (I'm going to see her on
Saturday). She's a 3/4 TB but tends to carry weight (a VERY good doer)
but has defined withers but looks to take about at least a medium or
medium/wide in saddles.

My question is, if I do get this horse and had the panels taken off my
saddle and had a wykham pad put on, would it make the saddle alot
wider? Does a wykham pad really make a different in fit?
I know it would be best to ask a side saddler their opinion and would
have Leo Wright do this but just want to get some experiences from
people who have had wykhams put on.

I don't really want to sell my saddle as it fits me well and to be
honest, nothing is selling at the moment anyways so wouldn't be able
to afford a new saddle without selling this one which is why I thought
about a wykham pad.


Well-Known Member
7 January 2008
Why not contact a proper saddler, one who deals with side saddles, they ought to give you a definitive answer.


Well-Known Member
19 January 2007
up north
the old side saddles were made to fit one particular horse and rider, so the tree would be built to fit the horse and then stuffed, while the seat and pommels whould be designed to fit the rider. This would depend on the height, weight, leg length, etc, all of this ensuring that the fixed and leaping heads would be in the right places and the seat provide enough room.

If you were rich you would have one saddle per horse, but if not so rich this is where the wykham pad came in.
They would build a skeleton saddle to fit the rider, then make up a selction of wykham pads which would fit different shape horses, a bit like a modern Wintec saddle with the changable gullets!

Whether a standard saddle can be converted to hold a wykham pad is something I'm not sure about. The best person to ask would be Laura Dempsey, she is now based at Roger Philpott's yard and is excellent.

give her a ring she's also really nice!