Saddles and half pads

oldie48

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My saddler came out today and much to my amazement Bisto's saddles were a little bit too tight for Rose but have been tweaked to fit her, clearly I have no idea as I thought he was much wider but there you go! Plan is to use these saddles and look at them again in the Spring when i could be tempted to buy a new properly adjustable saddle. However we were just chatting and I asked him what he preferred to see under a saddle and his view is a thin quilt numnah with a sheepskin half pad, saddle fit to take this into account. Looking at my range of pads I've got all sorts of thicknesses etc what do otheres do?
 

Cortez

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The less in the way of pads the better, unless the horse has specific need. I often ride with no pad at all, but for most things I just use a thin quilted dressage square, it's primarily to keep the saddle clean.
 
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Buzzing about.....
I tend to ride with a v thin cloth (just to sog up sweat or keep saddle clean) or nothing.
That said, B Fuzzy returned on Monday night, I've had to dig out a full wool numnah to go under her saddle as she has lost so much weight, I'm only on 10 mins walking tho, this at least prevents any rubbing.
I prefer fitting saddle to the back, not with extra padding in between.
 

blitznbobs

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I use a dressage square to keep saddle cleaner ... wierdly
My new horse and my cob fit the exact same saddle - with no pads or adjustments - just have to change the girth.... to look at them you’d never believe it but then again my fine mare was much wider than the heavyweight traditional cob so you never can tell until you measure or fit the saddles
 

milliepops

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In an ideal world it would be great to have perfectly fitted saddles for each horse and just use a thin pad.
My world is not ideal :rolleyes:. I have one dressage saddle that more-or-less fits all of them, it was fitted for the one that is now retired.
Fortunately it's a fraction wide for everyone now so I use a half pad. At the moment Salty just needs the VIP pad, that is working well for her. Kira varies between the VIP pad being enough, and needing a little more.
In the past I have used sheepskin pads to good effect. Physio is always happy with them and they feel good to ride. Horses for courses! :) I would rather this than having a saddle that was borderline too narrow, when the grass comes through I have got a bit of leeway ;)


(I didn't think Rose would be that narrow ;))
 

HeyMich

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I've been told by two different saddlers that sheepskin half pads and gel pads etc can create pressure points, a bit like wearing a pair of well fitted boots with really thick socks.

I actually bought a gel pad recently, as I momentarily bought into the marketing hype about the gel being good for horses with sore backs. My mare hated it, and made it clear that she preferred life without the extra pad! I've learned my lesson (and wasted a chunk of money) I'm sticking to a simple numnah or saddle pad from now on...
 

Shay

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We were told to use half pads with a foam saddle (so no flocking) when jumping over 1m15. All our saddles are individually fitted and regularly checked so we only use thin pads - other than that one foam saddle (an absolutely becautifuil old style pessoa jump) which was fitted to allow for the half pad.
 
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oldie48

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Did you ask why he prefered to fit with a half pad? Just curious.
I didn't get a chance but I will do when next I see him. I suspect his thinking may be that the thin pad absorbs the sweat and the half pad is more shock absorbing so effectively protects the horses back, if the saddle is fitted using this set up there is no reason for it to create pressure points and the horse can put muscle on, whereas without the half pad, the saddle might become tight. I am guessing this because when Bisto lost a bit of weight coming into spring, he didn't want to flock the saddle to fit as he felt it would be too restricting, I used a front riser instead for a couple of months. Most of the horses I've had change shape with work or when they have gained or lost a bit of weight and perhaps using a half pad gives a bit more leeway. My saddler is a master saddler of many many years experience and I trust him absolutely, I've never had a problem with a saddle he's fitted for me and he comes out twice a year to check my saddles which sometimes need a bit of a tweak. I may of course be completely wrong!!
 

oldie48

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In an ideal world it would be great to have perfectly fitted saddles for each horse and just use a thin pad.
But horses do change shape, don't they?

(I didn't think Rose would be that narrow ;))
Yes you did, when I spoke to old owner she said she thought Rose was in a med/wide but couldn't find the size on her saddle. Not surprising I felt somewhat perched in the saddle she wore when we tried her. I still find it hard to believe she's a bit wider than Bisto though!
 
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I didn't get a chance but I will do when next I see him. I suspect his thinking may be that the thin pad absorbs the sweat and the half pad is more shock absorbing so effectively protects the horses back, if the saddle is fitted using this set up there is no reason for it to create pressure points and the horse can put muscle on, whereas without the half pad, the saddle might become tight. I am guessing this because when Bisto lost a bit of weight coming into spring, he didn't want to flock the saddle to fit as he felt it would be too restricting, I used a front riser instead for a couple of months. Most of the horses I've had change shape with work or when they have gained or lost a bit of weight and perhaps using a half pad gives a bit more leeway. My saddler is a master saddler of many many years experience and I trust him absolutely, I've never had a problem with a saddle he's fitted for me and he comes out twice a year to check my saddles which sometimes need a bit of a tweak. I may of course be completely wrong!!
Thank You.
That does make sense.
 

oldie48

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I''ll probably get shot down in flames but I googled a few pics of CDJ and CH and they seem to use this set up, I don't think for one minute they don't have saddles that fit or cause discomfort. It may, of course, be just be fashion, but my saddler is pretty old school and I'd expect him to be quietly sneery if he thought something was fashionable but compromised the horse's welfare even if it did put money in his till!
 
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My saddler recommends just a very light pad as others have said, but some uneven muscle he now requires a prolite with just one shim in one quarter. If I ride without it he gets very grumpy about being saddled next time. All saddler recommended. I am getting the physio for the uneven-ness.

I bought a Griffin nuumed sheepskin half pad which he wore for a short time after getting a couple of fly bites in the saddle area, I didn't want to dislodge any scabs. It was very expensive and may be used a few days a year, but glad to have it when I need it.
 

Wheels

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I do particularly like a good quality sheepskin pad although I prefer semi lined saddlecloths / numnahs to half pads as I think generally they sit better under the saddle.

I am not quite sure of the logic behind how a sheepskin pad can cause pressure points - maybe if the saddle doesn't fit already or if the pad makes it too tight but if the saddle is fitted correctly with the pad then I don't really see how pressure points are caused.

I have never found sheepskin pads to cause rolling or any other issues for that matter if fitted properly. Sheepskin is a natural wicking material with shock absorbing properties - a winner in my eyes for saddle pads and I like a good sheepskin girth too :)
 

Pinkvboots

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I always use the nuumed half pads have done for years, initially it was because I needed a shim pad and that was what was fitted to my saddle, so I have just always used them and my fitter knows that, I do appreciate a lot of saddles won't accommodate them as it will alter the fit but they work for my horses, they are not cheap but they do last I have some that are nearly 7 years old and had plenty of use and they are only slightly worn in places.
 
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