do half pads cause pressure? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-17-2011, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question do half pads cause pressure?

In my quest to find a properly fitting saddle, I have also been looking closely at my saddle pads. The half pad, is said ( according to Google search) to relieve wither pressure and pressure around the spine. Although, in feeling what my saddle is like, it seems that there is a lot of pressure around the edge of the half pad, specifically on the shoulder.

- Has anyone else noticed this?
- Is this sort of pressure the same as saddle pressure, or does the difference in material make a difference?
- Are there any seamless / edgeless half pads out there that do not create that 'bump'?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-17-2011, 06:50 PM
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I think any pad can cause pressure if it's not properly fitted/sized for that particular horse/saddle combo.

As far as flat(er) half pads - have you looked at thinline? I'm not sure what your saddle fitting issues are specifically so i'm not sure if that would work for you or not but thought i'd suggest it. :)
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-17-2011, 07:15 PM
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Really depends on the saddle fit.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-17-2011, 07:15 PM
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there are so many different kinds of half pads that it really depends on what you are looking to accomplish. A well fitting saddle needs no pads at all. Then there are half pads like the mattes and fleeceworks that come with shims, wither cutouts, elastic inserts and so on. There's gel pads, thinline pads, pads with ceramic inserts, magnetic pads, memory foam pads, and more.

It really depends on where the saddle fit issues are, what you are trying to fix, and why. And if it is something that can better be adjusted in the saddle (such as a gullet change) it is always better to do that than add pads. Also remember a saddle that is too narrow will always be too narrow - adding pads will just exacerbate the issue. A saddle that is too wide or has some minor issues can be addressed with pads as necessary. As for the too narrow issue - think of it like wearing shoes a 1/2 size too small. Adding thicker padded socks is just going to make them even smaller.

Hope that helps some!

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-17-2011, 07:19 PM
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I can also give you some examples with my own horses.

Right now a few of them have a little concavity on either side of their withers as the regain/rebuild muscle after the winter. Their gullet still fits as if I go more narrow it will keep the saddle off the withers but will pinch the shoulders. If I go wider, it will interfere with the withers but not pinch the shoulder. If I keep the gullet the same, there is a gap on either side of the withers where there is muscle lacking. In this case I use a memory foam pad that will compress to take up the extra space without interfering with the rest of the saddle fit.

My other horse with back issues and very sensitive withers goes in a fleeceworks wool half pad with wither cutout so nothing touching his withers and then a gel pad to help absorb shock since he has sustained a back injury to allow him to relax as he comes back into work and rebuilds those muscles.

My tb has good conformation but is slightly high withers despite his broader shoulders and chest. He needs a med-wide gullet to prevent pinching on his shoulders but then the pommel comes close to hitting the withers - and if we were to jump could cause issues on landing. Therefore with him I use a traditional mattes pad that does not change the fit of the saddle other than to give that slight more wither clearance he needs.

Hope those examples make sense!

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-17-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ82Sky View Post
i can also give you some examples with my own horses.

My tb has good conformation but is slightly high withers despite his broader shoulders and chest. He needs a med-wide gullet to prevent pinching on his shoulders but then the pommel comes close to hitting the withers - and if we were to jump could cause issues on landing. Therefore with him I use a traditional mattes pad that does not change the fit of the saddle other than to give that slight more wither clearance he needs.

Hope those examples make sense!
This is the basic problem I'm having - my horse has massive shoulders and high withers. He has a relatively narrow back, yet we have to get the wider saddles to accommodate his shoulders. This doesn't really cause the pommel to hit his wither, it just causes extra space on the sides of the wither and along his spine, which is why I was thinking in going the half pad route.
Are there small half pads that fit specifically on the sides of the spine, but don't go any lower?
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-17-2011, 09:10 PM
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sure check out dover for some ideas. That's why there are pads with shims. A memory foam pad also could be a good option for you.

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