Half Pad Questions - Page 2

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Half Pad Questions

This is a discussion on Half Pad Questions within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    05-10-2012, 01:00 PM
Originally Posted by Hailey1203    
Here are the pictures. Do you think it fits him alright? Do you think a half pad will help if it doesnt?
The front of the saddle does not fit at all.

The angle of the tree points is too wide. Notice how the panels going down his shoulder touch at the very top then gap ever wider as you go down.

The tree being too wide, plus what seems like not enough flocking, then lets the saddle sit too low on him. There is virtually no vertical clearance in the gullet right above the withers. With the saddle just sitting on the horse without pad or girth (like you have it) there should be no less than tree and no more than four fingers between the top of the withers and the bottom of the gullet. Once girthed and mounted, the same check should fit two to three fingers in there. A pad with shims (Fleeceworks, Mattes, Thinline) might make it work but there are no guarantees until you try it.

On a positive note, it seems that you have good contact on the panels from front to back and the saddle appears to be fairly level. Of course, I can't be absolutely sure that there is no bridging unless I look down the gullet and run my hand between the panels and his back.

That's all based on what a saddle fitter taught me a couple of days ago and what I see here. But I'm no pro so I suggest you get a pro to help. She came because I had a very similar problem (not enough wither clearance). She adjusted the tree width (easily done with simple tools on my saddle) and reflocked the panels and now the saddle fits beautifully without resorting to shims, thicks pads, or any other crutches.

If you google society of master saddlers you can start looking for one that covers your area. You will have to call and be placed on their schedule for the next time they are in your area if you don't have one that lives within easy driving distance.
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    05-10-2012, 03:54 PM
Its a narrow tree, do they make any smaller ones? And I googled the Master Saddlers, they arent anywhere near my area.
    05-10-2012, 03:58 PM
Are you sure that's a narrow tree? Can you post pictures of your horse's back without the saddle then? I wonder if the horse's back muscle have atrophied any due to ill fitting saddles. The odds of a horse legitimately needing a narrow tree are slim.

Here's a good blog to read and educate yourself some. There is also a really great thread pinned about saddle fitting with videos from schleese.
    05-10-2012, 04:01 PM
These are the only 2 I have right now. I can get more tomorrow though
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File Type: jpg Leduc County-20120509-00096.jpg (57.6 KB, 54 views)
    05-10-2012, 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by Hailey1203    
Its a narrow tree, do they make any smaller ones? And I googled the Master Saddlers, they arent anywhere near my area.
Narrow, medium, wide, etc refers to the distance between tree points. I am talking about the angle of the tree points, which is more open than the slope of your horse's shoulders.

I already told you that most places don't have saddle fitters nearby. You need to call one that covers your area and make an appointment for a day they have scheduled to be near you.
    05-10-2012, 04:57 PM
With the size of the withers in comparison to the "drop" of your horse's back behind the withers i'd consider looking into a saddle with a cutback head. That or you're going to need a saddle with trapezius (sp?) panels to fill in that hollowed out section behind the withers.

I second what mildot said, start calling saddle fitters and see who is coming to your area and book an appointment. I know my saddle fitter travels all the way up to washington and down to texas so they DO travel, it just might be some time before one is headed your way.
    05-10-2012, 06:59 PM
The correct fix is to narrow the angle of the tree points and to re-stuff the panels as they drop down the shoulder to fill in the spot below the withers.

The stop gap is to get a half pad with correction shims to fill in the gap and lessen the effect of the mismatched tree. And care must be taken to not tilt the saddle back so that it bridges or digs into the back at the rear of the panels.

At least the saddle isn't too narrow so the tree isn't pinching.

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