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post #1 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Question Lots of Tack Questions... Just Got a New Horse. :)

Hi everyone,
I have a few tack questions that I want to ask. I ride in an english saddle, and it fits my horse almost perfectly. The only thing is that it is a little wide in the withers, and it sits very low on his back. When I ride, it seems like it tightens around his withers a bit and makes the saddle pad press against his back. I have heard of two things that can help this.
1. A contour (shaped) saddle pad
2. A sheepskin half pad.
Would those help at all?

Also, would the contour saddle pad reduce sweating?

Is it better to ride with a square or contour pad?

Is fleece better than quilted, or vice versa?


Thanks for your time!
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 10:22 PM
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There is such a thing as "withers relief pad". Browsing Store - Toklat Woolback Wither Relief Pad with Felt

Frankly I'm not big fan of sick fleece pads. I prefer something like Thinline (or some people mentioned Skito(?)).
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I've seen those wither relief pads... do you know if they actually work?
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 10:36 PM
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They do work if applied correctly. However it kind of sounds like your saddle is too wide, and when you ride, your weight and the horses movement is packing the saddle down, which would make it very uncomfortable for your horse.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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So would a half pad or a wither relief pad be better? I have also seen half pads that have a fluffy thing at the top and that pushes the pommel of the saddle up... Something like that. Would that help?
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelWithoutWings54 View Post
Hi everyone,
I have a few tack questions that I want to ask. I ride in an english saddle, and it fits my horse almost perfectly. The only thing is that it is a little wide in the withers, and it sits very low on his back. When I ride, it seems like it tightens around his withers a bit and makes the saddle pad press against his back. I have heard of two things that can help this.

Does the saddle itself press against the withers?

1. A contour (shaped) saddle pad
2. A sheepskin half pad.
Would those help at all?

It depends; if the saddle is pinching the wither or resting too low on the wither at all, then adding a half pad or any other bulk is just going to make the problem worse.

Also, would the contour saddle pad reduce sweating?

No, but the material it's made of can help. For instance, some saddle pads are made from a special material that will help draw heat out.

Is it better to ride with a square or contour pad?
It doesn't matter. If the saddle is a good fit (and because of very specific pressure points, english saddles should fit well) the pad is only there to keep the saddle from getting dirty and absorbing sweat.

Is fleece better than quilted, or vice versa?

I personally prefer quilted, but some fleece pads (i.e. Some made by Toklat) are designed specifically to reduce heat.


Thanks for your time!
My replies are bolded :) Hope it helps.


The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! That was a great help. :) Also, it seems like it's just the saddle pad that presses agaist the withers, but the saddle seems a little low...
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 11:03 PM
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What I do when I tack up is I grab the saddle pad under the saddle (on the horse's back) and pull up so the pad fits nicely into the gullet. I find that lessens the amount that the saddle pad goes down on the wither.
You can kind of see what I mean here:

(Image courtesy of About.com)

I would ask that you check the saddle fit when you can next time you are out to ride - make sure the pommel is clearing the wither with room to spare :)


The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-23-2010, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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that's a good tip, thanks so much!
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-27-2010, 05:41 AM
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There should be about 4 fingers width, or a fist, between your horses wither and the pommel of the saddle. Any less and it's too wide, any more and it's too narrow :) Using a sheepskin half pad will only add to the bulk under the saddle if it's too low, but when used with a correctly fitting saddle they're great :) I would reccommend a front riser pad, they're fairly cheap and a quick fix for a low saddle until you get it adjusted by a saddle fitter :)

Eventing, the sport where you strap your medical information to your arm.
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