Saddle Fit-Wiiiiiide Shoulders!

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Saddle Fit-Wiiiiiide Shoulders!

This is a discussion on Saddle Fit-Wiiiiiide Shoulders! within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • If a saddle is slightly tight in the shoulder can if be fixed with a pad
  • Horse not liking shim pad for asymmetrical shoulders

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    01-07-2013, 07:07 PM
Saddle Fit-Wiiiiiide Shoulders!

I just received a Corriente reining saddle for Christmas and LOVE it! (For those not it the know, they only make FQHB trees with a 7" gullet.)

The problem is, Sock's shoulders are super wide and though it fits him far better than my previous saddle (had to stop using it for fear of hurting him), It's still just a tad bit tight on his left shoulder. The right one seems ok. I feel the saddle could be usable, but I'd really like to find a way to fit it to him a little better for his comfort and my peace of mind! I've been using a 1" fleece pad with it and it almost seems too thick. A weird as it sounds, I've been considering using an English pad just to see if it would relieve pressure and free up the space around his shoulder since it's thinner.

He's a pretty bulldoggy-type QH with not a whole lot in the way of withers, but they're there. Confo pic is posted below.

Is there any kind of western half pad that would help? Would trying a thinner pad be a viable option? Any other potential options?

Thanks in advance!

Wow his topline has really filled out since then! Also the bedsores are long gone, thank goodness!
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    01-07-2013, 07:33 PM
I'm not liking the sweat pattern I am seeing. It also looks like you are putting the saddle way too far forward... but he is built downhill and has a very forward girth groove so the saddle will have a tendency to creep forward. If a saddle is too tight there really isn't much you can do. If it is too tight on just one side, I imagine your horse has asymmetrical shoulder muscling. This can probably be remedied with proper exercise.
    01-07-2013, 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by prettydecoy    
I'm not liking the sweat pattern I am seeing. It also looks like you are putting the saddle way too far forward... but he is built downhill and has a very forward girth groove so the saddle will have a tendency to creep forward. If a saddle is too tight there really isn't much you can do. If it is too tight on just one side, I imagine your horse has asymmetrical shoulder muscling. This can probably be remedied with proper exercise.
This was taken just a few weeks after I got him. Once I learned that the saddle was too far forward I started moving it back more. The saddle I have now I set about 6" further back than the sweat marks indicate here, and it's still tight on that one shoulder. Also it seems to be more of a shoulder blade issue rather than muscling but I'll look into that too. Thanks for the reply!

ETA: I've had him since October of 2011, just to clarify, so that was quite a long time ago! :)
    01-07-2013, 08:19 PM

A thinner pad would make problems worse, it would allow the bar to dig in even more in his shoulder.

I would suggest a 1" thick solid wool pad, fleece pads may not be giving the proper cushion.

It is possible that the Saddle you have does not have enough flair in the leading edge of the bars in the tree, that is a common problem on some makes, not that familiar with who makes the tree for corriente

    01-07-2013, 11:02 PM
Sotherntrails hmm that sounds pretty close to what's going on I think...

What about half pads? I know they can help lift the saddle off of the back a bit to give more room in the shoulders for English style saddles. Has anyone seen that in a Western version?

The new saddle is just barely too tight... as little as a quarter of a centimeter of extra room would probably even do it!
    01-08-2013, 12:21 AM
I am working with a Welsh/Cob right now and he is very hard to fit. He has a shoulder that is higher than the other, so to compensate for that right now we are using felt shims which work great if you need to relieve pressure. Some saddle pads actually made a pad with pockets for shims for example parelli does. There are other less expensive brands that make them. You don't new the saddle pad with pockets you can position where the problem is and then tighten the saddle.
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    01-08-2013, 12:33 AM
I have a mutton withered flat backed wide mare, and I had a terrible time finding a saddle that fit. Finally found one with the flared bars, and I use a thin air ride under it and fits like a dream!
If a different saddle isnt in the option column then I agree with the shims. I used them on a gelding I used to own. Messed around with different spots and how many I needed and it worked great. I didnt have the fancy pad with the pockets in it just the shims and hid them under the saddle.
As for the fact that he has one shoulder higher or slightly out, I would get a reliable chiropractor with a good reputation to come out and look at him. Id say his shoulder is out.
Just my thoughts, good luck!
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    01-08-2013, 12:37 AM
I totally agree with the chiro if you have not already done so. My guy has had about 6 visits now and shoulders are good. But it's a great place to start for sure. It may take some time to get even again after the chiro if you find his shoulder is out so shims might be a easy less expensive short term fix.
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    01-08-2013, 02:36 PM
Jes, that's exactly what I'm talking about! Fortunately I have stupid amounts of fabric, padding etc hanging around so I might be able to make something temporary. Unfortunately a new saddle is not a possibility at the moment. :(

He's seen the chiro, and fairly recently. She's the one my old trainer uses and is VERY good. A few months ago, his back was out horribly, which she fixed and then checked everything else out and she said he seemed to be fine.

Just another tidbit, his previous owners used a FQHB saddle with him before, not sure of the gullet width or exactly how well it fit him. I wasn't as aware of saddle fit then as I am now. Hmmm...
    01-08-2013, 02:53 PM
Green Broke
Diamond Wool Pads - Products - Contoured Relief Pads

Just incase you need a pad with shims. I love them. Have one myself and about half the price of other brands.

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