Saddle Pad Thickness???

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Saddle Pad Thickness???

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    06-22-2009, 03:12 PM
Saddle Pad Thickness???

Does the thickness of the saddle pad affect the way a horse may ride or respond to the rider? I currently have to saddle pads, one is a felt lined with breathable holes along the spine that is about 3/4 inch thick, it has the neoprene material sandwiched between the felt. The second is a full wool blend that is about 1 - 1 1/4 inch thick. I have been using only the felt / neoprene one under my heavy roping saddle. However I am concerned about my mare being a sore back. I have not seen any rubbing issues, except that when you brush her down the loin she kinda responds by dipping the back down as being a little tender.

What type of pad may help her? Saddle fitting issues are good, saddle fits her.
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    06-22-2009, 10:48 PM
If the saddle fits her you may be able to use a thinner pad. Also, because the saddle fits it may not be the saddle causing the pain. You might want to have a chiropractor come out and see if she needs an adjustment. A chiro will also be able to tell you if the saddle is causing the pain.
    07-05-2009, 05:38 PM
Sounds like back problem all together!
    07-05-2009, 07:26 PM
Green Broke
You need to post some pictures of her saddles up, pictures with each pad and pictures without any pad. The saddle could be too long for her, the back skirts may be too straight and digging in to her loin, or the pad could be too long and digging in to her loin.

For horses with tender backs, I like to use a 1/2" real wool felt pad (PLAIN) that is contoured to the back, along with a ThinLine saddle pad on top. OR a Skito saddle pad with quilted felt bottom and 3/4" foam inside. Both will give good cushion/shock absorption without causing any friction or any possibility of digging in to the loins.

I would have a good equine chiropractor out to rule out a physical problem that may be causing the back pain. The way she travels in her rear could also cause loin tenderness. You might have someone else ride her and watch her gaits. If she's stepping short with her rear legs, she could have an issue in her hip, pelvis, or with the shape of her feet.
    07-06-2009, 09:00 PM
A 3/4" pad is a good thickness for any riding discipline!
    07-07-2009, 12:38 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by RacePony007    
A 3/4" pad is a good thickness for any riding discipline!
It depends on the pad, saddle, and horse. A 3/4" firm felt pad will be good for a western saddle that fits a bit loose without a pad. That same pad will be too much pad for a western saddle that fits "just right" or on a horse that is very flat backed and round (prone to saddle slipping).

A pad that has fleece bottom and navajo or canvas top and 3/4" fo loosely woven synthetic felt won't give the same kind of firm support than the 3/4" firm felt pad. It will not be enough for a saddle that fits a bit loose or for a horse that is lacking in muscle. However, it might be better for the very flat backed horse or under a saddle that "just fits."

3/4" thick pad of almost any type is going to be too thick for English saddles or padded Aussie saddles, unless the foam is "squishy" type memory foam (like Skito pads or Toklat Ultracell) AND the saddle is a tad wide for the horse.
    07-07-2009, 02:54 AM
If the saddle fits properly you shouldnt need any blanket under it all except a very thin one to protect the saddle
    07-07-2009, 12:22 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by CessBee    
if the saddle fits properly you shouldnt need any blanket under it all except a very thin one to protect the saddle
That's true for an English saddle or flocked/padded Aussie saddle, but NOT for western. Most Western saddles provide no protection for the horse from the hard tree of the saddle. Even western saddles with thick real sheepskin lining (not the synthetic fleece that's on most saddles) or felt lining do not provide adaquate protection for most horses doing more than just light 20-30 minute arena rides. A good saddle pad is a must with a western saddle.
    07-09-2009, 08:46 AM
Luvs2ride is accurate in her advise. 5 Star pads uses a "rule of thumb" for their pads (considered by many to be the best in 100% wool felt pads): 3/4" for general riding with or without a thin navajo, 7/8" for long trail rides, penning, etc., 1" for general ranch work. (They further define the different thicknesses here: Saddle Pads | Saddle Blankets | Wool Saddle Pads, Saddle Blankets: 5 Star Saddle Pads about 1/2 way down the page.)

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