My horse has a lot of back issues that I really want to help alleviate. He was ridden in a badly fitting saddle for more than 2 years as a young horse, and the behaviour problems caused by it were viewed as disobedience thus it went unchanged. It has caused severe damage to his back; Palm size white spots in his wither pockets as well as dry spots, and reactions to full weekends of riding that include raised bumps. He humps his back and crow hops if the saddle sits on these sensitive spots, ensuring I learnt quick smart to place his saddle in the correct spot; Even a centimetre too far forward causes this reaction.
I have had him treated by equine body workers 2/3 times using deep tissue massage and phototonic light therapy, and had his saddle fitted and re-fitted about 3 times, but it is not ideal as it is an old wintec 500 that I have had for 8 years. It fits as best as we could make it, and he only has reactions when ridden full on for two days or more, and I really donít know if it is a saddle issue or just inevitable due to his issues. I have now ordered a custom made stock saddle to be made by a saddler I am friends with; I have ridden in a lot of his saddles and have nothing but praise for them. He has taken tracings of Bundyís back and watched me ride Bundy in a few saddle made by him, and has recently received the tree so will start making my saddle; Hopefully we will have the first fitting/trial in the next month. The saddle will look similar to this; though better quality and more close-contact:
So, now my question: I want to add a shock absorbing pad under my saddle as I am not sure that a correctly fitted saddle will solve 100% of this horses issues. Iím tossing up between a Skito pad and a Thinline pad; both of which are somewhat hard to find in Aus and very expensive. Because of this, I donít know anyone with experience with either pad! I want a half pad to be used between my saddle and saddle pad, and I want it to be discreet enough to be usable when I show. The Skito pads available at my local saddlery seem to be mostly dressage or endurance/treeless oriented, and either too bulky or the wrong shape for what I want. The Thinline trifecta pad seems to be more along the line of what I am looking for, but I may have to wait for what I want to crop up on ebay and get it shipped to Aus as I am having a lot of trouble locating exactly what I want in Aus. This is the tack/attire I will be using for showing, for a reference: (not actually me)
So I guess Iím asking people with experience with either pad, pros/cons? If money were no object, what would you choose? (After spending 4k on the saddle, a few more hundred wonít be missed!) And a long shot, but has anyone used either of these pads on a horse with issues like mine, and what were the results?
I will try to get some photoís of his back and white spots in the next few days.