Western Pad on English saddle? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-11-2012, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Western Pad on English saddle?

I'm looking at getting a used Stubben Dressage saddle (See thread 'Stubben Saddle?[Pic Heavy]) and I'm planning on using it on an OTTB and I'm afraid it may be too narrow (I haven't tried it yet, I may get it on trial from the website). I normally ride Western, and said OTTB, Goldie, has narrow withers and they use a Classic Equine Biofit pad, which is about 1 inch thick. If the English saddle is too big, would riding in the Biofit pad help at all?
Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-11-2012, 11:02 PM
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If you can fit a 1" pad between the saddle and the horse, your saddle is waaaay too wide for your horse.
English saddles are meant to fit exactly. So ideally, you'd only need a thin pad to keep the saddle clean. That's a perfect world, and we don't all have perfectly fitting saddles or perfectly soft flocking.
The thickest I've used, in either a wool felt pad, sheepskin, or foam 1/2 pad is 1/4" thick. On one horse, I shim a little at the hollow behind the shoulders, so it might be a little more there, but I only ride her very lightly for no more than 1/2 hour now and then.
If you're getting room for a whole inch in there, the tree size would have to be at least 2 sizes too big, meaning the fit would be completely off for the horse. Not only would the horse get sore, but you'll have a really hard time getting the saddle not to slip all over when you mount.
If the tree is too narrow, don't even think about putting anything with any thickness at all under there - it will only make it worse.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 07:16 AM
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I wouldn't use western pad, but rather look for the saddle that fits.

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post #4 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 08:51 AM
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If your horse has high withers look for a saddle with a cut-back pommel altho most dressage saddles have that. You want that when the saddle sits directly on the horse that #1. there is absolutely not interference with the withers. #2. Then angle fits the angle of your horse. Be sure at the rear of the saddle the padding is at least 3 fingers wide that it rests on either side of the spine and not on it. When you ride the sweat pattern should be even front to back.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 03:05 PM
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I've seen it done... But only at a large lesson barn that didn't want to fit saddles. They didn't have a specific saddle per horse, but rather told you which pad to use with any saddle. A lot used western pads... I mean, the horse's were fine but it was awkward to ride in. I wouldn't recommend it.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks! I was just curious, I have next to no knowledge of English saddles :)
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LikeaTB View Post
Ok thanks! I was just curious, I have next to no knowledge of English saddles :)
I just thought of another point. Aside from the thick pad making the fit all wrong and slipping, etc, you'd be defeating the purpose of the English, especially dressage, saddle. I find the biggest beauty of the English saddle is being so close to the hrose and being able to feel every movement of the horse, and the horse being able to feel you. Dressage saddles especially are designed for this. By placing an inch of padding between the saddle and the horse, you've just eliminated all that lovely contact and communication.

Nahhhhh.... Get the best fitting saddle you can, then use the thinnest pad you can get away with and still have comfort and cushion for the horse. With a perfect with and good flocking, you don't need anything. Most of use use something, but certainly not an inch.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 09:24 PM
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English saddles are designed to fit the horse. The only REAL reason to use a pad is to keep the saddle clean. If you need pads, half pads, wither relief pads or shims, the saddle doesn't fit properly.

Riding with pads using an English saddle is fairly new. When I first started out, I never rode with one.

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post #9 of 9 Old 12-13-2012, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
If you need pads, half pads, wither relief pads or shims, the saddle doesn't fit properly.
It's not always possible to make 100% fit (unfortunately). My qh is uneven on one side (a hollow next to the shoulder). It's a conformational issue, and even when I built all those muscles on her it still stayed although decreased (we hoped it'll fill up completely). So I use no-wrap folded on one side under the saddle to fill it up (that was my saddle fitter suggestion).

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