Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beautiful Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
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.