Originally Posted by Poseidon
Because western saddles aren't actually soft underneath. There's fleece to protect the saddle, but there is no actual padding, like an english saddle. The pads are thick because of this. If you just use a blanket under your saddle, you will have one sore horse soon.
If the saddle looks awkward, are you sure it fits?
Thank you, for explaining! Like I said, I know next to nothing about western saddles. But I read a ton of different articles, with photos and diagrams, about western saddle fit and I really think that without the pad it fits very well. The pad is just so thick, and sort of stiff, that it holds the saddle up off her back very strangely. But this may be because I am used to seeing English saddles and how they sit?