Why are western saddle pads so thick?!
Good news for anyone who has read my other posts about searching for a saddle for my wide backed, mutton withered Pony. I finally found a saddle today! Picked up a nice, used, synthetic western saddle at a tack store for pretty cheap. Problem is, I've only ever ridden English so I'm a little lost. I've read about 25 different articles online about assessing western saddle fit, and from what I can tell without actually riding (it's been absolutely pouring all day) it fits her nicely without a pad. But the pad that came with it is foam and about an inch thick, and when I put it on under the saddle, it looks so awkward! Like the saddle is really high off her back. The saddle itself has quite a lot of fleecy padding, and the thick pad seems kind of excessive. Coming from riding English, the underside of the western saddle seems so soft already that I don't know why I'd need an inch of foam under it? But I don't know much about western so I really don't know. It just seems like a thin pad or blanket would be a much smoother fit. My tack budget for this paycheck is tapped out after buying the saddle; can I ride with my English pad or no pad? I'm rambling now... Help?