your experience/views on padding up a saddle with hard flocking

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your experience/views on padding up a saddle with hard flocking

This is a discussion on your experience/views on padding up a saddle with hard flocking within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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  • 2 Post By freia
  • 1 Post By ReneeM

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    04-26-2013, 01:23 PM
your experience/views on padding up a saddle with hard flocking

I'm going through my saddles to find the kid-sized one that will fit the horse my daughter rides the best.

The one that gives the best fit is an old spare with hard wool flocking. It's not lumpy, but it's hardened to where there really isn't any cushioning effect left. I can't afford to have it reflocked right now.

I have a really nice, cushiony, Cashel foam 1/2 pad. I think it's a little under 1/2" thick. Can I get by using that under the saddle for now? The fit of the saddle does allow room for the pad. My concern is that a good pad just can't compensate for the hard panels. My daughter weighs 65 pounds and rides no more than 1 hour at a time.

Has anyone tried doing this and ended up with a sore or angry horse as a result?
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    04-26-2013, 04:03 PM
How hard is hard?

Wool flock rarely goes rock hard, though a leather lining that's not been treated well can often make it appear so.

Bear in mind that military saddles used a timber frame with just a blanket (admittedly folded to various thicknesses) between horse and saddle.

If the horse is used to being ridden (eg. It's older, or if a youngster it's been ridden regularly) I'd use the pad, or even a thick numnah. I doubt you'll have any problems if the saddle's a decent fit :)
    04-26-2013, 04:43 PM
Originally Posted by unclearthur    
How hard is hard?
Not rock-hard. If I lay the saddle upside-down in my lap and push down on the panels with my fingers, I can force them in there a bit. It just isn't all nice and squishy like my freshly-flocked ones are.

Good point about the military saddles. I hadn't thought about that. I guess the Western saddles are pretty hard too, really. As always, I guess it comes down to making sure the fit is good.
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    04-26-2013, 04:53 PM
The hardness will only be a problem if the saddle doesn't fit. That said, a small rider and short rides with a decent pad may help you out in the short term, or until someone grows into a different or a full sized saddle.
    04-27-2013, 12:25 AM
The horse will let you know if it's a problem.
    04-27-2013, 07:51 AM
Either use a thicker pad than usual to act as a shock absorber.. pretend you're using a western saddle just pad it up like you would a western saddle or see if you can get someone to counterline it (not a reflock/repack) just an added layer on top of the panels, serge sewn on and stuffed with a layer of flocking would be a lot cheaper than getting it reflocked and will help you out for now :)
    04-27-2013, 09:23 AM
Originally Posted by ReneeM    
just an added layer on top of the panels, serge sewn on and stuffed with a layer of flocking would be a lot cheaper than getting it reflocked and will help you out for now :)
Except that you'll never get it level
    04-27-2013, 06:30 PM
Originally Posted by unclearthur    
Except that you'll never get it level
Have to disagree with you on that one.
But if you just used a thicker good quality pad underneath that would work too :)
    04-27-2013, 09:31 PM
All righty...

Assuming Unclearthur was right and the leather in the panels was poorly cared for and stiff, I went to work on the leather last night. Gave it a good soaking with leatherbalm. I've done that before, but what the heck, I have a whole new tub - why not. Not much difference this morning. So when the sun came out this afternoon, I slathered it up again, only this time I set it down on the hot deck and massaged the balm into the leather with all my weight on my knuckles. No bread has ever been kneaded so well. It's softer. My hands are raw (and well-conditioned), but I swear those panels actually softened up a bit.

The panels still aren't great, but they're almost respectable. I may ask my saddler to even out the flocking in a couple places with his hook, I'll add the 1/2 pad, and I think we'll be good.

Renee, what would be the difference between counterlining it and adding the half-pad other than that the 1/2 pad isn't physically attached to it? I've never heard of counterlining, so I feel I'm missing something?
    04-28-2013, 05:02 AM
Freia , not much difference at all. Counterlining is just putting an extra layer of serge and flocking on top of the panels that are already there, this lining is firm but springy, extends the life of your panels and allows you to continue using your normal stock saddle thinner pad as the extra layer gives the softness back to the panels.
Counterlining is popular with stock saddle owners here in Australia because all they know is their usual thin saddle pad so adding an extra thick pad isn't really thought about as most of them are competing and the thicker pad doesn't look right plus getting a counterline done is cheaper than a re-line or reflock and extends the life of their panels
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