saddle pad for high withers...
I have read many different things...any thoughts?
A contoured pad can be a good option, as can a cutout or cutback pad in some cases. Depends on your saddle fit - saddle pads often have to do the fine-tuning for saddle fit, so your pad needs to be able to compensate where your saddle lacks.
Can you provide more info - English or western, type horse?
Please dont put a QH saddle on him.
Padding can only do so much, a propper fitting saddle is the right way to go, I have seen lots of behavior problems in walkers that seem to disappear overnight as soon as they stopped getting a too long and wrong shaped QH saddle thrown on them.
I am going to a saddle guy today just to show him pics and discuss. He is a good friend of my father in laws so I hope that is helpful. He knows gaited saddle, high withers, downhill...
what do you think of the treeless saddle for this kind of back? I have one.
I dont, treeless saddle isnt gonna spread out the load. Ay soldier that has carried a rucksack with any weight in it if he would prefer a frame.
People that are so light they arnt much load can get away with them, but I still am not convinced they offer any advantage to treed saddles.
Have you heard of Rockin R saddles? They are for gaited saddles and seem to be a good fit for high withers...
There are two aspects of fitting the front of a saddle - the angle of the inverted V, and the horizontal width between the points of the V. If the angle is right, but the horizontal width is too great, then a wither pad will work fine. If the angle is off, or the horizontal width is too narrow, a different saddle is the right answer.
Also, there is a difference in what the bars do after they leave the gullet. Some are set wide and flat, others are closer together or bend a lot. And some go a long way back, and others do not.
In the end, I don't know of a good substitute for trying the saddle on the horse. If it is from a reputable Internet store, you can return the saddle if it doesn't fit - but you'll be out some money. A local tack store will usually let you try it and return it. I sold a used saddle and told the woman I'd hold her check for a week, and if it didn't fit, return it. That could have burned either of us, but we were both honest. The next day, I got a call telling me to deposit the check because it fit fine.
Here is a link that discusses the problems:
Avoiding the Withers - Using Hand Hole Height and Gullet Height Measurements
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