Half Pad Questions
So, ive had people telling me for months that i should buy a half pad for my horse. So i found one on sale, and bought it (45$, normally 120$). Except, i dont actually know what its supposed to do. Anyone wanna help me out?
Did you ask these people why they thought you needed one?
what mildot said. a half pad can serve a few purposes but without knowing why you need it we can't really help tell you how to use it. it's possible it could be more of a hindrance than a help...
pics of your saddle and your horse with the saddle on WITHOUT any other pad would be good. :)
I'll get some tomorrow while im at the barn. I think its because my horse has ridiculously high withers and the front of my saddle just barely clears them. Would that make sense?
yes but no. a half pad can only help so much with wither clearance as it's going to affect the fit of the saddle as well. are you SURE your saddle fits?
I'm glad you explained why.
A half pad is a stop gap measure. You REALLY need a saddle fitter to come and look at your saddle and horse and make a professional evaluation of what really needs to happen to have your saddle fitted.
I just had that done to a brand new saddle for the same reason (little wither clearance). I had already bought half pads with shims (Fleeceworks) but it all seemed ridiculous, having a band-aid on top of another band-aid.
So I bit the bullet and scheduled a fitter to come and check it all out. There are no fitters local to me. She came down from northern Ohio and it cost me $120 for her mileage and $150 for her to evaluate fit and re-flock my saddle. That seems like a lot of money but what is your horse's back health worth? A lot more than that in vet bills plus a correctly fitted saddle is simply the right thing to do.
As a bonus she took a look at the barn's dressage saddle that I use on my horse and she used the wool half pad and shims I no longer need to make it fit my horse perfectly.
I used to think that I could wing it with a poorly fitting saddle with pads and shims, but I quickly changed my mind after watching a pro fit my saddle to my horse.
And one last thing. Not only is Calypso happier (she's noticeably freer around the shoulders), I am happier. The new saddle is now superbly balanced and puts me in a great position.
Sorry this is a little off topic, but I have a question for mildot. My horse is an OTTB that has recently come off the track and is on a weight gain plan. Currently his saddle doesn't fit perfectly but with a half pad it fits quite well. I plan on having the saddle fitted to him once he's at a better weight. Do you think that is the right thing to do?
You could have a fitter out now, but if he's changing shape fast you may need him or her back again soon.
My horse has been in serious work for several months now so she's not going to be changing shape quickly or drastically.
In any case, after discussing things with Julie, she recommends about one to two fittings a year depending on how the level of activity of the horse changes with the seasons.
Another advantage of having a fitter visit is that they will educate you on what to look for as evidence of saddle fit change, either due to changes on the horse or changes in the saddle (mostly flocking settling and packing down with use).
Here are the pictures. Do you think it fits him alright? Do you think a half pad will help if it doesnt?
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