Gaited horse saddle pad???
I just got a FQHB western saddle for my rather fat MFT ( :lol: )
It fits him well but the gullet seems to sit a tad too close to his withers.... my neighbor suggested getting a special pad for a gaited horse????? So he can really get his gait going and move out.....
what do you suggest? Links appreciated... I like to buy things used too, so ebay or if you have something that would be GREAT!
Your not gonna want to hear this but the answer to your question is to get a saddle that fits. Will adding thicker socks make shoes that are too tight fit your feet ? Sure you can add a thicker wither area pad to lift the front but guess where your weight goes ? Right on the hip lower spine area. Seems most of the behavior problems I have dealt with on Walkers and other big gaited breeds is cause by people putting QH saddles on them.
But one day after a long trail ride (over 12 miles) I realized she had a small bulge on her spine near the back of the saddle. I never had the front end touch her withers because the pad was cut-out there, but the back end of my saddle was bottoming out on her spine. The flare of the bars was simply too wide for her and the saddle was contacting her spine when it shouldn't be.
Anyway, I am riding her in a narrower saddle now (still a QH saddle, but either regular or semi QH bars instead of full) and that little bucking thing she did has basically gone away.
Hopefully you won't have that problem, but I thought I would mention it because Joe's post hit home with me.
That's not to say your saddle won't fit...... but if any strange bumps or behavior issues crop up, keep in mind it could be the saddle. Being that you already own this saddle, I would go ahead and try a pad with a cut-out in the wither area. I use an Impact Gel or a 5-Star, but most high quality wool felt pads have a wither cut-out.
I agree with Joe..... working with QH bars are tricky and ideally your saddle should fit the horse with minimal padding. But to answer your question, I don't know of any pad that is specifically for a gaited horse. There are saddles marketed for gaited horses, and they may recommend a pad to go with their saddle, but its a pad that can fit any saddle of that shape.
maybe I'll post pics of what the saddle looks like on him.... I'll take pictures WITH the saddle on his back but WITHOUT the pad - does that sound good? I'll take them tomorrow......... then maybe you can tell me what you think
I think you already know the answer, if it doesnt have wither clearance it doesnt fit. Also QH saddles tend to have some rock in them, Look at your typical QH, the back dips a bit, now look at a gaited horse, flat. Thats Why FQHB can look like they fit, but when you tighten the cinch, they pull down in the front, lift up in the back, SOooo people want to put a thicker pad up front to counter, but now you are putting all the load towards the back of the saddle. In general for the once around the park at a walk. Most people never cause any problems. Frequently though I see this lead to behavior problems. Put up some good side view pics with and without pad, and tighten the girth a bit.
I agree with the others - a pad is not going to solve this problem if the saddle bars and tree aren't a good fit. One other trick to see if the saddle has good fit from front to back is to put a white towel (thin) or English 'baby pad' under the saddle, and ride long enough to get dirt marks on the white cloth. The marks should be evenly dirty and well-distributed from the shoulders to the rear of the saddle.
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