Has anyone used the non slip pads
I am having problems with a mare that all saddles slip on her. even ones that are suppose to fit. Now the closer the fit the better it stays in place but all will slide down over her shoulders when headed downhill. So I was looking into getting the non slip pads and was just wondering if anyone had tried them.
I am also open to trying a tail crupper but its not my first choice, plus I have never used one but it seems like it would rub sores on a horse. And I would really like to stay away from a breechen because they take too long to get hooked up and just seem to me kind of bulky, I have tried one once.
That is not a fun problem to have. I'll try to help if I can from my experiences. I'm guessing your horse probably has a forward girth groove (right behind the elbow), flat shoulders and low withers. Either that or a flat-sided straight body with low withers (like a mule).
I had to try many, many saddles to find one that worked for my mare.
The non-slip pads have not worked well for me because I have never found a saddle that did not move *at all* and so the non-slip rubs hair and hide off as they move. I have also tried a crupper and I did not like it. It did not rub much under her tail, but my horse did not care for it.
What has helped me the most was to find a saddle that had the cinch set so it hangs down right where her girth groove is. In other words, a lot of saddles have the cinch farther back where most horses have their girth groove i.e. 3-4 inches behind the elbow. So you end up cinching the saddle farther back because if you put the cinch in the appropriate place for your horse, the front of the saddle would be on the horse's withers and shoulder. Cinching farther back means it is on a wide part of your horse's barrel and the cinch will slide forward as the horse moves, especially down hills.
I also found a saddle that fitted her back as exactly as I could, especially matching the angle of her back behind the withers. Be sure your saddle is wide enough. Y-rigging also helps on either an English or Western saddle.
If you ride English, put the girth on the front two billets instead of the back two.
Hope something here is useful to you.
Okay first of all here are some pics of her. I did a wither tracing on her and was told she has high withers, but what you said about not big shoulders may be some of the problem. It sounds like basically finding the right saddle is the main thing though. Oh and maybe where the cinch line is could be some too. Maybe I'll have to have someone actually fit a saddle to her. Anyway, yeah it is frustrating, almost to the point of just getting another horse. I just wish she wasn't such a good horse and I probably would.
The Crupper is not a big deal. the horse gets used to it and you will see them clamping down their tails when the saddle starts to slide forward. They learn to use them.
Make sure you don't over tighten the crupper. You want to make sure the horse can flex or bend along their topline. You don't want them walking around with a constantly hollowed out back. The crupper should have a loose fit when the horse is just standing or walking normal. But will start to come taught as the horse rounds up and clamps down his/her tail.
Cowboys, Ranchers, trail guides have been using them for long time, they are a proven piece of tack.
I use a non-slip pad under my treeless saddle with no issues--but I use it to keep the saddle from slipping sideways rather than fore and aft. It does a nice job and doesn't seem to irritate the horse with the little bit of movement that is still there.
I have a very high whithered horse with broad shoulders so slipping forward just isn't a problem--in fact, I have trouble getting the saddle to ride far enough forward! I did add a breast collar for those grueling climbs we like so well (OK, I like 'em, not sure Mr. Big likes 'em!) to help from sliding back. On the grueling downhills the saddle is held back by whithers and shoulders.
I've used one of the small ones before that goes under your saddle pad and it did help, but it's not an end-all thing. SO....it made things a little better, but not completely and it was a pain to keep adjusted. I've seen some pretty cool looking western pads that are no-slip, but haven't used those myself...something like this: Tacky-Tack™ Non-Slip Western Pad - Jeffers
Anyway, best thing I've found personally is using a treeless saddle/bareback pad and breast collars/cruppers.
Several things. One she is more than a little bit too heavy. As she looses weight, you'll have far less problems. Two, it is going to be very difficult to find a ridgid tree saddle that will not bridge due to the shape of her back. One of the better made flex panel(not flex tree) saddles will be your best bet, at getting a saddle to fit. Three, a center fire, to 3/4 rigging will work the best on this horse. Definitely not full or 7/8 rigging.
She is build down hill, ie, the rear is higher than the front. Regardless of what you do, a crouper may be the only way to keep the saddle from sliding too far forward when going down hill.
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