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My horse normally carries his head at mid-level at trot but when I rode him on Sunday..I used a new saddle pad to lift my saddle slightly in front to get saddle off his withers but when I rode him at trot he dropped his head down to the ground and trotted this way the whole time...at one point I felt like I lost my horse since I hadn't seen his head/neck in so long. I rode him on a long rein the whole time as I usually do when doing light work days.
Is he lowering to get away from discomfort? The only other thing I noticed was that he was a bit off balanced..more than usual (he's over 20 yrs old). or maybe it was his usual off balance but I just noticed it more because I felt like I was riding on a camel with no head anywhere to be found the whole time.
this pad was suppposed to improve my saddle fit since I have ordered a new custom saddle for him I am waiting a while til it comes in and this saddle is great except it was pinching withers a bit so I raised it up off withers with front lift foam form pad but this inevitably shifts more weight to rear of saddle and wondering if this shift in position of saddle has caused discomfort and would this kind of discomfort cause head dropping low or opposite? I would like responses from anyone who has experienced this issue and what conclusions you found or if this head drop is a good thing or what. ? Thanks for your help.
 

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For whatever reason your horse is doing that, it has to have something to do with the saddle pad. It could have something to do with balance or discomfort or pain, but I'm thinking more in the direction of discomfort or pain. :???:

Once Night Heat did that where her head went all the way to the ground, as if reaching for something, but it was actually stretching because her back was sore.

I think you must maybe get the pad checked out, with your saddle, because maybe as you said it could be causing the saddle to put pressure on a sensitive area.

That's what I think... :???:
 

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this saddle is great except it was 1) pinching withers a bit so I raised it up off withers with front lift foam form pad but this inevitably 2)shifts more weight to rear of saddle and wondering if this shift in position of saddle has caused discomfort

1) Pinching the withers indicates that the saddle is too narrow. Think of it this way: when you put on a too-narrow shoe that pinches your foot, it hurts, right? No matter how many socks (or different socks) you put on, it will not change the fact that the shoe is too narrow. So, by sticking a thick foam pad under a too-narrow saddle, you have in fact made the fit even narrower, and it's probably pinching even more.
2) Yes, you are correct. A riser pad will throw the saddle off balance, and can cause discomfort.
 
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