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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend just got a brand new Wintec saddle and I'm helping her wear it in. It's fitted to a Modern Friesian, and my big guy has more of a Classic Friesian conformation. The saddle fit is pretty bad, but not bad enough where it's going to hurt him. Just uncomfortable. I was wondering if there is any way to slightly change the fit of a saddle without changing the saddle itself? I was thinking half-pad, but it's not really an area I know well. Thanks in advance!
 

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If it's not necessary for you to use this saddle I would not. She can break in her own new saddle, it's not worth the comfort of your horse. Even if you think the fit is "eh" your horse could be stoicly dealing with pinching and bridging. It's just not worth it. Also with wintecs she's pretty much as broken in as she will get, there is no leather to wear in, so you riding in it won't make super much difference.
 

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As everyone has pointed out, you can't break it in - don't bother bruising your riding seat for this. But there are recommendations you can make to her about making the saddle more comfy.

If she's stuck with the wintec, or likes it aside from the seat, then she might try a ThinLine saddle seat cover or a Cashel tush cushion. You can also use a sheepskin/fleece/wool pad underneath of the saddle to help dissipate force and weight. Thinline pads should do the same, but they're expensive and I think I read a review that stated they wear out and crack, or that they can melt easily. My current pad is an Equipedic with felt padding inside, and shimmable pockets. I really like it and so does my horse.
 

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What you see is what you get...
To my knowledge except for a adjustable "gullet" which is only the front pommel that widens/narrows...the gullet doesn't change otherwise...the problem with adjustable is they are not.
Not sure wool flocking exists on such a brand saddle, that would be the only way to otherwise "change" and it is costly.
If there are 2 of you using the saddle then someones horse is not going to have a good fit, actually possibly neither of you will have a good fit. :sad:
I also would not ride your horse in a saddle you don't know what it is doing to him but are sure the fit is bad...
I would not risk the horses back...once a response is learned it is not fun to reprogram the brain...just not a good idea.
And if the fit is bad, why would you add more stuff under it as in pad this or that?
Sorry, to me, the fit is bad...don't use it.
It isn't your saddle but it is your horse...
Synthetic doesn't "break-in"...you got what you got so let your friend deal with whatever she hopes will improve...it rarely does. :frown_color:
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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not bad enough where it's going to hurt him. Just uncomfortable.
Unfortunately that isn't likely the case. Even if it just causes discomfort(& what's that doing for your horses attitude, why do you feel that's acceptable?). Most saddles aren't bad enough(unless they dig into the wither or such) that they will cause serious injury to a horse in the very short term. It's generally that they're 'just uncomfortable' enough that when used for more than infrequent short spurts of time, they do damage. Just think about strapping a heavy(this saddle may not be but with rider on top...) backpack of... Not very ergonomic design on yourself. Chances are, you'll cope just fine with the first 20 mins or so of a hike, but after that you'll find you have bruises. Do too much & you'll have more serious injuries.

The new wintecs have the ability to 'shim' the panels as well as adjust the gullet, meaning you can fit the saddle to a bunch of different horse shapes. Or the one horse as he changes with fitness or such. They still won't fit everything though.
 

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Not your horse (the horse you ride) and not your saddle (already fitted to another). So just say no. Don't run the risk of injuring an animal that is owned by another that you ride in lessons. Sore him for the owner and any other rider that shows him and you may well find yourself without a horse. That said if you still insist on this then ask the owner and your trainer to access the fit and recommend ways to make it better. You aren't going to break in a synthetic (at least in the short term - years of one person riding will kind of set the shape somewhat) and as mentioned your best bet is to recommend to your friend a seat cover.
 

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The short answer is, no bad fitting saddle is ever acceptable.

The long answer is if you pad it up well enough, with a Skito pad or equivalent, you might be able to lessen the damage to your horse's back and brain/attitude. But that would only be acceptable for short term, not a permanent solution.

Wintec saddles are just like any other English style ones; they must be fitted to the horse, preferably by a professional saddle fitter. My original Wintec has the wool stuffed panels and I had the saddle fitter out every 6 months to adjust it when I was riding heavily in that saddle. I no longer use it, as I now ride treeless.

Wintec saddles have no breaking in time. They are the same, year after year. I've had one for 15-20 years, and it looks and rides just like new. The only difference is the adjustable gullet screws are much harder to adjust!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh my lord, thank you. I didn't realize it was a huge problem. I knew it was a problem, but not a big one. The question seems dumb, now that I'm reading it again. But I don't know jack about saddles. So this helps a bit.

Can I ask what half-pads are used for then? At my jumping barn, both of my lesson horses have to use half-pads. One could technically go without, but it's required for the the other one.
 

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Half-pads can help with a horse who is slightly too narrow for his saddle-- sometimes due to work/seasons, but really won't help a truly poor-fitting saddle.

This ^^^

Padding to fix saddle fit is like wearing fluffy socks on shoes that dont fit right. You still get a blister at the end of the day and your feet will be sore. Some people's saddles are fitted so that they fit with a half pad- ie fitting the saddle larger so that there is space for topline development and the half pad is removed as the horse muscles up. But this is something that you'd discuss with your fitter before they adjusted your saddle.

If you want a half pad for some shock absorption, look into thin pads, like thinline, Invictus, gel, winderen etc etc. These are designed to be thin enough to not compromise fit and help dissipate forces across the back. They also hold heat however which is worth keeping in mind if you school in hot climates.
 

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Pads, regardless of half, fitted or squares are band-aids to a poor fitting saddle...

Go back in time and look at pictures of years gone by of horses in the show ring...
Jumpers, hunters had a ton of pictures where there is no saddle pad, nothing.
Think saddle seat still is no-pad in the show ring.

Yup, turnout of the horse was paramount and very rigid in appearance demanded...that was true of spectators going to watch the premier shows also...dressed to the nines!
Go look at pictures of especially the National Horse Show from NYC Madison Square Garden...wow, just WOW!!

Saddle sits directly on the horse...no pad was needed because the saddle fit correctly.
Saddle pads came into being so it was easier to keep the underside of a saddle clean = lazy people didn't have to work so hard cleaning leather cause synthetic saddles didn't exist at that time.
That is why saddle pads came into being...

Today, using a certain style or named pads is more fashion related.
Everyone else does it so you must follow along...same as helmet names, clothing brands, saddle brand used and colors of tack...much of it is fad related.. = marketing/advertising appeal, that's it.

You know what...if your tack fits properly you don't need a bunch of extra.
You also don't then need a chiro or body worker cause the back is sore = often tack used is the root problem.
It is all in how you look at it and want to spend your money, how often and how much. :|
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Just wanted to clarify my post so nobody gets the wrong idea. I was not suggesting that the OP can make this saddle fit her own horse - the risk is pointless anyway, because synthetic saddles can't be broken in.

So we turn back to looking at the OP's friend and OP's friend's horse. This saddle does fit OP's friend's horse, and might also lend proper balance and posture to OP's friend as the rider. But I assume that because this saddle does not feel 'broken in' that it feels stiff. What can be done to help improve the comfort of a stiff saddle (seat) for the rider's sake, without sacrificing the fit for the horse?

(Edit: Pads can be used in constructive saddling and some entities claim that it is better for the horse, both health and comfort-wise. See the brand Balance International's theory on saddling.)
 

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I've never had any luck with English wintec saddles fitting any of my horses, but they do tend to fit cobby types well. I once had a friend with a percheron cross and a welsh pony. Both horses rode in wintec saddles without any issues. Both horses were round backed, with medium withers. Both needed a different gullet size, but other than that, the saddles fit.
 
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