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We are fairly new to horses and have a question about saddle blankets for western riding. Our mares are fairly straight backed and we were told that our saddle pads are too thick Causing the saddle to move around on their back and we only needed a blanket about 1/2 inch for them. The only blanket we’ve been able to find that thin are fairly long (38 inches) but we really only need one about 32-34 inches depending on which of the two horses it’s going on. Question is can we use the 38 inch blanket and fold it a few inches back and put the folded end at the withers or is this a no go? It just seems like most the weight is up there and the wool blanket seems like it wouldn’t have enough padding alone plus being too long.
 

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When a saddle tends to roll, it could mean that the saddle does not fit, you are riding unbalanced, girth is too loose, you have a very round, wide horse, et cetera. These things generally cannot be fixed with more or less padding.

Depending on the type of riding that you do, a thinner pad is generally a good idea. You want enough pad to, you know, pad the horse, but you do not want to be "perched" on top of the horse. If the saddle fits correctly, you do not need a thick pad. Again, it depends on what type of riding that you do. For western, I think that 1/2 inch is minimum and 1 inch is about the maximum. Those are just guidelines.

Do not fold over/double up unless you need a makeshift shim. This will only unbalance the saddle.

It is okay for the saddle pad to extend past the hip. The saddle pad is soft and flimsy. The horse will have no problem moving their hip under it.

Look for a short, round-skirted saddle pad. These tend to work with short/flat-backed horses.
 

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I agree. Pictures help. I haven't bought a blanket in years so don't know if sizes have changed but all of my blankets are large enough to double and still have edge showing. I'd have to unpack them to measure for size though.
 

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The trend in some classes is the the oversized show blankets with a big drop down the sides. So a lot of the "show tops" are super sized. But they are meant to go over a work pad.

There's a difference between using a blanket and pad. Plus there are blanketed pads.
What are you using and looking at purchasing?
 

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True. I had forgotten about that. Show blankets go over basic pads so you can change the look. Mine though showy went under the pad to keep the pad clean or were used alone under a well fitting saddle to keep saddle clean. Like a baby pad in English disciplines.
 

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The blanket you have is what I mentioned before which is typically used as a topper over a pad. (Sidenote: You can use blankets under a pad or just a blanket under a well fitting saddle like qtrbel said)

I think youd be better off buying a decent quality 1/2" pad. You'll get the size you're looking for and provide a bit more shock absorption than a woven show topper (you don't need that much drop on your pads and blankets for everyday riding. That's a current show ring fad)

If you have an amount you'd like to spend, we all could make some recommendations within your price range.

By the way, cute mare.
 

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I use a similar wool blanket under my pads because they are easier to wash than a thick pad (plus I just like the colors they come in!). You can get them in smaller sizes, you just have to look. I try not to get any over 36" and an inch or two shorter is even better. However, I always use a pad along with it. I don't think a single layer wool blanket alone gives them enough protection. Most saddles today don't use real sheepskin and the fleece under the saddle basically does nothing, so I think a pad is needed. Maybe back in the old days, when they used real fleece you could get away with a single layer blanket. Maybe it would be okay, but I personally won't chance it. (I happen to be a heavier rider AND ride for hours at at time, so that likely influences my feelings. Maybe if I weighed 100 lbs and just rode for 1/2 hour I would feel different).
 

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This is my padding set-up. It is about a 1" felt pad plus a not-too-thick blanket. I could probably get away with a 1/2 to 3/4 inch pad but I like the 1." If you are concerned about it being too thick you could use either a single pad with no blanket OR a very thin pad plus a blanket. I like wool against the horse........even my pads are wool felt.
 

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We folded ours with the fold over the front and ends to the rear. There was no where near that amount sticking out anywhere.
 

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We are fairly new to horses and have a question about saddle blankets for western riding. Our mares are fairly straight backed and we were told that our saddle pads are too thick Causing the saddle to move around on their back and we only needed a blanket about 1/2 inch for them. The only blanket we’ve been able to find that thin are fairly long (38 inches) but we really only need one about 32-34 inches depending on which of the two horses it’s going on. Question is can we use the 38 inch blanket and fold it a few inches back and put the folded end at the withers or is this a no go? It just seems like most the weight is up there and the wool blanket seems like it wouldn’t have enough padding alone plus being too long.

I would like to see more pictures of the saddle on the horse's back; preferably without a pad.



If the saddle is moving around a lot, usually, it's a problem with the fit of the saddle (and not the pad).



NO, do not fold the pad at the withers. If you fold it enough to actually get it to stay under the saddle, you will create an awful pressure point for the horse.



Honestly, for the pad you posted, it's long, but so what? Won't bother the horse any. If you can find something smaller, great. But i'd focus more of your attention on the saddle.
 
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