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Horses change shape so easily though...perhaps each winter your horse changes shape enough to make your saddle not fit in the winter months. I know you said the rubbing happens behind the pad but I can't imagine how the pad could rub if pressure isn't placed down on it while it's rubbing.

I had a saddle fitter come out and make me custom shims based on the port Lewis impression pad...shows uneven pressure. I had uneven pressure everywhere....three months later my mare completely changed shape and all shims had to be removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I'll be interested to see what my saddle fitter says for sure!
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IN the picture where you circled the area of being "rubbed" showed no pad touching the area????? IF the pad is not on the "rubbed" area how is it being "rubbed"?/?

It may have nothing to do with the pad. It could be a seasonal anomaly.

If the horse is clipped then the hair is short (as in summer short) right? From what I gather this does not occur in the Summer...right? Perhaps its some sort of odd negative response to skin and winter hair growth. You say this horse has Allergies or allergy responses....perhaps this is an allergy response of some sort to skin changes or hair follicle changes of a seasonal nature. More odd things have happened. It could be a response to sweat (no matter how minute it may be) skin excretions in a localized area dryness in the air and so forth and so on.

I cant watch the video while I am dial up (waiting on getting $$$ for my other computer to be fixed for my cable hook up again.) so I cant watch how the horse moves and etc.

Its just a thought. I had an older mare than would lose hair on her chest every winter.....just the winter. Her skin would get flakey then the hair would thin out and well, at her worst, she looked like she had mange in a very localized area. It was weird. Once spring hit and she began to shed and grow in summer coat all was well again. I simply chokked it off as a seasonal anomaly. (yes I tried coat conditioners and added a coat enhancer to her diet to no avail) Tea tree oil spray did seem to help some though.
 

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I was thinking the same thing as the above poster that maybe she is a little heavier in the winter which makes her saddle too narrow over the back. She is beautiul and looks to be a good weight though! love those buckskins!! My hubbys mare move's side to side as well but no hair loss..
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Zaney in the pic I showed she didn't have the rubbing then, I was just drawing a circle around where it usually occurs in the winter...I'm beginning to wonder if the saddle is slipping back during riding...going to take a before and after pic today when I go for a lesson, just to see saddle placement before and after.
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This happens with my horse too, only when he is body clipped. The saddle pad does not stay perfectly still when riding - it kind of moves side to side as he moves and it kind of scrubs the hair off.
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Discussion Starter #48
Dancing when viewed from the back that's what looks like is happening with my girl too...it's like the back edge of the saddle pad is breaking the hair off.
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Dancing when viewed from the back that's what looks like is happening with my girl too...it's like the back edge of the saddle pad is breaking the hair off.
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Next time you saddle up and ride, have her walk in a safe place, or have her led while you're mounted. Turn around and look at what the saddle pad is doing and see if you can notice where the rub marks are. On my gelding, the saddle pad was kind of going side to side and making a very faint swishing sound. The hair was literally being scrubbed off.

I've honestly never thought to check to see if that motion was normal in horses or not. I only noticed because I was trying to figure out what was making him bald. I'm assuming it's normal.

It only happens when I clipped in in that area. Since then, I just don't clip under the saddle pad area anymore.

Edited to add: I ride treeless, so I knew it wasn't a problem caused by an ill-fitting tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Well my trainer and I were looking tonight and the rubbing is under the panels for the most part. And we think it's because the saddle is doing something funny...it doesn't really make even contact with her back at all times...it kind of floats above her. I am going to email my saddle fitter some photos and get her take on what I should do/whether I should add a half pad or something to "fill in" that area and hopefully stop the rubbing. What in everyone's experience what normally causes an otherwise good fitting saddle to have a gap under the panels in the back when the horse moves?
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Discussion Starter #51
Here's the video I took tonight that shows the space under the panels...sorry it's sideways I have no idea how that happened on my iphone :/

Sandie saddle - YouTube
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Discussion Starter #52
When the saddle just sits on her back it looks fine but once you put the girth on that's what happens
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Well my trainer and I were looking tonight and the rubbing is under the panels for the most part. And we think it's because the saddle is doing something funny...it doesn't really make even contact with her back at all times...it kind of floats above her. I am going to email my saddle fitter some photos and get her take on what I should do/whether I should add a half pad or something to "fill in" that area and hopefully stop the rubbing. What in everyone's experience what normally causes an otherwise good fitting saddle to have a gap under the panels in the back when the horse moves?
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A good fitting saddle won't float above a horse's back. I don't know why it would be doing his, though. If your saddle fitter was just out perhaps she will evaluate for free since the issue was not resolved.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
A good fitting saddle won't float above a horse's back. I don't know why it would be doing his, though. If your saddle fitter was just out perhaps she will evaluate for free since the issue was not resolved.
That's kind of what I am hoping...when she flocked the saddle to fit to her back, she set it on her back and then looked at it with me aboard, but we never actually girthed her up and looked at it. Of course when I'm sitting in it, it sits flush with her back, and when it's just setting up there it does as well. So the girth being attached is what causes this little problem to show up, for whatever reason.

Well if I don't hear back from her via email today I'll give her a ring to get her thoughts on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
So I heard back from the saddle fitter. She said based on the video I took and the rub marks/their location, she said it sounds like it needs to be re-flocked again...ugh...just had it done in August! She's having me check on the fit in a few ways tonight when I go to the barn before we do anything or have her out, but from her description it definitely sounds like that's what it's from. Darn saddles and ever changing horses!! :lol:

Well, at least I have something to go on now anyway! She mentioned it sounds like it had "settled" since we did it last. Since August was the first time we had ever flocked the saddle and it was brand new, I'm guessing that maybe now that it has "settled" to fit her back, I hopefully won't be paying for this again in another 4-5 months?? :shock: One can only hope!

For those out there who have flocked saddles before, how often do you find you need to get them re-flocked? Somehow I thought it was more like every year or so, not this often, but again maybe it's just because this was a brand new saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Well, got a chance to talk to my saddle fitter on the phone, and she confirmed my suspicions that it has likely settled and it may need flocked every several months just for the first little while, while it's breaking in and molding to her back. Sandie is a very "curvy" mare and not the easiest to fit, and her back is very sensitive to boot!

The saddle fitter is coming out next week to re flock it and maybe the accompanying back soreness Sandie has had for "no apparent reason" lately will go away as well. Ugh, I could just KICK myself for not connecting the dots sooner!! :oops: My poor girl!

So for those of you who've been watching the thread and subbing to see if we've solved the mystery of the hair rubbing, it may be as "simple" as saddle fit! Even if you think your saddle fits very well! We'll see what happens after she re-flocks it, but I know the first time she flocked it, I noticed a marked difference in Sandie's movement and her masseuse and I both noticed a HUGE improvement in her back soreness...she got to the point where she had almost NONE! And then a couple of months ago it started coming back. I chalked it up to her doing lots more long and low work lately and working to build her topline...but now in light of this new information I'm thinking saddle fit is to blame (yet again UGH)!
 

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Zaney in the pic I showed she didn't have the rubbing then, I was just drawing a circle around where it usually occurs in the winter...I'm beginning to wonder if the saddle is slipping back during riding...going to take a before and after pic today when I go for a lesson, just to see saddle placement before and after.
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Oh ok, I was a little confused on that one. I cant bring up the video due to still being on back up dial up. (old computer, no cable right now). However, I have since read that your working with your saddle fitter on the issue. Saddle fit can definatly be a pain. I had a used saddle relfocked 3 times untill it was fixed. I was at my witts end and I changed saddle fitter/maker who fixed it the final time.
 

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Geez sometimes I'm glad I ride Western so I don't have to have my saddle flocked on a regular basis... :shock:

I will mention, though, that we had a client horse when I was grooming for a dressage trainer who had the rubbing issue. We eventually were able to find a square pad that worked but it took a lot of looking. We also found out that contoured Dressage pads are a thing! We ALSO found out that the Schlesse that the client had purchased and fitted to her horse multiple times a year had never really fit correctly, even right after fittings. That was probably the underlying cause and it was just the particular way that it was fitting incorrectly that was the culprit at the time.

Every time I think I want to start riding Dressage at all seriously I start reading these threads and saddle fit scares the living bejesus out of me again! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Geez sometimes I'm glad I ride Western so I don't have to have my saddle flocked on a regular basis... :shock:

I will mention, though, that we had a client horse when I was grooming for a dressage trainer who had the rubbing issue. We eventually were able to find a square pad that worked but it took a lot of looking. We also found out that contoured Dressage pads are a thing! We ALSO found out that the Schlesse that the client had purchased and fitted to her horse multiple times a year had never really fit correctly, even right after fittings. That was probably the underlying cause and it was just the particular way that it was fitting incorrectly that was the culprit at the time.

Every time I think I want to start riding Dressage at all seriously I start reading these threads and saddle fit scares the living bejesus out of me again! :lol:
Forgive me as I know nothing about western tack :lol: but what is it about a western saddle that makes it able to be used on any horse and not fitted at all to the horse's back?
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i know nothing of english saddles. but i have a saddle that will float on my current horse. its a tight girth issue, but it also means it doesnt fit that well.

i also see a size difference in your horse in the summer photos compared to more recent. shes got a few extra lbs on her. burn some weight off her the saddle will probably be a better fit.
 
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