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Discussion Starter #1
I got a new saddle back in October and it's the Collegiate Convertible Senior Event saddle. It fit my mare nicely, esp. since it has the gullet system so I got her the gullet that fit her best (Medium Wide).

It was working fine until I started using a half pad (Fleeceworks)...awhile after I started doing that, I noticed that on both sides of her back where the panels sick, the hair has been rubbed really short. It's hardly noticeable but that obviously concerns me.

One of my friends took a look today and we put the saddle on Sandie with no pads to see about the fit. It seems to fit very well, no uneven pressure points and when she sweats in the summer it's evenly with this saddle...it just started the rubbing with the half pad - so I'm going to stop using that for now. But I do like the cushion the half pad provides...my friend suggested getting a riser because the half pad may be lifting up the pommel and causing more pressure on the panels in the back, and a riser would give more cushion under the panels...has anyone else run into this problem? Any other thoughts on what else could be causing it?
 

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Wait, wait, wait - your friend said that a Riser would be better, than using a 1/2 pad? The riser will lift the front moreso than the 1/2 pad does, and no, there is not more cushioning.

Does the saddle fit balanced without any padding at all? If so, I would just go without. See what happens. Just use a pad and your saddle, with nothing inbetween.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry I should have been more specific...a rear riser, to lift the back up. I think she has one I can try so I may do that eventually...but I'm going back to not using the half pad for now just to see what happens...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
And it's hilarious that you posted, because I was sooo going to send you this post and ask you for advice! ;-) I went to PM it to you and saw that you were currently viewing it already haha!!
 

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Try a thin(regular) pad and the saddle, nothing else. With a really good saddle fit, half pads and risers ruin the fit by adding more bulk and pressure. If you want a comfier feel for yourself, I would recommend a saddle seat cover. That way you can be comfortable without adding extra pressure under the saddle. There are different kinds of materials used, but the best ones are usually sheepskin.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
lol! that is funny!

Tell me, does your saddle fit balanced while on your girls back, with no pads?
Yes it does...that's why I'm wondering if the half pad is just too much bulk? Sucks if it is, because I paid like $80 for that thing!! :-x
 

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The only use a 1/2 pad has, is to add extra horse to a saddle that is too wide. If your saddle fits just fine without one, then there is no need for one. No such thing as "Cushioning", especially for a saddle that already fits.

Far too many people today use 1/2 pads for the wrong reason. I think you'll have to put it up for sale.

Let me disagree with your friend about adding a rear riser. That will alter the fit of your saddle and make it uneven on Sandie's back. It will rise the back, and tilt your position forward as well, and it will add more pressure to Sandie's shoulders.

I would not use a back riser.
 

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I use a Thinline trifecta pad under my saddle for cushioning, it doesn't add any bulk but it really povides nice shock absorbancy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good deal MIEventer, and that's fine...my friend actually just kinda threw it out there as a "well, maybe you could try..." after she basically said the same thing you did...guess the 1/2 pad will have to go!! :-( Oh well, I don't want it if it's causing the saddle to rub on her back!!! She doesn't seem to be bothered by it, but it can't feel good!
 

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Have you tried riding in the saddle with just a baby pad underneath and then looking at the sweat or dirt pattern for hot spots? If the saddle fits correctly, you shouldn't need anything bulky underneath. As others pointed out, it defeats the point of a correctly fitting saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Have you tried riding in the saddle with just a baby pad underneath and then looking at the sweat or dirt pattern for hot spots? If the saddle fits correctly, you shouldn't need anything bulky underneath. As others pointed out, it defeats the point of a correctly fitting saddle.
Not a baby pad, but when I first got the saddle I did ride with only a thin AP pad underneath and no half pad...and I don't believe there were hot spots, but now I'm second guessing myself LOL...and of course now with it being in the teens and twenties every day, when I do ride she doesn't get sweaty so I can't tell now until the spring I guess?? :-(

Just out of curiosity, what SHOULD the sweat marks look like if the saddle is fitting properly?
 

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The sweat marks should be uniform from left to right in nature....what appears on the near side should appear on the far side.

Any dry patches are reason for concern. :-(
 

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I use a Thinline trifecta pad under my saddle for cushioning, it doesn't add any bulk but it really povides nice shock absorbancy.
I second this idea. I was using a 1/2 pad for a while just for cushioning for my horse. After advice on here, I decided to buy a ultra thinline trifecta. It works great, and i love the shock absorbency (and an added benefit is that I can defiantly do sitting trot better when using the pad:D).

The thinline pads to not alter saddle fit either. Here's the pad on my horse

 

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Discussion Starter #19
The sweat marks should be uniform from left to right in nature....what appears on the near side should appear on the far side.

Any dry patches are reason for concern. :-(
Thanks for the info...that's pretty much what I figured...and I've never noticed any uneven spots near compared to far side. But now I'm wondering if I ever noticed any dry spots when she got sweaty over the summer...and I can't recall...I'm just going to go back to not using the half pad again, I had no real reason to start using it in the first place, other than for extra padding "just in case". But if Sandie doesn't need it, it seems to be doing more harm than good!
 

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I forgot to add, if the rub marks are on both sides, that's a sign on side to side movement. Try putting the saddle directly on her back with the girth attached and then see if you can rock it easily from side to side. It will move a little, but if it's really pronounced, then there's your problem. I had a similar problem that was solved by using a narrower gullet.
 
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