View Full Version : when they don't have withers yet--keeping your saddle in place

Oct. 14, 2009, 10:06 PM
I have a 3 yo that has no withers right now and is shaped drastically different from my 15 yo TB. The 3 yo (although smaller) is very wide in the saddle area and has no withers to speak of. My barn buddies have been graciously letting me try all their saddles to see if something will work. I have found 2 that fit her. But no matter HOW tight the girth is--they slip off to the left or right at times while I'm riding. I am not familiar with this problem as my last two horses both had shark fin withers halfway down their backs that held my saddle in place like duct tape.

So, since she will be growing and changing for the next few years--I am not going to buy a saddle right now. But with the borrowed saddles that fit--anyone have any tricks to keeping them in place? I have seen foregirths used before--but I think those are to keep the saddle from moving forward.

Couture TB
Oct. 14, 2009, 10:54 PM
I use overgirths on horses like that. It is a nylong girth that goes over the seat of your saddle and regular girth area. Let's you get it extra secure.

Oct. 15, 2009, 01:40 PM
You can also try a no-slip pad, which is just a thin piece of neoprene (or something that seems exactly like neoprene to me) which goes under the saddle pads, directly on the horses back.

Oct. 15, 2009, 02:19 PM
A breastplate will also help... or even a crupper, if your horse will tolerate it!

Oct. 15, 2009, 06:30 PM
Breastplate, definitely. They are also nice to have when baby decides to be goofy. Nice to have something to hang on to!

As a 3 and 4 year old, Vernon changed shape so many times, I could barely keep up. I found changing saddle pad configuration when the saddle would start to slip around would often help. We'd go from just a plain pad, to a plain pad and a half pad, to a polypad, and back again and every combination in between. If you have options in saddle pads, you can often fix minor fit issues pretty easily.

A neoprene girth is also a nice thing to have, as the stickiness does help a bit.

Oct. 15, 2009, 06:34 PM
neoprene girth, no slip pad, and breastplate. That's what I had to use on my friend's 3yr old paint/tb. It was strange looking down and not having withers!

Oct. 15, 2009, 07:03 PM
i have two with no withers.... no slip pad is a must, along with a good breastplate and thick saddle pad.

Sparky Boy
Oct. 15, 2009, 07:08 PM
i have two with no withers.... no slip pad is a must, along with a good breastplate and thick saddle pad.

Would a thin line pad work for this?

Oct. 16, 2009, 12:23 PM
does the breast plate work on a no-wither horse where the saddle wants to slip up the neck or just saddles that slip back? (I am assuming the latter...) Count me in with the nowither fat young horse--that also likes to get the hump in the back which of course tends to send the saddle up the neck...just where I do not want to be!

Sudi's Girl
Oct. 16, 2009, 03:05 PM
I'm also curious about this - My 4 year old is just very round in general, with minimal whithers - and I've so far been OK with just keeping the girth tight.

Well apparently that's causing some tightness in his pecks, so I've been told he needs a slightly looser girth. :-( He's also an ARAB. So while 99.9% of the time he is an amazingly SANE 4 year old, he still has that .1% tendency to BE an Arab and SCOOT. All of this makes me a little concerned that along with his "scoot," so will my saddle. Aaah! Is a breastplate enough??

I have the thinlines, but they say that it's meant to be placed b/w the saddle pad and the saddle... I fail to see how that would help.

Oct. 16, 2009, 06:43 PM
Have you tried a Passier - with the cutback pommel they seem to fit everything, including my no-wither Standardbred long ago.

Oct. 16, 2009, 07:39 PM
Agree with no-slip (really, you want one and can get decent sales), breastplate, and neoprene girth. Re the saddle pad, polypad was too much pad for Dub's saddle - maybe when she's less round. She can't use any pommel pads or half pads, etc. yet. Saddler said as thin a pad as possible right now, so I use a no-slip and thin square or fitted pad. But depends on your saddle too.

Oct. 18, 2009, 10:19 PM
I have a young pony with no withers, and the saddle used to be all over the place. I also have a shark-fin TB, so it was a strange problem for me too... But my trainer undid my girth one day and attached it to the first two billets instead of the first and third like I have *always* done... and somehow that has been the magic trick. It seems like such a small thing, but the saddle rarely slides anymore! Maybe the rest of the world already does that, but it's still very hard for me to break the habit of using the first and third billets. :)