View Full Version : Western Riders - need saddle pad suggestions for prominent withers/slightly swayback
Jun. 23, 2010, 04:19 PM
I hoping someone can give me suggestions for a western saddle pad specifically for a prominent wither and slightly swayed back horse? I like the looks of the Professional Choice Air-Ride Orthosport pad. Has anyone had good luck with their pads? How about the Reinsman swayback pad? There doesn't seem to be many choices - at least that I can find. Thanks.
Jun. 23, 2010, 04:29 PM
I got my dad a really nice horse that has a nasty sway back. Instead of using a saddle pad we just tried a bunch of saddles until one fit balanced on him. We just made sure to use a nice tacky-two saddle pad and that the cantle and pommel we at the same level.
Jun. 23, 2010, 04:31 PM
We have some older horses with the kind of backs you describe and have used some pads similar to this one:
Those worked fine for them, but we were not riding them very hard either.
How much hard riding will you be doing?
Jun. 23, 2010, 04:36 PM
Bluey - No hard riding right now. Mostly walk/trot right now and not more than an hour, 4 to 5 times a week.
Jun. 23, 2010, 04:37 PM
I have the Reinsman pad, and it really does help. The bottom has a black dimpled surface (kind of no-slip), which in really hot weather might leave your horse with a sweaty back. I am really pleased with mine overall!
I got it at www.equineusaonline.com, (Stagecoach West) and they provide GREAT service!
Jun. 23, 2010, 04:55 PM
My western saddle came with a Ricotti saddle pad, best saddle pad ever
Gorgeous wool felt with gel inserts and a whither cut out. Just an awesome pad for trail riding.
here is one on special
Jun. 23, 2010, 05:01 PM
I have two of the Ortho Sport Air Ride pads. Very pleased with their durability and performance after years of using them. The heavy weight pads are thicker and therefore more fill, the rounded skirt pads are thinner and work fine to help me compensate for a horse I have that needs it...
Jun. 23, 2010, 05:03 PM
I have both a Reinsman pad like you've described and a Pro Choice ortho sport pad, for different horses, and I like them both. The black dimple underside of the Reinsman pad does seem to make their backs more wet, BUT it doesn't make their backs hotter, just damper, so that's a personal preference of whether or not you care for the material. The Reinsman pad is a thicker pad overall, but the Ortho Sport pad has those nice "withers pads" built-up on both sides, which I like for my older gelding who has a tall withers, skinny backbone, and dips behind his withers. I think they're both nice pads -- just depends which works for your horse!
Jun. 23, 2010, 05:06 PM
I had an awesome reining gelding that had high withers but not so much swaybacked. I found that which pad I used on him didn't matter but it was more about the saddle fit. I have a Martin's reining saddle and it fit him great.
Jun. 23, 2010, 05:50 PM
I bought this pad with reservations http://www.thecorrector.net/ but it works!! I will warn you that the website is hard to follow and I had to call the owner to get information but the pad works for all types of saddle fit problems. My horse was not sway backed but was very downhill and the pad made the saddle fit perfectly. My husbands horse has high withers and it works for him as well.
Jun. 23, 2010, 05:53 PM
I bought this pad with reservations http://www.thecorrector.net/ but it works!! I will warn you that the website is hard to follow and I had to call the owner to get information but the pad works for all tyoes of saddle fit problems. My horse was not sway backed but was very downhill and the pad made the saddle fir perfectly. My husbands horse has high withers and it works for him as well.
I have one of these for my English saddle, and am looking to get one for my western saddle.
Jun. 23, 2010, 07:11 PM
I love my Classic Equine ESP pad, it has memory foam and fits well. Diamond wool makes a pad with removable shims to adjust fit, and I believe Cashel now makes a pad specifically for our swaybacked friends. Worth looking into any of those pads.
Jun. 24, 2010, 12:56 AM
I have had great luck with the Diamond Wool Pressure relief pad with pockets and shims. It is nice because you can move around the shims and really get a nice fit with it. Works great for my Tb mare!
Jun. 24, 2010, 07:17 AM
I use the Biofit Correction Pad with another 3/8" wool felt pad on top. It works great for my high withered, slightly sway backed Saddlebred.
Jun. 24, 2010, 09:04 AM
I found the extra padding in the Orthosport to be in the wrong place for my high-withered guy. In any event, do not go for the Cashel swayback pad. It's neoprene, for one thing, and has no contouring--don't know how they can think a swaybacked horse can use a completely non-contoured pad! Even after you fill in the dip, the back isn't totally flat, nor should it be.
My horse with a dippy back is also very broad. I ended up making my own fill-in pad from two thin felt pads. I sacrificed one to cut small pieces to fill in his dip exactly, and then sewed the pieces on top of the other, whole pad. I use that, with the fill-ins on top, under a plain, single woven saddle blanket and it works quite well.
Jun. 24, 2010, 09:05 AM
Definitely check saddle fit. We used an impact gel pad on my high withered gaming horse. It has a wither cut out and fit him the best. We got ours on ebay with a saddle that we bought.
Jun. 24, 2010, 11:41 AM
I'm not a Western rider but my husband will be riding some so we bought him a nice used Circle Y Flextree Western Saddle. Our OTTB has a curvy back and very high withers.
This pad works great. Plus the Black Yak had this pad for way le$$ than other places we looked.