Friend's horse has a bump on his spine and his current western pads rub it raw on long rides. Have tried cutting a hole, but if the pad slips too far left or right, no good. What is the best type of pad for a thin skinned type of horse that has a slightly protruding spine? He is not underweight, but a bit aged. Thanks for any suggestions.
A pad that has pockets for thick foam inserts would keep the saddle and riders weight clear of the spine. Skito makes really good ones ($$) and you can get a variety of inserts for the pad. The inserts can be removed for washing the pad. There are some western pads made that have thicker support material on each side of the spine but I'm not sure if you would find as good of a spine clearance as with the Skito.
Have her look at Supracor CoolGrip pads (they make a Western). Pricey, yes, but they are unlike any other pads out there. They use a honeycomb design originally developed for hospital patients to help prevent bedsores. Also the design actually keeps the pad up off the spine - kind of "hinged" in that area - which should really help with her spine bump.
I have been using them for trailriding for 10 years (including CTR and LD endurance) and the original two I have (one Western, one endurance style) are still in excellent condition. Which to me makes the initial price acceptable compared to going through X number of $50 pads that might not be as kind to the horse's back. For maintenance you just hose/sponge them off after a ride. FYI, mine have never rolled from side to side during rides.
It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.
If you're rubbing anywhere on a horse's spine you've got a saddle fit problem, not a pad problem. While you might use a pad to get a "short term fix" for some sort of local riding for a "long ride" it's probably a bad idea.
A slipping pad is also an indicator of poor saddle fit.
Thanks for the suggestions so far! The original bump occurred after rolling, I believe. Saddle fit could possibly be part of the problem, since even Schleese had trouble fitting him for a dressage saddle... Will pass these ideas along!