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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2008
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    1,014

    Default Can a well fitting saddle leave dry spots on both sides of the spine?

    I have a fairly new saddle. When I take it off, if my horse has sweat, there are 2 dry spots, symmetrically placed on either side of my horses backbone, behind the withers. I have 2 friends with new saddles,,,they say they have the same spots....I think it is called bridging. Today, someone told me she has had in her lifetime 3 very expensive saddles and they all did this. SO, my obvious question, is it normal?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
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    6,257

    Default

    actually it is my understanding that it can be. That area is in constant motion, therefore air will get in there and keep it dry... at least that's what one saddle fitter told me.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2010
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    VA
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    1,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trafalgar View Post
    I have a fairly new saddle. When I take it off, if my horse has sweat, there are 2 dry spots, symmetrically placed on either side of my horses backbone, behind the withers. I have 2 friends with new saddles,,,they say they have the same spots....I think it is called bridging. Today, someone told me she has had in her lifetime 3 very expensive saddles and they all did this. SO, my obvious question, is it normal?
    This is not unusual. Unless it is making your horse sore, I wouldn't worry about it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
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    Default

    Guess I would consult another saddle fitter, since I would be upset at finding dry spots behind his withers. Means he is not getting even pressure, may end up with white spots in time. I did that to my old horse in ONE work session, using a saddle that didn't fit her right. Had to look at those *^# spots for the rest of her LONG life and know 'I' messed her up, COULD have avoided doing that.

    Sorry, if horse has a dry spot under his saddle after being used, something needs changing. At times maybe just using a different pad can help, thick and cushy over the ENTIRE back to spread the load, instead of those thin, no protection pads favored by many riders.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2011
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    901

    Default

    Just because it's 'very expensive' doesn't mean that it fits your horse.

    It may be as simple as sliding your saddle back two inches so that it is sitting behind the wither more. It may just take a padding change.

    I bought a saddle last fall and it fit both of my horses. All winter, no problems then this spring, both horses gained weight and I started seeing dry patches.

    I bought this shimmable half pad and was able to correct the fit and stop the dry patches in 1 try. The other horse I haven't figured out how to fix, but I do notice that the sweat patterns change depending on how I shim it. So I am holding out hope that I can correct the pinching.

    A bad saddle fit may never bother your horse, or it could cause them pain for the short or long term... Why take that gamble?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2003
    Location
    Virginia Hunt Country
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    854

    Default

    Here's a good short youtube video about dry spots.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aRFWvnpcJY
    "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2013
    Posts
    590

    Default

    Our saddle fitter says similar things as the guy in the video. Thank you, Paks, for posting it.

    I would definitely have the spots checked by a good saddle fitter, plus check for soreness.

    Our saddle fitter says, he does not put all his faith into wet marks. He says, he saw horrific soreness caused by a saddle with evenly distributed sweat marks. On the other hand, there are dry spots that do not cause any soreness.

    When I first got our saddle last year, it looked all even and yet sored him a tiny bit. The fitter came to refit it and there would be dry spots.

    These spots will get wet, when ride is strenuous, except, our rides are rarely strenuous, ha, ha. We are a great match, as we both like to take it easy.

    Never mind. I was very worried about the dry spots first and had them checked for soreness. Nothing (that tiny bit went away). Horse seemed happier with the fit also.

    Saddle fitter came out again, checked the fit thoroughly, did not change anything, and explained the trouble with the various ways to interpret dry spots.
    Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. - A.A.Milne



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2008
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    Default

    Thank you all esp PAKS..that was a very helpful video.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2011
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    276

    Default

    Just the information I needed. I am in the process of trying a saddle to buy. A saddle fitter was selling the saddle for a client so she came and fit it to my horse when dropping it off for trial. I had a hard ride yesterday and noticed dry stop the same size and position on both sides. So I got worried and started researching and basically everything he said in the video is what she said as she was fitting him.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2011
    Location
    WNC
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    THANK YOU for that video! I have exactly the same type of dry spots and do distance riding, so my horse is being check before, during, after our rides, with never any back issues. And yet those dry spots gave me pause. Such a relief to see an expert say it's not a problem. (Which doesn't mean I won't keep watching them to see if anything changes)
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2008
    Posts
    2,637

    Default

    When we say "dry spots," do we mean literally dry? Mine are "light" spots, but they aren't dry. Pictures -- and this is from a treeless, trail-type saddle.

    Left side
    From the top
    From the top, different day.
    Right side, different day.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



  12. #12
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    Dec. 12, 2008
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    Default

    I just saw this....yes that is what mine look like..



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 18, 2006
    Location
    The back woods of FLA.
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    Default

    I too, want to thank you Paks for that video- very informative. Also as a aside and by all means not trying to hijack the thread-but did any of you watch what he recommends to clean tack with in the other video-Dawn dish soap! Hmmm....... who knew.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."-Hunter S. Thompson



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2012
    Posts
    597

    Default

    Add me to the list of people who are grateful for the video.

    Both my horses get the symmetrical dry (actually not dry, but lighter, as I know now!) spots behind the withers. They get smaller and damper when the horses are fit. I have always worried about them, though neither one has shown any signs of soreness over the last 6 years.

    They are def. NOT pressure spots, the hair is perfectly smooth when I unpack.

    Great info!
    "I’m precisely the sort of mouthy, ambitious, slutty feminist banshee who haunts their nightmares" - Laurie Penny



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