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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006

    Default saddle fit and "reading" a saddle pad - would this concern you?

    Kind of gross but here is the saddle pad in question:

    Would you be worried about saddle fit with these impressions? The cantle is to the left, pommel to the right.

    Am I being paranoid or is there reason to be worried?

  2. #2


    I'm not the most experienced, but here's what I was taught:
    Dirt can be really misleading. Reading a saddle pad is done with a clean pad, and looking for sweat patterns (not dirt or wear), and here's why: if a saddle pinches or puts too much pressure on a certain point, the sweat glands can't function properly, and don't produce sweat. Over time, these pressure points deteriorate muscle and can even cause permanent or really-hard-to-fix damage. The sweat glands not sweating is the key mark of bad fit.
    So start with a clean pad, saddle up normally, ride till he's good and sweaty, and look at the sweat marks right away (this is sometimes easier on a darker or colored pad). There should be a pretty clear patch of saddle-shaped sweat. If there's patches of dry where there should be sweat, then you know where the problems are.
    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009


    Agree, start with clean horse & clean pad & look for sweat - really a Port Lewis Impression type pad gives you a better idea of what's happening but even those are subject to "fails" ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Azle, Teh-has


    ya you can't read dirt.

    Basically what that pad tells you is that, like every saddle, there is a point billet that hold the saddle very still right over the wither.
    Then the back portion of the saddle moves around with the movement of rider and horse's rib cage and make dirt impressions.

    You have to get the horse good and sweaty.
    or, sometimes what I do is after hosing the horse (before scraping) throw the saddle up there, push down evenly on it and then take it off.
    you can see the water marks to know if it sits evenly on the horse. This is useful for detecting bridging.
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt


    I was taught to take a clean square of cotton sheeting and put it under the saddle with no pad.

    If you're looking at how the saddle works with a pad, put the sheeting under the pad.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY


    Is this a Rorschach test? I see someone floating on a lake in the Oscar Mayer Weeniemobile.
    "Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001


    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    Is this a Rorschach test? I see someone floating on a lake in the Oscar Mayer Weeniemobile.

    purplnurlp that's a great tip! Thanks.

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