To give a little background: I have a older 16'2 QH that is built more like a Thoroughbred because he is out of QH racing bloodlines. He has medium high withers, is narrow through the shoulders, and has a lower back. While his conformation flaws are not extreme compared to other horse I've seen, he still can be a challenge to fit a saddle to.
The saddle that I have currently fits him well, and the only improvement could be raising the cantle slightly so that the seat is level. I know the ideal situation would be to have a saddle that fits perfectly without any correction pads, but I am a poor college student, and funds are limited!
I am currently looking at the Mattes rear riser pad, and the mattes correction pad (both sheepskin). What is everyone's opinion on using the correction pad with rear shims to give lift? Is there enough lift with the shims compared with the rear riser pad? Also, is the correction pad the same thickness as a regular Mattes half pad, just with the addition of being able to add shims?
I like the idea of being able to adjust shims with the correction pad vs. being locked in with the rear riser pad.
Let me know what you all think!
I ride with rear shims on two of my horses. If you don't think a single shim gives enough of a rise you can stack shims on top of each other and achieve the same lift as an actual riser pad. But thickness of the pad relative to your horse and saddle is important.
My young horse has a County saddle that fits well but is a tiny bit wide. I use a Mattes pad with shims in the back for that horse/saddle. Because the Mattes pads are pretty thick it makes the saddle fit nicely and achieves the rear lift.
My TB has a County that fits him like a glove. A Mattes pad would be way too thick to allow the saddle to fit like it does, so I have a Thinline pad with pockets for shims and I shim up the back of the Thinline pad.
I think you just have to look at how the saddle fits and find a pad that matches the thickness you'd like to add. I have 4 options that I rotate between based on the horse's condition. My TB changes shape and size frequently, my youngster is a moving target because he's still growing, and the others stay the same most of the time and therefore get the same pads used on them day in and day out. But I've got:
1) Thinline pad with shims (the thinnest pad of my group)
2) An Ecogold pad that I can shim (medium "weight")
3) A Mattes pad that I can shim (thick-ish)
4) A Fleeceworks pad that is close to the same thickness as the Mattes pad, but I surgically removed the wither roll of sheepskin on my Mattes pad so it's a bit less fluff up front.
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
Thank you both for the replies! Very informative
I know of a Mattes correction pad that is in near new condition and less than half of what they cost new... so hopefully I can buy it! Either way I'll have to post picture links of the "final" fit on my horse. Thanks again! If anyone else has comments, bring em my way!