Is there a saddle pad that will help a too wide western saddle? The gullet is not really wide, but the angle of the bars flare out, and don't follow the angle of the shoulder. This horse does not yet have sunken area behind the withers so I don't know if the pads that fill in a gap will help or hurt. Anyone have a similar situation?
Going to have to say no. You can add pads, fill it up, but with the wrong angles of the tree, saddle is going to make marks, white spots, soreness, on the horse after using it.
If the tree is wrong, you just can't change it. Pinch points may be padded, but STILL getting lots more weight than they should be when riding that saddle. I call the white hairs on an ill-fitted horse "the marks of shame" because owner preferred the saddle for themselves to ride (my favorite saddle!), or the looks of saddle showing (This saddle is a Chavez or xxx, etc!), over the horse's well-being or comfort.
I have gone thru about 6 saddles to FINALLY have one that seems to work with my horses. With their breeding so similar, they all are built and fit a saddle the same way. I will be putting in a lot more time riding as the weather breaks, before I decide if this model tree is IT for getting a second one. I AM HOPEFUL that we have finally found a good fit in all areas of the tree. Just bad weather to try riding in the outside ring. LOTS of water in the footing, so not worth the effort right now. Everything felt good sitting on him in the barn aisle, walking around the front turnaround. No pinch points under the saddle with a rider on, short back tree, comfortable seat for the rider.
Good luck hunting, and don't settle for "almost fits" in a Western saddle. I had a "pretty good fit" on the previous saddle, but I didn't quit looking, and the current one is a better fit. The ONLY issue is that the writing proclaims me as the All-Around Champion Cowboy on the fenders. So I have a LOT to live up to when I ride out in that saddle!!
No, there is no padding that can be done to fix angles that don't match. As the previous poster said, it's just going to cause more weight in certain areas, rather than distributing the weight like a proper fitting saddle does. Saddle fitting is a pain for us and a pain for the horse if we don't do it properly.
And goodhors, we give my friend a lot of crap because her saddle claims that she is "Champion Senior Pole Bender", which gives us many ways to interpret.