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Dressage saddle pad for the well-upholstered horse

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  • Dressage saddle pad for the well-upholstered horse

    Hi. My PRE is (take your pick) chubby, tubby, well upholstered, fluffy, chunky, well rounded. He doesn’t have fat pads, but you can’t find his ribs without a running start and his leptin level is too high. He is the ultimate easy keeper, fat on air and ration balancer. Apparently this is a breed characteristic, but since we can’t feed him any less (he isn’t getting any hard feed and his hay is mediocre) we are trying to address the weight issue with a second ride a day. Anyway, so that’s the CYA part. We are not in denial that he is fat, the vet’s been called in, we are taking all available action.

    But he’s still fat, to the extent that many dressage pads aren’t cut generously enough for his generous gut. The front and back of the pads tend to roll. He isn’t mutton withered, but many of the high cut withers don’t want to stay in place, so we need a moderate wither. He’s a sweater, so a wicking lining is a plus.

    What doesnt work: Ovation, Roma, Professionals Choice, Weatherbeeta,

    Any suggestions? Please under $60.

    Thank you you for the help

  • #2
    Have you tried the Ogilvie baby pads? Their dressage pads are cut nice and high in the wither, without being overboard, and they have a nice wicking, non slip type lining to them that keeps them in place. They are my go to pads for my chubster. They are also quite deep and come in 2 dressage sizes. They wear like iron...I have a couple that are going on 6 years old and look great.

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    • #3
      I use and love the PRI saddle pads. I have also used (still use in crazy warm weather) the "half pads or baby pads" - very thin but a full-size dressage pad from Dressage Extensions. Had my saddle fitter out on Tues, she thought the PRI pad, plus the overlaying thin neoprene "no slip" pad didn't affect the saddle fit. I usually "tuck" the front and back of the saddle pad more into the gullet of the saddle when saddling and before tightening the girth.
      Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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      • #4
        Toklat makes an oversize or XL in quite a few styles.

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        • #5
          For my PRE, who perhaps isn't quite as rotund, but isn't a twig either, I use Lemieux pads. They have their suede style collection and a few colors available in cotton. I recently tried the Weatherbeeta Prime saddle pad and really liked it. I haven't tried the similar model by Woof Wear yet.

          Mine is also a heavy sweater, and the Weatherbeeta dries faster, but it seems as though you've tried that brand (and model?) and it didn't work out.

          Mine isn't as much if an airfern as yours, but I do feed him a majority of his hay in a slow feed net if you haven't considered that already. Last year he almost needed a muzzle for grazing when he was out of work for a bit, but typically exercise keeps his figure under control. So maybe try a slow feed net or muzzle if you haven't already. I'm so paranoid with these guys about laminitis and insulin resistance.

          Mine would think that his life is basically over if he had to work twice a day *gasp* but the increased exercise may not be a bad thing for your guy. I did do some trot and canter/gallop sets last year to help with cardio.

          I know you only came here for saddle pad input, but I couldn't help myself.

          Edited to add: if the saddle fits, you could still try a very thin grip or gel pad. I did use an Acavallo pad (thinnest I could find) when my horse had some movement due to his shape. That seemed to help at the time.

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          • #6
            What a timely thread for ME, PREconvert! My mare (a Rubinesque Hanoverian) is having similar issues. I've tried different girths, pads, pushing the saddle WAAAY back. No luck yet. Trying to do anything to avoid buying a new saddle, though that's probably what I'm looking at...

            What's every9ne's opinion on "non-slip" saddle pads, like the one made by Toklat?

            I may have to dig out my Christ sheepskin bareback pad to use till my saddle fitter can come...

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post
              For my PRE, who perhaps isn't quite as rotund, but isn't a twig either, I use Lemieux pads. They have their suede style collection and a few colors available in cotton. I recently tried the Weatherbeeta Prime saddle pad and really liked it. I haven't tried the similar model by Woof Wear yet.

              Mine is also a heavy sweater, and the Weatherbeeta dries faster, but it seems as though you've tried that brand (and model?) and it didn't work out.

              Mine isn't as much if an airfern as yours, but I do feed him a majority of his hay in a slow feed net if you haven't considered that already. Last year he almost needed a muzzle for grazing when he was out of work for a bit, but typically exercise keeps his figure under control. So maybe try a slow feed net or muzzle if you haven't already. I'm so paranoid with these guys about laminitis and insulin resistance.

              Mine would think that his life is basically over if he had to work twice a day *gasp* but the increased exercise may not be a bad thing for your guy. I did do some trot and canter/gallop sets last year to help with cardio.

              I know you only came here for saddle pad input, but I couldn't help myself.

              Edited to add: if the saddle fits, you could still try a very thin grip or gel pad. I did use an Acavallo pad (thinnest I could find) when my horse had some movement due to his shape. That seemed to help at the time.
              The poor guy already has his hay in a slow feeder. He destroyed the poly ones so we moved to webbed and he found the one corner with the larger square. We are trying an even smaller holed one. He only gets 3 hours of turnout and the grass is far from lush. He MIGHT get some exercise trying to figure out how to lose the muzzle, but he’d probably get himself caught on the fence trying to pry it off (he’s kind of a doofus). More turnout wouldn’t help since he just stands there if there isn’t grass or hay. He is too lazy to even stall walk. We are out of diet restriction options. He hasn’t had a treat, let alone a piece of carrot in a year. If we limit his hay too much (so that he runs out for more than 2 hours even with the slow feeder) he chews on the wood of his stall. The poor boy is just STARVING.

              So I found a very nice college student to get on and hack him around a few evenings a week. He has no work ethic so I can’t say he’s thrilled, but she’s a h/j rider so she just gets his butt moving a bit but doesn’t ask for the hard stuff, plus she is very generous with the scratches so he is ok with it. He gets a good amount of exercise even without that - I ride 45 minutes with a 15 minute hack tacked on, one hardcore lesson once a week, and he gets a pro ride 2 times a month. He has pony feet (solid, no shoes) and a pony metabolism. Luckily, no pony attitude.

              We we use an Acavallo gel pad that gets the saddle pad to stay put once the gel pad and saddle are on, but pads like the Weatherbeeta or Professionals choice slip around before I can get the other crap on. Part of the problem is they are stiff and just slide off his rounded sides. Putting the gel directly on his back causes skin irritation. I could ride without a saddle pad and the saddle fits fine. I’d like to try the Woof Wear because in the pictures it looks like it billows out to accomdate some extra corpulence but it’s pricey.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PREconvert View Post

                The poor guy already has his hay in a slow feeder. He destroyed the poly ones so we moved to webbed and he found the one corner with the larger square. We are trying an even smaller holed one. He only gets 3 hours of turnout and the grass is far from lush. He MIGHT get some exercise trying to figure out how to lose the muzzle, but he’d probably get himself caught on the fence trying to pry it off (he’s kind of a doofus). More turnout wouldn’t help since he just stands there if there isn’t grass or hay. He is too lazy to even stall walk. We are out of diet restriction options. He hasn’t had a treat, let alone a piece of carrot in a year. If we limit his hay too much (so that he runs out for more than 2 hours even with the slow feeder) he chews on the wood of his stall. The poor boy is just STARVING.

                So I found a very nice college student to get on and hack him around a few evenings a week. He has no work ethic so I can’t say he’s thrilled, but she’s a h/j rider so she just gets his butt moving a bit but doesn’t ask for the hard stuff, plus she is very generous with the scratches so he is ok with it. He gets a good amount of exercise even without that - I ride 45 minutes with a 15 minute hack tacked on, one hardcore lesson once a week, and he gets a pro ride 2 times a month. He has pony feet (solid, no shoes) and a pony metabolism. Luckily, no pony attitude.

                We we use an Acavallo gel pad that gets the saddle pad to stay put once the gel pad and saddle are on, but pads like the Weatherbeeta or Professionals choice slip around before I can get the other crap on. Part of the problem is they are stiff and just slide off his rounded sides. Putting the gel directly on his back causes skin irritation. I could ride without a saddle pad and the saddle fits fine. I’d like to try the Woof Wear because in the pictures it looks like it billows out to accomdate some extra corpulence but it’s pricey.
                Having an easy keeper can be just as frustrating as having a hard keeper!

                If I put a pad on my horse and walk away for a second to go grab something, it moves. However if I readjust it, then out the saddle on and make sure the pad is pulled up into the gullet, it stays put during our ride. Maybe my pads are a bit more soft and well used so it's not so bad. I don't know if they've softened with wear.

                It sounds like the Ogilvy pad is thin and worth a look.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My tubby Hanoverian is on a similar diet (and is very unenthusiastic about that as well, LOL.) The pad that works really well for him is the Ogilvy baby pad mentioned above. Sadly they are expensive, but as noted above, they do wear like iron and wash up like new, so I figure they are worth the $$.
                  **********
                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                  -PaulaEdwina

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