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Saddle pad woes

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  • Saddle pad woes

    I ride in a Schleese Link II and have recently started to have saddle pad problems. I recently had the saddle adjusted but cant attribute the problem to the saddle fit.

    When I tack up I pull the pad into the channel and then tighten the girth. After we warm up and start working and his back is nicely up and soft the pad seems to be pushed down onto his back and is wearing the hair off behind the saddle and a little bit on the withers.

    I have been riding the last two days without a pad and he seems more willing to work and to give me his back. He went better without a pad than with a pad.

    So 2 questions.....do I really need a pad? and if so what wont shift like this?

  • #2
    How recently was your saddle adjusted? It takes a good 2-3 weeks to break in the wool that was added. It's possible the saddle is simply compressing or sinking down as you warm up. This might go away with time. What you can do as you warm up is keep checking the pad and pull up on it into the pommel. Also re-check your girth b/c if it's loose it can make your pad move around and "bind" over the wither.

    No, you don't technically have to use a pad, so if that works best, go for it.


    • #3
      How much wither clearance does your pad actually have? You can look for a pad like this:


      Pads shaped like that give extra clearance through the whole gullet area.


      • #4
        you do not have to use a pad, as mentioned earlier, but then you do have to clean your saddle every ride. In my youth it was fashionable to show without a pad.

        Three things that may cause the pad to pull down, the straps that fold around the billets, i usually cut mine off,

        not enough wither relief, i like pads that are shaped like the one dwblover posted

        the strap that goes around the girth is pulling the pad down.

        i do hate when the saddle pad pulls tight across the withers and back.

        good luck


        • #5

          I like pads under the saddle because they are breathable and provide a padded barrier for sweat.

          in my experience, the pad bearing down on the withers depends on the pad shape and your saddle. The high-withers pads don't often work well on lower withered horses becuse the front sinks down and the pad bunches at the girth. Saddle pads with a mild wither rise grasped at both ends and lifted into the channel of the saddle shouldn't flatten out and bind at the withers unless there is a problem with the pad or the saddle fit or the girth being too loose.

          Some of the pads with a "smooth" underside flatten more than those with a "flannel" underside, which seem to retain a little grip on the fur of the horse.

          The variety of shapes and material composition available on the market ensures comfort for pretty much all horses these days.

          Alternatively, your horse's conformation and the way you ride the horse also can dictate what happens to your saddle pad. Do you have a good instructor or a good friend who can lend you some pads, lend you advice, and see what works?

          good luck!
          Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


          • #6
            on the fur of the horse
            Horses don't have *fur*, they have hair


            • #7
              Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
              Horses don't have *fur*, they have hair
              In winter, mine has fur!
              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

              Originally posted by LauraKY
              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
              HORSING mobile training app


              • #8
                Originally posted by J-Lu View Post

                I like pads under the saddle because they are breathable and provide a padded barrier for sweat.

                in my experience, the pad bearing down on the withers depends on the pad shape and your saddle. The high-withers pads don't often work well on lower withered horses becuse the front sinks down and the pad bunches at the girth. <SNIP>
                good luck!
                Yup, Sophie doesn't do well in the shaped pads. She is broadbacked with low withers
                These work but are expensive
                I wasn't always a Smurf
                Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                • #9
                  I would agree you do not need a saddle pad if the saddle fits well.
                  My other question would be what are you washing you saddle pad in? I know that I have to be very careful what I use on my saddle pad becasue one of my geldings goes bald on the withers and under the flap area from the saddle pad. It was the detergent I was using. I use all white pads and wash them with a little bleach and deft or woolite as it is very gentle. I also have found you really should change the pad after every two rides just from the stand point of grime and dirt that might be rubbing in those areas. In my case the saddle I know fits him perfectly but it was what I was using to wash the pad. You may also want to try a thinner pad.
                  Just something to consider............ it might help.
                  "Ask often, demand little, reward generously"
                  " Every horse has a chocolate side"


                  • #10
                    What about just using a fleece half pad? The fleece on the underside should prevent rubbing and shouldn't come in contact with anything that would pull it down to bind across the withers or back. It will allow the back to breathe and protect your saddle panels.
                    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will try the pad with extra contoring and see if that helps. The Link II does not have exposed billets so I cannot use the straps higher up on the pad or half pad. I can only use the straps at the bottom of the pad. The wither rubbing is minor but he has almost bald spots at the rear of the pad. There is no rubbing anywhere under the saddle itself, just at the margins of the pads i was using.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                        Horses don't have *fur*, they have hair


                        • #13
                          Lettia coolmax Proseries dressage pad. Works great for us, my horse is much happier.


                          • #14
                            I stand corrected. No difference between fur and hair

                            While there is some debate about this, most scientists agree that there is no real difference between fur and hair. Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/what-is-the-difference-between-fur-and-hair#ixzz1Drg9n7pa


                            • #15
                              I have never had saddle pad issues until I bought my County Perfection. This saddle was made for my horse too and I have the fitter out 4-5 times since I bought it last year.

                              The pad starts out just as the OP described. Then as I ride it gets tight across the withers. As I ride, the pad starts to slide back. If I didn't use the girth loop or billet straps, It would be gone.

                              It doesn't matter what type of pad I use. The same pads were used with my old saddle, Prestige 2000D without issue. In fact, I never had to use the straps and cut them off a lot of the pads.

                              The last trip out, the fitter re-designed the panels that come down along the shoulder. But I still have slipping issues. I am not happy after spending all that money for this saddle but I have no idea what else to do.

                              Even a non-slip pad under the pad doesn't work. The saddle never moves and he goes great.

                              Good luck and if you figure something out, let me know the trick;-)


                              • Original Poster

                                Arbee....maybe its a Jersey thing? You described the problem exactly. I cannot use the billet straps as the Link"s billets are not exposed that high up. If I did not use the girth strap the pad would be gone in ten minutes of riding.

                                I am riding that last few days without a pad and he had been going better than ever. I am ok with that, pads are a habit but would like one for the summer.

                                On the other hand, in the spirit of "taking things off" I removed his drop noseband (selected for his overly moving mouth as the regular noseband did nothing.) and VOILA!!! He came sweetly and quickly to my hand and was up light and responsive. we had a fabulous ride.....Never too late to learn.


                                • #17
                                  I hate to say it, but I don't think your saddle fits. (Says she ducking...) My saddle pad has just started to work its way out the back of the saddle, it has to be because the saddle is rocking. In your case I think the pommel is probably rocking up and down (in my case the cantel). Even if it is just a very small amount (small enough that you don't notice), it will move the saddle pad. It's got to be movement, there is no other reason it could happen.

                                  So sorry, I hate saddle woes.

                                  Good luck.


                                  • #18
                                    Might be worth a try
                                    I wasn't always a Smurf
                                    Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                                    • #19
                                      I use the puffy Passier pad, which has no billet straps and DOES NOT MOVE or rub, on one of my horses that is hard to fit with normal pads. They have a cut out gullet. Pricey, but last forever and wash up very well. I have one that has been used almost daily for 4 years, still looks good though slightly faded. Dover has them.


                                      • #20
                                        [QUOTE=skykingismybaby1;5426664]Arbee....maybe its a Jersey thing? You described the problem exactly. I cannot use the billet straps as the Link"s billets are not exposed that high up. If I did not use the girth strap the pad would be gone in ten minutes of riding.QUOTE]

                                        That is a thought....but I board and ride him in PA;-)

                                        The difference with this saddle and my old one is he does have bigger shoulder movement. The saddle naturally sits off the shoulder and a little further back than my other. That is why the fitter took all the wool flocking out of the front panel. He left the top 1/4 flocked. The pad starts to move at the bottom by the girth 1st. Then the top gets pulled down. From that point everything heads back.

                                        So now that the flocking is less, there is less bulging at the lower part of his shoulder which the fitter thought was the cause. It does move less but there is still movement...

                                        My other saddle did not fit him any more and that was the reason for buying a new saddle. But it did have a point billet which this one does not. Sometimes I wonder if that may be the reason.