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Half-pad substitute?

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  • Half-pad substitute?

    My saddle is lovely...except for the slightly lumpy panels (it's old-ish but in fabulous condition otherwise). I can't afford to have the saddle fitter out, and decent half pads (and other back-relief pads) are also not budget-friendly right now. Do you have any substitutes for half-pads or back relief pads?
    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
    If I smell like manure, I tripped.

  • #2
    My advice? Forget about pads. In my massage business, I run into more issues from owners trying to pad up saddles that are not quite right. If the panels are lumpy and/or uneven, the saddle is not doing you or your horse any favors, however nice it may be.

    Is the saddle currently bothering the horse? If not, I'd strongly suggest you start squirreling away pennies to get a good saddle fitter out to restuff it. Don't blow money on new pads that aren't going to make a difference anyway. Tuck the money you have to spend on a pad now into an envelope for saddle fitting and add to it as often as you can. Even tiny amounts can add up relatively quickly. Depending on where you are located, you can get a well-qualified independent fitter to do an evaluation and complete custom restuff for $150 or less.

    If it is bothering the horse, my advice is the same, but I'll add you should ride bareback or borrow a good-fitting, well-stuffed saddle for the interim.

    I know this is not what you hoped to hear, but it's the best advice I have to offer, and truly what I think is the best course of action for your horse and for you.
    Equinox Equine Massage

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
    -Albert Camus


    • #3
      Originally posted by DottieHQ View Post
      My saddle is lovely...except for the slightly lumpy panels (it's old-ish but in fabulous condition otherwise). I can't afford to have the saddle fitter out, and decent half pads (and other back-relief pads) are also not budget-friendly right now. Do you have any substitutes for half-pads or back relief pads?
      Will your saddle fitter let you do the work of doing the measurements and then they just restuff the saddle?

      A memory foam pad might help, but it just seems to me like getting a mattress pad to fix a lumpy bed...the pad can only do so much. If you have a foam store (like Foam King) they may be able to cut you a suitable peice of foam for very little expense.
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by CHT View Post
        Will your saddle fitter let you do the work of doing the measurements and then they just restuff the saddle?
        It's the re-stuffing that's just not doable right now...where I am it costs about $300, give or take $50. The fitting with flocking adjustments alone is averaging about $125.
        If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
        If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
        If I smell like manure, I tripped.


        • #5
          Can you borrow a saddle while you save up to have yours redone? I know it's tough when money is tight, but a horse with a sore back is going to cost you LOT more than the $300 for the re-stuffing (apart from the guilt-thing you'll have going on).

          I have tried those pressure-adjusting pads such as thinline and honestly don't think they would do the trick.
          "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht