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Saddle slipping forward - suggestions?

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  • Saddle slipping forward - suggestions?

    I ride my roly-poly, medium tree, no-withered German Riding Pony mare in a Wintec Isabelle (medium gullet). Granted, the saddle doesn't fit her perfectly, but she doesn't seem to be uncomfortable in it. However, I am having an issue with the saddle slipping forward onto her shoulders, which means I have to constantly get off to adjust it. I will eventually (!) be getting a new, properly fitted saddle, but until then, does anyone have any suggestions for keeping the saddle from slipping forward? I do NOT want to use a crupper (ick!) or a foregirth. Is there anything I can put under the saddle to keep it back? What about a Thinline pad? I read they can be put on the horse under the tack, and they feature non-slip characteristics, but the impression I got from the website was that the non-slip is on the TOP of the pad, not the bottom (where it would touch the horse). Anyone use a Thinline pad this way? Did it work? Any other suggestions? Thanks so much!
    Designer Sport Ponies...never go out of style!
    **Breeding quality riding ponies for dressage and sport**
    www.designersportponies.com - UNDER CONSTRUCTION

  • #2
    Often if the saddle slips forward it's a sign that the tree is too narrow. You could try a wider gullet in the saddle and see if that helps.

    Do a wither tracing: take a flexible curve that you can buy in a Staples or other stationery store, place it over the horse's back so that it drapes about 2 inches behind the horse's shoulder on either side. Trace the inside of the curve onto a piece of cardboard or poster board. You can then use the tracing as a rough indicator of whether the medium tree/gullet is too narrow.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


    • #3
      My wintec started doing that recently. Saddle fitter came out yesterday- broken tree. Luckily, they have a lifetime tree warrenty, so I can send my saddle back and get another one. I've had several friends this year with a wintec that had a broken tree.


      • #4
        I had the identical problem with my saddle and tried a friend's ThinLine pad. It was OK, but definitely didn't solve the problem entirely. And you need to use ONLY the ThinLine. Nothing else.

        I agree that the tree may be too narrow. Or, in my case, your horse could be getting wider through the hindquarters and mid-section while his shoulders stay narrow and baby-like. The joys of a three year old!
        Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


        • #5
          One of my trainers has a pony for her daughter that usually wears a crupper, well one show they forgot it so they used a thin cotton wrap (like what you put on before a standing wrap, sorry im having a dumb moment and can't remember the name), basically you fold it a couple of times and put it under the saddle on the withers, as long as it doesn't pinch. It might work, it worked for that pony.


          • #6
            a friend of mine used a wet chamois under her pads to keep saddle from slipping.
            In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


            • Original Poster

              Definitely not too narrow...

              I've checked the gullet width numerous times, and she's definitely a medium (the problem got worse with a med-wide or a wide gullet). And I'm sure the tree isn't broken (I got my coach to check it and see, just in case). I don't really want anything that will ride up on her shoulders... I saw a friend of mine had a "foregirth pad" made by ELT Paris - kind of like a regular half pad with sort of a dense foam-y "ridge" build into the front of it that the saddle can't shift beyond - has anyone else seen these? My friend can't remember where she got it, and I thought it was a great idea! Grrr... Any ideas?
              Designer Sport Ponies...never go out of style!
              **Breeding quality riding ponies for dressage and sport**
              www.designersportponies.com - UNDER CONSTRUCTION


              • #8
                That weird shelf paper that is rubbery and has little holes in it works like a champ- they're even sewing it to pads now. A roll of that is CHEAP. But I agree with the others- check the tree fit.


                • #9
                  A foregirth, unfortunately, is probably going to be your best option. I have an Oldenburg gelding whose back is pear shaped; narrow at the withers, wide below, with just enough space to let the saddle end up on his withers 15 minutes into the ride. I went through saddle after saddle after saddle with him, until I got one with a point billet. It acts like a foregirth and keeps the saddle in place. I tried wide trees, narrow trees, and everything in between before that, but it was the point billet that did the trick. I have an old Crosby Freestyle that fits him great (and seems to work on every other horse I try it on, too! ).
                  In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                  A life lived by example, done too soon.


                  • #10
                    I have a Friesian who is very wide but has no withers, and her saddle is always riding up her shoulders.

                    I got one of these pads for under the saddle pad, and problem seems to be solved!



                    • #11
                      Cross The Billets

                      I've had the same problem with my dutch mare in the past. She is very short-backed. If the saddle was too long front to back and the panels were too straight, her lower back would push the saddle onto her shoulders. I finally found the solution. First of all, my Schleese Wave has panels that curve up at the rear so nothing rests on her lower back. Second, the tree at the front curves backwards freeing her shoulders. Lastly (and Mr. Schleese himself showed me this) attach the front saddle billet to the rear girth buckle. Then attach the rear saddle billet to the front girth buckle. Be sure that the point where they cross is on the saddle itself, not the horse's side. Always be sure the front billet is under the rear. This works great! Also, Nunn Finer makes a thin non-slip pad that goes directly on the horse's back. Good luck, I'll be interested to see if crossing the billets makes a difference with your horse.


                      • #12
                        Call Thinline.

                        I talked to them and they suggested several things for my horse. They did say that to get the non-slip benefits, the thinline went between the pad and the saddle, not under the pad.

                        I tried the thinline both under the pad and over it. It got returned because it was too thick. I haven't re-ordered the thinner one yet because I'm trying a few other things to help the situation.

                        Does your horse have a forward girthline also?

                        Mine does and I think that's why some of these things haven't solved it....

                        I've used the wet leather shammy, it helps some in my experience, but not enough by itself.

                        Crossing my billets has helped some too, just not enough to solve it.

                        I was not impressed by the Nunn Finer pad.

                        The shelf-paper style grippy stuff just got bunched up and abused -- it couldn't hold up against the amount of forward slippage - again, IME.


                        • #13
                          I really like the Barnsby pads:



                          They are a little pricey, but everyone I know who has one also likes them. I've only bought them from my local tack shop, but I think a few website sell them.


                          • #14
                            Have you tried a fore girth pad. They come in full square pads or half pads and they have big rubber "bumpers" at the front to keep the saddle from sliding up onto their shoulders. They sell them at Roddicks in Ladner (I noticed you are from Langley).


                            • #15
                              The Nunn Finer non-slip pad works brilliantly for any saddle slip issues. I was very happy with it for my non-withers Friesian cross.



                              • #16
                                My wintec is doing the same thing on my wide mare. Saddle fitter is coming out...I suspect it doesn't fit as well as it could.

                                Other saddles did not slide that were wider, but she is always going to have a tendency towards this.

                                The nun finer pad is good, but it gets hot quickly.


                                • #17
                                  Just curious, why won't you use a crupper?
                                  Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                                  • #18
                                    IMO, cruppers are less than ideal for dressage horses, because a dressage horse needs to relax through its back and move the energy through the back from the hindquarters to the bridle. Hard to do, if your tail is holding your saddle from sliding up on your withers.
                                    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                    A life lived by example, done too soon.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ESG View Post
                                      IMO, cruppers are less than ideal for dressage horses, because a dressage horse needs to relax through its back and move the energy through the back from the hindquarters to the bridle. Hard to do, if your tail is holding your saddle from sliding up on your withers.
                                      A proper driving horse needs to do the same thing, and all are complete with cruppers.
                                      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Margaret Freeman View Post
                                        The Nunn Finer non-slip pad works brilliantly for any saddle slip issues. I was very happy with it for my non-withers Friesian cross.


                                        I use one of these between the pad and the saddle and it works well for my pear-shaped wonder. I also have her in a Wintec Isabell.
                                        Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation