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Tell me about skid row panels...

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  • Tell me about skid row panels...

    I just purchased a used county saddle with skid row panels. I'm not really sure what they are or what it means.
    Can someone explain them to me?? thanks!

  • #2
    My saddle has them, too. (I bought it used.) If I remember correctly (a big if), the County rep said they helped to narrow the tree. I bought the saddle, then when the Country rep was at the barn helping his "real" clients, I asked him to look at the fit. I seem to remember him saying the tree was too wide for my horse, but the skid row panels helped counterbalance that. He also recommended I use a riser pad with it to improve the fit. (Well, actually, he primarily recommended that I purchase a brand-new County from him , but the $20 riser pad was a secondary option.)
    Maybe someone more familiar will pipe in about this.
    I evented just for the Halibut.


    • #3
      Here's my experience and what I told -

      If you are buying used, I would be certain you can ship it back within so many days if it does not fit your horse. I say this because I had a used county shipped to me that had the skid row panel, at the time I did not know it had those panels, let alone what that meant.

      Anyway, the saddle sat too high on my horses withers put me in the back seat - not at all balanced. I sent it back...I was told by another tack shop that panel is named after a horse Skid Row that had a dip behind his withers.

      Ultimately I decided to have a county saddle fitter come to out and now I have a new county on order. Well, to my surprise, she said I needed the skid row panel. I told her about my experience with the used one and that her recommendation didn't make sense. Well, she is also adding something to "balance the saddle" for my horse that maybe was not on the used saddle - but can't remember the other option.

      My point is - All county saddles are made to fit a specific horse - and many horses need the skid row, but there are also other options added to ensure the saddle is balanced for that horse's back at the time but these options may not be for your horse.


      • #4
        as I understand it, it does not narrow the tree- they are in the wrong place for that
        my county dressage saddle has them because my mare has a dip by her withers and dressage saddles tend to slip forward on her- the skid row panel fills in the hollow near her withers to help with that
        Since the skid row panels have wool flocking, the flocking in the panels can be manipulated to a certain extent based on the shape of the horse and I am pretty sure it is not that big of a deal to have a saddle fitter remove the panels completely but I am not sure on that point
        There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hollywood View Post
          Well, she is also adding something to "balance the saddle" for my horse that maybe was not on the used saddle - but can't remember the other option.
          deeper gussets?- they would lift the back of the saddle so it did not tip back -at least in theory
          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


          • #6
            I agree bambam. What Hollywood said makes sense in the context of the conversation I had w/the saddle-fitter. The tree was a bit too wide but those panels would help somewhat in fitting my high-withered horse.
            Of course, all my problems had to do with buying a saddle off e-Bay.
            I evented just for the Halibut.


            • #7
              Yes, bambam, thank you

              Originally posted by bambam View Post
              deeper gussets?- they would lift the back of the saddle so it did not tip back -at least in theory
              I think that's it - I was drawing a blank, but she is adding like an inch deeper gusset to balance the saddle.


              • Original Poster

                Actually it is off of ebay so no returns for me but I got the saddle for such a deal I took a chance. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=160293390111 When I had my county rep out to fit my other saddle a few months ago she mentioned to me that they can swap out the trees if the saddle isn't too old. I'm hoping that's what we can do here but I couldn't find anything on their site about those skid row panels. Thanks for all the information. It'll be interesting to see them in person!


                • #9
                  Yeah. My understanding is that they are like gussetted panels, but in the front of the saddle. My older TB needs them because she has dips on either side of her wither, but going to a narrower tree pinches her shoulders, which are large. Without them, saddles sit low on her high wither, and don't have contact with her skin for the first few inches of the panel because of the dip. The skid row panel fills in that space.


                  • #10
                    Skid row panels and wither gussets are essentially the same thing. Many saddles offer them (including Black Country and Albion) although I've only ever heard the term "skid row panels" with County. They are essentially extra padding for horses with dips behing their shoulders. To some degree, depending on how flocked up they are, they can narrow the saddle but they're not narrowing the tree.

                    When one talks about gussetting without the "wither" in front of the word, theyr'e referring to more flocking/padding under the cantle. I have a saddle with both wither gussets and extra cantle gusseting. The beauty of wither gussets is that they can be padded up or padded down depending on what your horse needs and can offer a little bit of extra flexibility.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hollyhorse2000 View Post
                      Skid row panels and wither gussets are essentially the same thing. Many saddles offer them (including Black Country and Albion) although I've only ever heard the term "skid row panels" with County. They are essentially extra padding for horses with dips behing their shoulders. To some degree, depending on how flocked up they are, they can narrow the saddle but they're not narrowing the tree.
                      This is actually incorrect, they are not the same thing, not even close.

                      Skid row panels are wider along the spine.

                      The County Skid Row panel is more like the Black Country "Dropped Panel"

                      County also offers a whither gusset, but it is also a "whither gusset"
                      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                      • #12
                        I have them on my two saddles for a few reasons. I mainly ride ottb's and they can change shape in many areas but one of the main areas I see the shape change is around the withers and down the spine as they gain muscle. Many Tb's are a narrow tree and have either high withers or withers that have dips on either side. It is very hard to get a saddle that does not hinge on the spine without something to fill those spaces on either side of the withers. The skid row panel can be filled to fill the hollow spaces and then the filling can be taken out to fit the horse as it fills out.

                        My personal horse tends to look like a big balloon in winter (conn/tb) but in summer when he is fit he almost takes another tree size. Wide to medium. I can use the skid row panels to better fit him through the seasons.

                        It is a great option on event horses who tend to change shape/muscling through the season.


                        • #13
                          Does anyone have a picture? I've never heard of these and am having a hard time picturing what/where they are.
                          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                            Does anyone have a picture? I've never heard of these and am having a hard time picturing what/where they are.
                            View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com


                            • #15
                              Skid Row name origin

                              The name Skid Row is the from the horse that County originally designed this for. If I remember correctly it was a grand prix jumper. So that is why they are called Skid Row. I was looking at a used saddle a couple years ago and had no clue and could not find on the website so I called them and asked.

                              Then intent is as several have stated - to help with horses that may dip at the withers and/or may also be high withered. They help keep the saddle in the proper position. They are usually a custom order, not a standard option, and thus they may look entirely different from saddle to saddle depending on what was needed for the horse the saddle was designed to fit. So a photo of one may not look anything a photo of another. There is a SR stamped after the seat and width size on the flap. We have about 4 Countys in the barn with skid row panels and they all look different.

                              I have a custom County Fusion dressage saddle with skid row and the deeper gusset in the back. I call it my magic saddle as it is incredible the difference it made for me and my horse. worth every penny

                              You can call County and give them the serial number off any saddle in order to find out any customization on any saddle. good idea if you are buying used. I have a custom County Connection for my other horse that has a short panel option that probably would not work on some horses. Not something stamped anywhere but a significant option. Of course I would disclose this if I ever sold it but not everyone would. so get the serial number and call the 800 # to make sure you know what you are buying.

                              As someone else said, most Countys these days have been custom made for someone


                              • Original Poster

                                Thank you for the link to the black county picture.... i was imagining some sort of extra pocket of padding on existing padding, not a whole new area.. sweet! The saddle is due to come on Wednesday so i'll try to get some photos of these county skid row panels for anyone who is interested.
                                I too ride an ottb. He is just turning 11 and has been in the same county stabilizer saddle since he was 5! (with re-flocking of course). I love their saddles but I've been having some problems since the last reflocking. Hopefully the fitter will get it working and maybe this new saddle as well (fingers crossed)!!