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Saddle pad squishing withers?

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  • Saddle pad squishing withers?

    I'm a lower-level eventer with an A/P Wintec saddle and a preference for square saddle pads.

    I've been noticing that although I start my ride with oodles of space between the pad and the withers (pulling the pad high into the saddle, and making sure it stays that way even as I girth up and get on), it slowly works its way down until it's so snug on my horse's withers that I can't even get my fingers in. Kind of defeats the purpose of that carefully-fitted saddle that worked for my stegasaurus TB!

    I looked in my catalogs, thinking I just needed a saddle pad with more shaped withers. Then I looked carefully at my pad, and noticed it ALREADY had a quite high withers shape, more so than the ones I saw in the catalogs.

    What's a rider to do? Is the pad just working its way down because of the inevitable pull of gravity, or are there some tricks of the trade to keep that extra space in place while you ride? I went back and watched my Rolex videos of the dressage riders, and most of them have ample saddle pad space, allowing for all that free movement with no wither squishing.

    For the record, it is an all-purpose-shaped pad, not a truly square dressage pad. The pad seems to snug down during longing as well as riding, though not quite as much.

  • #2
    I use these pads for my dressage saddle and they work well. I'm not sure if they make them in AP.


    Although, you said yours has the high shaping, so that could be no help at all.

    Do you use the billet straps and girth loops? I have the Wintec 2000 and I always tuck the billet straps under the velcro knee blocs and through the billets. This keeps everything in place for me.


    • #3
      Back in the old days, when a three day was a long format affair, and when riders carried a weight cloth, many riders rigged up their saddles with a screw or tiny eyebolt on the pommel, right in the seam between the actual pommel and the "roll" where the trim fits on...you know, the leather rolled cord that trims the front of the saddle....and another at the uppermost part of the gullet in the back, right where it meets up the cantle...if your saddle has the trim roll continuing in the back, then put your second screw or eye bolt between thet top of the roll and the beginning of the cantle.
      String a sturdy piece or cord...brown or black parachute cord works well between the two screws, fairly snug, so that you cn just get your fingers under it. Now hang your saddle pad or pads on that cord...if you use a cushion, you can just adjust the depth of the opening...and the cord will hold your pads off the spine, and off the withers, and help keep your pads in place.
      Virginia Leng has a photo of that set up in her older book Training the event horse...you can at least see the placement of the cantle screw, from a side view , on the left hand saddle on page 125.
      Hope the description makes sense, on of the other folks here who remembers those days may be able to better describe the setup, or show a photo.
      What would you try if you knew you would not fail?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mach Two View Post
        Back in the old days, .... be able to better describe the setup, or show a photo.
        Mattes makes something just like this that doesnt involve putting screws in your saddle. http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...&ids=853916519
        chaque pas est fait ensemble


        • #5
          You can also get one of those thin rubber non-slip pads and put it under your saddle pad.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
            Mattes makes something just like this that doesnt involve putting screws in your saddle. http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...&ids=853916519
            That looks like a great solution! Thanks.
            What would you try if you knew you would not fail?


            • #7
              I've had really good luck with the toklat classics saddle pads. They don't have an extreme wither cut out, but they seem to be sturdier than other saddle pads and don't get pulled down as easily.