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Help With Padding Suggestions for 22 year old Mare.

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    Help With Padding Suggestions for 22 year old Mare.

    Hi! I have a 22 year old mare who has some atrophy in her back, behind the withers. I want her to be a comforatable as possible. Right now I use a square pad, a thinline pad and my saddle, which is a Bates with Cair Panels.

    I just can't seem to get the saddle placed right on her. I am wondering if I need to look at getting a "shimmable" pad to fill in those hollow areas...or if there are ideas I haven't thought of yet. I have included 2 pictures. Sorry about the mud in one of them. Just showed her back off the best!

    I would love to hear any advice on how to fill in the area behind the withers. I am working her and getting her to round some, but due to her age I don't want to push too hard on her. I don't know how much "topline" can be build.

    Thanks in advance!
    "I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."

    I ride a 23 year old gentleman in lessons every week. They tried to retire him and he wasn't happy with it, so now he continues to do low level events and loves it. He has a great topline for someone his age but has trouble maintaining conditioning there as well. He goes in an extremely nice gel pad over his usual pad, and that works well. There's no brand on it, but just from the materials and construction it's obvious that it wasn't cheap. You may look into something like that for a pad solution. - Eventing the Welsh Cob


      Original Poster

      I am okay with not cheap if that is what needs to be done. She has spent her years taking care of I want to do the best I can with her.
      "I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."


        A mattes type pad is likely to be your best bet. I have a senior with a low back as well and we use different things on him with different saddles. I ride him with a baby pad on the bottom, sheepskin half pad topped off with a low lift pad. My daughter rides him in a different saddle. She uses a baby pad with a thin line half pad and a larger lift pad. The saddle doesn't fit right if she uses the sheepskin pad with the large lift. We are going to get a sheepskin pad with lift built in if we find one that fits. The point is there is no single answer to your question. You need to experiment and find out what works best for the horse with your saddle.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


          I have several senior horses who do dressage and jumping and own several of lambskin half pads with shims. I use the pad directly against the horse's back as it dissipates heat nicely. The shims are great for those "scalloped" backs because you can add and remove shims as fitness, muscling changes --- or you can remove them for use with a 'regular' horse, lol. These are the ones I buy, not the cheapest but high quality and they hold up well and look new after 4 years of use. The first one I bought, I put on my then 22 year old dressage horse (competing at 1st) and I was stunned by how much better he went under saddle, it was like night and day.

          The one I have is the "Therapeutic Ultra Plus" --- worth every penny.

          MTA: With the older horses, I do a lot of belly lifts, ie place your fingers along the midline and gently encourage them to lift their back. Also, set up poles, some raised slightly, some on the ground, and lead them through slowly, encouraging them to lower their head and lift back. Gentle slow work on easy slopes is great lead, ponied and mounted for developing the back as well. And pasture that includes slope is great as well.