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Pressure points from Mattes pads?

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  • Pressure points from Mattes pads?

    I normally ride with a Mattes pad over a plain all purpose saddle pad. I was looking at the fit of the two pads last night and it seems like there's a decent bump from the end of the Mattes piping and between the saddle and all purpose pad. The area of concern is where the pad falls under the padding/flocking at the front of the panels. Sorry if I'm not explaining this very well! Has anyone ever had problems with pressure points from the piping on the Mattes pad in this area? Seems like it could potentially dig in behind the horse's shoulder there...
    Last edited by SkipHiLad4me; Jan. 24, 2012, 02:29 PM.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

  • #2
    It is my understanding that Mattes pads are to be worn directly on the horses back. It defeats the purpose to put another pad underneath.
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    • #3
      OP, I have too found the Mattes pads to cause pressure points. I had trouble with it pinching in the front near my horses withers. It became apparent when I saw the trademark little white hairs. I only used my Mattes pad when my horse was recovering and building back his topline (I used the correction pad and added/removed rear shims). I always use my half pads with baby pads to keep the sheepskin clean. I have since switched back to using my Fleeceworks half pad and have not had any issues since.

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      • #4
        Just curious, don't you need to have the sheepskin against the horse's back to get a lot of the benefits of using it?

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by moonriverfarm View Post
          It is my understanding that Mattes pads are to be worn directly on the horses back. It defeats the purpose to put another pad underneath.
          Well even without another pad underneath the Mattes, the bump is still there and it seems like the pressure from the saddle and weight of the rider would make it dig in.


          ohsaree - I haven't noticed that my horse has been uncomfortable, and unfortunately he's white under his saddle area... so white hairs showing up wouldn't help in my case It does concern me a bit that you noticed some white hairs on your horse from it though. My pad has small shims near the withers. My horse is an older guy and loses muscle very quickly just behind his withers if I'm not riding him regularly so I end up using the Mattes pad a lot.
          "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

          Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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          • #6
            Yep, I've noticed the pressure points exactly where you have, OP. My horse has noticed them too, and becomes sore any time I use that stupid pad. It is a problem with every saddle I have used with the pad on this horse.

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            • #7
              There are 2 reasons to use a Matte pad
              Reason 1: For the sheepskin itself, which is supposed to help not create heat or something (I can't remember exactly why as no one I know uses it for that reason). In that case, yes you need to use it alone.
              Reason 2: To help with saddle fit. In this instance it doesn't matter if the sheepskin doesn't touch the horse.

              I have never had problems with my horse getting sore from a matte pad and used one for quite a while. Now however I have a leather half pad. This half pad I think would eliminate the worry you are having as this one tapers in that area. Can't unfortunately remember the brand it is.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Are there any other shim pads that fit differently that wouldn't cause this? I know you can get full Mattes saddle pads that have shim pockets but I don't have that kind of $$ to spend! I'm not for sure that it's even an issue for my guy but I can't be sure it's not either... and I hate that. Because his back seems to change often, I'll probably always need some sort of shim pad to keep his saddle fitting as well as can be had.
                "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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                • #9
                  IMO, a Mattes pad plus a regular quilted pad is a lot of bulk under a saddle. Most of the people that I know who use them either place the Mattes pad directly on the horse's back or use it over a thin baby pad (to save cleaning the sheepskin so often.)

                  Obviously the most important thing is that saddle generally fits the horse well, and the pad is used as the OP describes, to sort of fill in the gap if the horse is temporarily lacking some of his normal topline. But it's not a cure all, and whether that pad will help will depend on whether the shims can be placed in a way that addresses the issue without causing other problems elsewhere. If the saddle is not fitted correctly, padding often exacerbates the problem - think wearing thicker socks with a shoe that pinches.

                  I use a Mattes half pad under my saddle, which fits my horse very well, because I like that it does not significantly change the fit of the tack. I do not use (or need) any shims. I started using it after a person I half leased my horse to briefly used her saddle - which appeared to fit OK, but ended up having a couple of pressure points which caused some bumps just behind the wither on the left side. Once we stopped using her saddle and used mine with the Mattes pad, the bumps slowly went away.

                  OP, if you are noticing any kind of soreness or issue, then clearly the Mattes pad is not the right thing to use, as you have already determined. Have you tried just the regular quilted square pad on its own? If your saddle generally fits well, you may find that is all you need.
                  **********
                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
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                  • #10
                    The Mattes pad is ment to go directly on the horse's back - check the website. The channel up the middle keeps pressure off the withers and spine. If you use it over another pad, it just presses that pad into the withers. The sheepskin is easy to keep clean with a damp sponge. It can be washed in a machine but not dried. All this info is on their website :winkgrin"
                    SPAY/NEUTER/RESCUE/ADOPT!
                    Little Star Chihuahua Rescue
                    The Barkalicious Bakery
                    On Facebook!!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by moonriverfarm View Post
                      The Mattes pad is ment to go directly on the horse's back - check the website. The channel up the middle keeps pressure off the withers and spine. If you use it over another pad, it just presses that pad into the withers. The sheepskin is easy to keep clean with a damp sponge. It can be washed in a machine but not dried. All this info is on their website :winkgrin"
                      Haven't ever had a problem with using a baby pad underneath, which adds no bulk. And of course, as with any pad, it should be pulled up under the pommel so that there is no pressure on the withers.

                      I have no doubt that the horse would like the nice soft sheepskin directly on his back, or that the manufacturer would prefer it to be used that way, for obvious reasons. I launder anything that goes directly on the horse - pad, polos, etc - every time it is used, and am pretty fussy generally about how clean things are. I don't have the time or inclination to wash a fleece pad (and wait for it to dry) on a daily basis. I am well aware of their directions, but as I say... I've never had a problem using it the way I describe, and frankly see no reason to change.

                      YMMV.
                      **********
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                      -PaulaEdwina

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                      • #12
                        I have had the same problem with the Mattes pads causing pressure points. I had to switch from my Mattes to a Thinline with shims.

                        I have always used my Mattes over a baby pad. I agree that using it with a quilted pad would be overkill, but a baby pad really doesn't add much bulk and adds to the life of the sheepskin.

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                        • #13
                          Nope, never had any problem with pressure points from the Mattes pads on my guy. I had 2 trainers and 2 saddle fitters (all at different times) recommend a halfpad for my guy since he is so uber sensitive. Even the Antares rep recommended one for him. He just needs more shock-absorption between his back and the saddle to keep him happy and comfortable...and before anyone jumps to 'how much do you weigh anyway?", I'll say that he's 16.2 hh TB/DWB and I weighed 120 at that point. I can't wait to throw the saddle back on him this weekend but he'll probably die...I'm a little heavier now than I was then and his back isn't muscled at all, after 5 years of retirement.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            My Mattes half pad does not have sheepskin and I would not be comfortable using it as my only pad under my saddle. The website says it *can* be used as an only pad but can also be used on top of a quilted pad with similar shape. My quilted pad is quite thin. I pull both the Mattes pad and the saddle pad up into the pommel so there is no pressure on the withers from either pad.
                            "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                            Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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