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Swayback Pad options

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  • Swayback Pad options

    I am in the market for a swayback pad for DH's half draft. She's not swayback, but her topline isn't straight either. She gets a lump on her spine near where the back of the saddle rests. Anyone have any opinions on either pad? I prefer contoured (the Diamond pad also comes in a non-contoured pad with shims and a total wither cutout.. I like the wither cutout but not the straightness, so I only posted the link for the contoured one.) I haven't read of any complaints about the Tacky Too's, but prefer to avoid that material.


    Any advantages or disadvantages to either, besides maybe having some flexibilty with the Diamond w/ shims?

    There's also this one, altough more than I really want to spend at the moment.

  • #2
    Whatever you buy, make sure they have a return policy and try it on the horse with a pillow case between pad and horse first to make sure it fits.

    I use a key hole foam lift on my mare. I spent a bunch o' money on a fancy shmancy different kind and that was the one and only time she ever bucked with me. It was pinching. If your saddle already fits well and you just need some lift, be sure to really check fit. You can almost create more trouble than you correct.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      I have a half draft with a scoopy back too and everything I put on him bridged. I thought about getting a Skito bridge pad http://www.skito.net/prod03.htm but then I wondered whether I was making the right decision or whether I was doing the equivalent of getting shoes to fit by wearing extra socks. Anyway I ended up going treeless with a ridgid treeless (as opposed to a soft) saddle, the EZ fit http://zegifts.blogspot.com/2010/01/...ss-saddle.html

      It's made my this Amish saddle maker who's been in the game for a while. He noticed that many of these crosses had backs that were challenging. Anyway, YMMV http://ezfittreelesssaddles.com/

      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


      • #4
        I would recommend getting a pad that has pockets for shims, rather than one that has the extra padding built in. That way you can customize the padding for your horse's particular contour. I tried a bunch of pads that had the padding built in, and they all were too thick in the wrong places, which created pressure points. I ended up getting a woolback pad with Velcro along the spine, and then I can put in my own shims where ever I want them. I use Thinline shims, but you can also buy memory foam online and make your own...

        RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


        • #5
          We don't have that exact pad that you posted the link for but I will say we love our built-up, cutback Diamond Wool pads. I bought the first one 10 years ago and its still holding up well. We use them on high withered or lowbacked/swaybacked horses. These are the pads we use:
          The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done".


          • #6
            I have the Diamond Wool pad with the shims and love it. With the mulitple pockets and shims it gives you a lot of versatility on how you can tailor fit it for each horse.
            "You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
            ignorance!" Officer Beck


            • Original Poster

              Thanks! I am getting the Diamond with shims. I like the versatility it will hopefully give me when a horse changes shape. I also might buy another if it helps to make a spare saddle fit better for my Arab. The swayback I borrowed seems to help, but the shims will be a nice feature.

              Plus I thought it might work better for DH's horse who has one larger shoulder. Saddles have a tnedency to list to the right on her and I can add extra felt or remove the shim on the opposite side to see if that does the trick. Crossing my fingers.

              I also realize she might need a different saddle, although she was ridden in this current new one this past year, in SD, etc., and did fine in it. Just that stupid lump that appeared occasionally. We thought it was the lacing on the back of the saddle and cut that out, but apparently that was not it. Even if she needs a new saddle I think the Diamond pad will still be nice to have. I can always take all the shims out for a regular pad.

              We thought about treeless (I love my BM) but I'm not sold on the idea for DH. He's an easy 220# and I'm not sure the balance is there. If we have too many issues though, friends have a nice Black Forest we can try on her. The EZ Fit does look like a nice option at a price I can at least think about though.
              Last edited by cloudy18; Nov. 24, 2012, 10:41 AM. Reason: added info