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Saddle Pad Fit

I just got a new western saddle in for my gelding with the intent to start using it more for western dressage. It’s nothing fancy; full bar wintec close contact. I’m pretty happy with the fit. He moved comfortably in it and it’s comfortable for me as well.

I got a 1” felt saddle pad and can’t tell if it’s too thick, I have the saddle too far back, or both. He is a wide guy and it seems like it adds a lot of bulk.

This was his get up with his previous owner:

I also came across this and wondered if this might be a better option for us. I like the concept. Still 1” though.

A larger girth is also on the way!

Any thoughts on saddle pads for us?

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Your saddle is to far back. The previous owner to far forward. The pad you have pictured is nice as the cutout under the fender lets you get your leg on the horse a little easier. It does have Velcro to hold a show pad in place and that will pick up lots of hay and hair if that matters to you. We have a couple of them for showing and like that we don’t have to worry about the show pad slipping.


Thank you. I was thinking we needed an inbetween with those photos.

We have a hair problem already with the fjord shedding season basically starting as soon as winter solstice hits so I am used to that, but very good note with the velcro. I may get one as I have also felt Ive had a harder time feeling that contact with my leg in a western saddle.

Thanks again!


Really? Too far back? I would have said the opposite; too far forward.

The bars need to be behind the shoulder. The concho is screwed into the bar, so a good marker is to ensure the concho is behind the shoulder.

Maybe it is in this photo, but it looks too far forward to me, and the prior owner’s placement looks perfect.

That said, I find 1" pads to be too thick, and use 3/4" most of the time. I happen to like SPHGear the best as it’s split wither allows easy adjustment once the saddle is up. They also have a cut-out.

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To me the saddle WITH the pad looks too far back; is that the photo you’re referencing or the one without the pad in the crossties? Based on your description, that may be too far forward?

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I am looking at the very first photo. The concho looks like it is sitting ON the shoulder to me.

OH! and I have the captioning mixed up. Thanks for making me look again.

The first photo is the owner and the second photo (which I thought was prior owner) is also the owner with the 1" pad. I think that saddle looks okay in that photo.

And then the prior owner photo makes it look too far forward.

I like a close fitting pad rather than having it extend inches in the front and back. Sometimes I think the pad can make saddlefit look misleading.


Thanks! I think the pad is definitely bigger than necessary given the shorter back.

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I concur. 1" pads are very thick. I also use a 3/4" pad for my daily riding. For showing I have a 1/2" felt liner that I use with a show blanket on top.

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I believe the saddle in the first photo (with the tag on) does not have enough rock for this horse. It will make him sore in the loin area, he looks uncomfortable. The black saddle looks like a better shape for him and also the saddle with the green blanket looks good too. He’s a cutie.

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With regards to the saddle pads, I’m not a fan of those with cut-out along the spine, if they are not placed absolutely perfect and shift they can cause a pressure point along the muscle on either side of the spine. I think gel pads create too much heat and the professional choice ‘air rides’; well I had one, took it apart and inside to my ‘horror’ was what looked like ‘bubble wrap’ to me and all the bubbles had water/condensation in them, that can’t be comfortable. I removed the bubble wrap and then it was a nice wool blanket.


The first two photos are the same saddle! First one is just sitting with no pad and not cinched up. As far as discomfort, I assure you he’s just trying not to fall asleep in the first photo :joy:

We’ve done 2 rides so far in it and trainer was happy with the fit and his movement. I’ve got the saddle pad/saddle better situated as well and it’s staying pretty put without any slipping.

Keeping an eye open for any soreness though and so far so good :crossed_fingers:

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I agree that I would not be happy with the fit of this saddle. The front looks “ok” from the pictures (though would need a different angle photo to confirm), but the back is sitting on him really weird, seems to be lifting?

I say the saddle is just a titch too far back in the photo with the pad. I’d move it up just a teeny tiny bit.

But yeah, double check that fit because it doesn’t look quite right to me, in the back.

Oops, my mistake, the first saddle looks brown but I guess it is the lights. Is that a Wintec? They tend to be flat along the bars and if a horse is curvy may bridge and dig into loins.

I would also question the fit of this saddle.

Can you provide better pictures?

This was one from my trainer from last nights lesson while riding. Not sure how helpful it is.


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I wonder if that could be the thick “faux” sheepskin lining the underside? I hate that stuff and they put it on everything now.

I wonder if he would do better in a round skirt saddle? Since he is so short backed.

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