Saddle pad questions

Hi guys!

I’m contemplating a new-to-me saddle for my challenging-to-fit mare. Miraculously, it actually fits both of us really well. But there’s a problem- it fits TOO perfectly. My saddle fitter wants me to only ride in a very thin pad.

So what do I do for my aspiring hunter “career”? I’ve been out of the hunter ring for nearly a decade, but it seems like fleecy pads are still where it’s at. I’m not looking to do A shows or anything like that- C rated is probably the best I’ll get to this year or next- but I want to make sure my turnout is correct.

I’ve never seen anybody showing in a fitted quilted pad. I know they exist, but is it done?

Should I look for a wider saddle to accommodate the thick pad I feel like I should be using to show in? This seems kind of silly to me- the saddle fits my mare like it was made for her, and I’m not sure I should throw that away for fleeciness.

Are there any pads that are quilted with a fleece border only on the outside? I’ve found a couple that are non-fleeced on the flaps, but still have fleece across the withers and down the back, which is where I feel like a thick pad is most likely to cause fit issues.

I’m moderately crafty- is my best bet to frankenmorph a quilted pad and a fleece pad to make something that suits the horse but still looks traditional?

If she’s not bothered by the fleece, would a ride or two a couple times a month cause a lot of back issue? Or is this one of those ‘try it and find out’ scenarios? She’s a pretty forgiving mare, but I don’t want to cause her anxiety about showing or jumping or anything like that because of saddle misfit.

Any advice would be awesome. I have a week to consider the saddle, and it’s definitely a wonderful option- but I’d be buying this saddle specifically to do hunter shows without looking terribly out of place, so it’s somewhat important that I be able to fit in in the hunter ring.

Thanks so much!

Shear a sheepskin pad with clippers?

What about a SUPER thin half pad? Like a Roma? Or an older shaped pad. or maybe a quilted half pad that has the rolled edges? Like a thinline trifecta?

Gypsymare- that’s an option I hadn’t considered! Hmmm…

Jumper_girl221, I’ve show in a half pad and it worked out ok (division reserve champ), but I don’t want my flaps to get all sweaty, which is why I was looking for full pad options. But it’s good to know there’s a less bulky option out there if I really can’t find my way around it.

what about a pad that just has the fleece “for show”

Yeah it can get obnoxious…I just always wipe down the flaps at the end of the day…lol.

Since its only for shows though it never bothered me…of course, mare face prefers a high withered pad which I’ve yet to find in a traditional half pad so we go in a high profile shaped…

Wilkers makes a show pad that only has fleece around the edge, so the pad is only the quilted thickness under the saddle. This is what I use. Scroll down to style #22.