Padsing between horses back and saddle

lauren123

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Feb 3, 2007
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East Yorkshire
The boy has a old injury on his back. Physio thinks he went over backwards at one point. He suffers with a sore back at times so I get him seen to every 8 weeks as anymore and it's too long for him. I always make sure he has padding on his back. So he will have a polypad and a numnah or saddle pad on top. To pad out his saddle however I am wondering if if there is anything that had enough padding in it without needing 2 different saddle pads? I have a few half pads but it's not about raising the saddle more increasing the padding between the saddle and his back. FYI he gets his saddle checked every 6 months or less if it needs flocking.
Also, if people can't be kind in their comments please don't reply :)
Thanks x
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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I have an acavello gel pad under my poly pad. I just brought another last week to go under chunkys to help minimise saddle slip. They are supposed to help with back protection too as they act as a shock absorber.
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Honestly, I'd get a 2nd opinion on saddle fit if you haven't already. Just from my personal experience a few years ago when Jess got white marks everywhere, and I had the saddle checked by 3 different all highly qualified and recommended master saddlers and 1 said never use it again but couldn't say why, 2 said it fit just fine. I went back to another saddler who I have to do a 3 hour round trip with the horse to see, she was shocked no one had picked up on the problem and she reflocked it and the white patches on Jess' back disappeared in weeks!

Beyond that, Jess liked having a plain thin cotton numnah (not a thick one and not one with deep stitch lines), with spacer fabric (like husk but I just bought it separately and cut it to shape) over it, or a merino sheep's wool numnah like numed.
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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Like @Jessey I'd be getting the saddle fit checked by someone else, also when you get the fit checked is it with the padding that you use? If you use extra padding it's vital that the saddle is fitted to allow for that. I live in a racing village and around here it's common to see pads of thick felt used under the exercise saddles, the local saddler cuts them to order for the yards. You really would have to allow for them in the fitting though because they're very thick and don't compress like a couple of polypads would.

You could try a good sheepskin numnah, you'd want a proper wool one ideally with the skin still on too. Horse Health UK have some good ones https://www.horsehealth.co.uk/saddle-pad/merino-lambswool-pads . Even with something like that though you really must be sure the saddle is fitted with it on - it's a bit like putting an extra pair of socks on to reduce blisters, it works in theory but if you bought the boots to fit with only one pair on you've now made them too tight and your feet will hurt in different places.
 

lauren123

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2007
3,180
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East Yorkshire
Honestly, I'd get a 2nd opinion on saddle fit if you haven't already. Just from my personal experience a few years ago when Jess got white marks everywhere, and I had the saddle checked by 3 different all highly qualified and recommended master saddlers and 1 said never use it again but couldn't say why, 2 said it fit just fine. I went back to another saddler who I have to do a 3 hour round trip with the horse to see, she was shocked no one had picked up on the problem and she reflocked it and the white patches on Jess' back disappeared in weeks!.

Interesting you say that Jessey! I got soxs saddle fitted by a saddler and a friend suggested someone else. So I used them. She said because off he been slightly off. Rather then fitting the saddle to how it should be. So it would allow him to build up top line and muscle of his weaker side. They fitted the saddle so differently so it meant he remained weaker on one side if that makes sense. The saddle fitted I have used recently did comment that they actually disnt do anything to change how he.was.going rather fitted it to what he was like at the time? Does that make sense?
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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It's a tricky one for a saddler because they need the saddle to fit well enough to be secure and safe, but if you adjust too much to an asymmetry then you don't leave room to level up and so further asymmetry develops. However if you fit to how the horse should be it doesn't fit at the moment, may cause pressures elsewhere and can also be unstable putting the rider at risk. What do you do? In an ideal world you'd fit with a little bit of room for the rider to build the horse into and then come back as soon as that space is filled to give a bit more room and carry on with that until the horse is level - but that assumes a rider skilled enough to build the horse correctly and also willing to spend money on very regular saddle checks for a while as well as probably physio etc, Maybe the compromise is to shim with pads and teach the rider how to adjust these as needed.

I have a friend who's a saddler and it opened my eyes to some of the dilemmas they have to deal with, and also some of the miracles people expect them to perform - "I bought a jump saddle off you last month but my horse still won't jump more than a 3ft course, what are you going to do about it?" was a genuine complaint I once heard!
 
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