There are many elements to fitting your horse with the proper saddle, and one of the most important is choosing the right pad. Learn from our experts on what we recommend. Saddles are designed to fit the majority of horses, so they're built to fit the average shape that most horses will fall into. If your horse's conformation would generally fit the average build, except for one of these common issues, a corrective pad may be the answer for you.
Often used to diagnose fit, we've noticed that sweat marks are both incredibly helpful and incredibly misunderstood when used to diagnose saddle fit issues. While the optimal sweat pattern is even, without dry areas, the meaning of the dry areas are critical.
It's tempting to try to add more padding to correct any fit issues and make your horse more comfortable, but this can actually have the opposite effect and be dangerous for you and your horse. Keep in mind that corrective padding is designed to adjust proper tree fit, it cannot change tree fit. You will still need to make sure that the saddle bars fit the overall conformation of your horse. For saddles that are already too wide, over-padding can raise the saddle and exacerbate pressure points, and saddles that are too narrow will only perch higher with more padding, leading to more discomfort. Plus, too much padding can impede your ability to feel your horse's movement and send cues.
A quality wool pad will be much more comfortable for your horse than added padding, as it will wick moisture to help keep your horse comfortable regardless of the temperature, and they absorb shock, making them fantastic choices for any rider and discipline.