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Old 09-04-2007, 05:32 PM  
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saddle is too wide, what to do!

I have a barrel saddle that is a bit too wide for my QH. I have heard you can pad them up a bit to help it fit better. What do you use to pad it with? The bars seem to fit ok it is just the gullet that pinches at the top. This saddle fit him better as a 2 y/o but now he is starting to mature and grow taller and his wither has grown up now! I am looking into a new saddle anyway for next spring so just need something that could possibly make due until then.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:37 PM  
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I like to use a wool felt pad 1" thick with a nice wool navaho pad on top for color/class

I think you can buy the wool pads in other thickness's too. That combo seems to add room for some slightly off/bad fits, but nothing comes close to a good fitting saddle, but that may hold you over!
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:54 PM  
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Is it just hitting the top of the withers or is it actually to wide in the gullet and sitting down too low?

I have a gelding with very high knife withers that I have to ride with two cut back pads so that the saddle has enough clearance over his withers. Without the wither issue he would be a semiQH bars guy but since I have to double pad him I ride him in a fullQH bar to allow for the extra pad.
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:11 PM  
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If the gullet is too wide and the forks are dropping down on the withers, try a bath towel folded in half, but stagger the edges where it goes under the saddle, If this isn't enough, place about 1/3 of the towel on top of your pad and fold it back and forth as you work your way back creating a row of pleats. Your rearward edge will be only at the bottom of the withers so you will have to play around a bit. This way none of the folds are on top of each other creating a ridge. This may give you enough lift in front without adding extra width at the rib cage. If you have a thin saddle blanket you can try that instead of the towel. I just suggest that as everyone has towels.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:18 PM  
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It isn't hitting his wither, lots of clearance there, it is just a bit too wide!
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:00 AM  
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Try a extra thick pad like 1" thick.
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:15 AM  
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My above suggestion helps reduce the width. It is just that often times when bars are too wide the saddle does hit the horse in the withers. If your saddle has a deep gullet then of course this wouldn't be an issue. You can also get a saddlemaker to put shims on the tree. I prefer this to shims in a pad as pads move. A roping pad with the built up front area may help.
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:17 AM  
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Try to pad away from the pressure. I have a saddle slightly too wide for my mare, and I cut out some blue closed cell foam to pad it up on her shoulders. I put no padding where it was pinching at the top. This gave the lower part of the bars something to sit on, evening out the horse so the saddle fit.

If you simply throw on another 1" or 2" pad, the horse's basic shape is still the same and doesn't match the saddle. The idea is to shim the horse so the saddle bars are the right width and angle.

There's an excellent article on this in the June 2007 Horse Journal.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:57 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlh619 View Post
bars seem to fit ok it is just the gullet that pinches at the top.
Could you post a photo of the saddle on the horse? I don't think I am envisioning what you are saying properly. Typically in my experience if there is pinching it is usually due to the saddle being too narrow, not too wide. If its too narrow, there is nothing you can do to make that saddle comfortable for the horse. If its too wide you can use shims or a super thick fleece pad. I have found 2 inch thick fleece ones at country supply that might help.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:38 PM  
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What angle should I take the picture at? From the front or the side? With a pad or without? I usually use a 1 inch pad or a wool one that is approximately one inch.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:44 PM  
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Take one directly from the side with the camera held at about the same level as the saddle and square on.

Then take a second as much from the front as you can (but kinda off to one side) so we can see exactly how it fits his withers.

However you would normally tack him up with your normal pad.
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