Choosing a pad to compliment your saddle is very important to the performance of any treeless saddle. For many horses, the right pad can make or break the fit of the saddle. Please take the time to determine which pad will work best for you and your horse, as there are many deciding factors.
Most Important Features of a Pad for a Sensation Ride™ Treeless Saddle:
- Contoured to the Horse’s spine
- Padding on either side of the spine, not directly overtop
- At least ½”of padded support
To determine what kind of padding you need, there are several factors to consider:
1) What kind of riding do you do?
For regular pleasure riding, trails, or dressage, a pad which provides a soft support would be sufficient. These activities do not require a great amount of shock absorbsion, so a softer foam is acceptable and gives the benefit of being very close to the horse.
For Endurance riding or Jumping, or other high impact activities, a more firm support pad is required – We are happy to help you with deciding on a pad just right for your special requirements.
2) How much do you weigh?
If a rider is very lightweight, they can often successfully use a less supportive pad even in a high impact sport, without issue because they are not putting as much pressure on the pad itself as a heavier rider would.
Heavier riders, especially when riding a mount that may be a bit small for them, are better off to go with a firm support pad even if they are just spending a few hours on the trail.
3) The Horse’s individual build:
The med-high withered horse with a broad back:
In this case, the rider will need to have a pad with a firm support at least on either side of the wither, to help the pommel stay off the wither. These horses are very difficult to fit to any saddle, so often, despite having a higher wither, the treeless can be the only option with a horse like this. Often a pad with more padding at the wither (such as shims) is ideal for these horses.
The very round backed, no withered horse:
With a horse like this, almost any pad can be used but the rider may enjoy a non-slip element with these “wine barrel on legs” horses. Neoprene girth liners are also popular with this type of horse.
The atrophied shouldered/backed horse:
Shaped shims that can be added to a regular pad are the best for this type of horse. The shims can be placed in the pad, and removed as the horse begins to rebuild his muscling.
The average withered, average backed horse:
Almost any pad can be used on a horse like this, the decision between a soft or firm support will lie in the other determining factors.
Narrow back with a med-high wither:
While treeless saddles of any kind are not recommended for this type of horse, the borderline “maybe” horses with this conformation will benefit from a firm support pad, and possibly shims.