Model: Reverse Wedge Saddle Pad
Category: Western Saddle Fittings/Pads
Purchase: I recently got my Arabian gelding under saddle and had been working with him for a few weeks. I kept rotating between three western saddles and combinations of blankets and pads, trying to find the best fit. In each case, the front of the saddle sat too low and the bars were pinching the sides of his withers. He never appeared to be enjoying any part of his under-saddle training. I contemplated custom making a pad which would be thicker at the front and taper back to thinner material under the cantle. Then I found the Cashel Reverse Wedge closed-cell foam pad advertised and thought it might do the trick. I purchased it for about $43 plus shipping online from National Bridle Shop.
Likes: I will say that it has definitely made a difference in his attitude while under saddle. Much less head tossing and his ears are pointed forward instead of back now. I'm no saddle fit expert, but I know this has made a big improvement in his comfort level, at least until I can find a better fitting saddle.
Dislikes: My Arabian has a very short back and somewhat prominent withers, so this pad does not conform well to his shape until the weight of a saddle pushes it down. I wish it was available in a contoured model. Also, although I haven't used it in hot weather yet, I think it will probably trap a lot of heat under it due to the closed-cell foam material. Note: there is another model with vertical grooves on the underside which are supposed to allow heat to escape.
Quality: Seems to be a quality product so far. I haven't used it more than 20 times, but it is holding up well and should be very durable.
Summary: If you've read anything about saddle fitting, you know thicker pads shouldn't be used to fix a poor fit. In my case, I was able to find a pad that looked like it was custom made to temporarily resolve my saddle fitting woes until I find a better fitting saddle.
Usefulness Rating: 2.33333 out of 5.
3 reader(s) voted.
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