Better Saddle Fit – Wider Saddle, Shorter Saddle, Or No Half Pad

Without eyes on the ground very often, pictures can really help, with a lot of things!

Every time there’s some new shots I look, wishfully, for any small sign that she’s working more loose, more supple, more bettah’ than last time.

Staring at the hind.  To see if it looks like it’s working more.  The lumbar area.  The entire back.  Fretting there could be something in the work bothering her, physically.

She has the shortest, steepest sloped hindend ever.  Getting anything other than what I call a” duck trot” has been super hard, and if the saddle is even just a tad too narrow she won’t even try it.

Around December, I got stuck on worrying about too long saddle panels – where the saddle is extending too far back.  With a short backed horse, it can easily happen.

But her saddle, when checking, and double checking in the cross ties, isn’t too long.  Still.  There seemed to be something more to make the canter easier for her…

She needed more room at the shoulders.  The awesome Mattes half pad was just taking up too much space.  Or not?  Only way to be sure – experiment back and forth over many rides between the Mattes, the slimmer Thinline, and one without shims.

mattes pad taking up too much space
With the Mattes pad, no shims.

Riding with the slimmer fitting Thinline Trifecta felt better for her.  Couldn’t tell if removing the 1 mm thin shim made a difference for the shoulder.

thinline trifecta taking up too much space
With the Thinline Trifecta, no shims.


Finally deciding that the Trifecta had to go, too.  She needed the extra width! Without any half pad she felt the best.

riding without half pad

Keeping an eye on her topline if it changes back to more narrow later on.  Probably not…

Trying to figure out how our biomechanics work together, the up and the down stride of the canter has been the trickiest.  She won’t give anything if bothered at all, so riding her means to help as much as can with everything.

You look at this too, right?

Constantly searching for a way to ride more effortlessly…


That was a lot of you who had rider position stuff to hate on last week…  And horse issues.  Makes me feel in good company, so thank you!