Fitting Your Horse Properly
When choosing a pad, fitting your horse properly and ensuring their comfortability is the main goal. It can be challenging to decide on a pad at times. Especially when you have a horse with above average withers or a horse with no withers that has a bit of a sway back. Often a slight adjustment in your pad choice can be what is needed to get a comfortable fit.
Trial and Error
Something as simple as adjusting the thickness of the pad can help. Another option is applying a contour to the pad, as we will discuss in this article. Or you may try opting into the open wither option. Other times it can be completely adjusting the saddle you use on your horse. Understanding options that are available and making sure that it is the right fit for your horse is important to ensure a comfortable ride happens for your equine athlete.
What is Pad Contour ?
When referring to contour in your pad it is referring to the spine shape of your pad. This allows for proper and comfortable fitting for horses. Whether a horse has above average withers, average withers, or no withers, adjusting the contour can often make for a more comfortable fit. So, what is the difference with the contour options that are available? We will continue to discuss the different options and how choosing a contour for your horse will help.
The regular contour is a standard built pad that has been the original build of Best Ever Pads for over 20 years. It is naturally shaped to fit the average horse’s back and naturally contours to your horse’s back as you ride it. There is no extra lift in the front or the rear and is great as a versatile pad to use on average-built horses.
The deep contour has a slight lift in the back of the pad and the front of the pad to create a more deepened center. This will show a slightly elevated front and back appearance of the pad when looking at it. Wool pads will naturally shape to a horse back overuse of breaking them in. But the deep contour is a step ahead allowing for the shape to be built in rather than having to break in the pad. This type of pad is versatile. It has been used on horses that need a deep contour due to above average withers and higher hips or sway back horses. But the bonus is that it will also fit an average built horse as well. We know that a horse already has a natural contour as it is, and this just allows for a more defined outline of it.
Gooseneck Contour *NEW*
The gooseneck contour option is intended for high, more prominent wither-built horses. On occasion it has been used to help with issues with pads that tend to slip back. The gooseneck provides an extra extension of the pad over the withers (as pictured). Bringing the pad up a slight amount has been shown to bring relief to the withers. Where a normal pad may cause restrictions and be too tight. It has also created relief over the withers. Additional benefits have included alleviated pressure to the pressure points on your horse’s back.
The shape of the pad also helps with slipping back as it is elevated in the front. This can allow extra benefit similar to the “cupping or tenting” method some riders use. When a pad is lifted in the front it will tend to lock the pad into place and prevent slipping. If your pad is too thick this contour will not fix any rolling or movement. If you are still experiencing issues with pad fittings, this could be a sign of incorrect fitting of your saddle.