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Horse Gypsy

Dry Spots under saddle blanket, after you ride

I don't know why I can't find a saddle that works for me and my horses,  but I just can't.  
Can we talk about dry spots?  I am guessing it is from pressure and a saddle being too tight,  but for some reason shimming doesn't help either-- then I actually get dry spots where the shim was-- so I think that is telling me that the shim is making the saddle too tight.  I have been through this with both my Parelli saddles and non PArelli saddles,  I am sort of frustrated.  It does seem like the Theraflex pad does help.

HG I empathize with you totally!

What I went through with Sonny is such a long story, much of it on IATH in some thread or other.

However after reading through a link that OMD put up for me recently there was one little line that made me think. I rushed out & put Sonny's boots on him & I was just so thrilled when he was as soft as butter to ride with no dry spots either!!   I'm currently using a barefoot treeless saddle with a Parelli medicinal felt pad with the fully shimmed theraflex on top of that because he can't stand the feel of the thera against his hair.

His scapulas didn't roll so his wither didn't hollow as much, he didn't object to going exactly where I asked him to go, he didn't try to avoid tufts of grass, he gave me the lead I asked for, his way of going was soft & relaxed, he didn't squeal or grunt at me or shake his head or pin his ears. I could go on.......

The next ride, 2 days later, he was even better because I slightly changed the shimming to suit the new horse & filled up some of the bridging in the shims. I actually took out 1 front shim & put it under the middle of the saddle. He was even better & could round up nicely for me & come onto his myler C3 cradle bit for the first time ever & give me collected sort-of verticle flection with a good long stride powered from behind. I had previously tried that mix of shims without success under both saddles & with a variety of pads.

So it isn't always the saddle's fault. It just seems like that because there are problems showing up on the horse's back. If you've tried various saddles & pads & combo's with no joy, look further afield. One thing I did learn about shimming is that when you have a horse with depleted wither muscles & you put the front of the saddle behind the scapula, you have to have about 2.5inches in height of shims to get the front of the saddle level with the back. That is a heap of shim & can make the saddle seem wobbly but that's what's needed if you don't have an elevation pad. Otherwise you're still riding downhill & pushing wieght into the very same wither muscle you're trying to build up.

I've never had a problem with horses being too wide so can't help there. Even my mare who is very wide fits her saddle well with just a light soft pad under it.

Goodluck HG!  

Clarissa, what was it that made out think and run out for a ride?

Hertha wrote:
Clarissa, what was it that made out think and run out for a ride?

Well Hertha I've just spent 15mins trying to find the fabled thread!!

Near the top of the page OMD puts in a link about a saddle fitting device. Down near the bottom of the page old mac donald suggests I view the site she has given me a link for.  It's the Corrector saddle fitting device. I did go back again for a more indepth look.

The guy said horses that have sore feet will exhibit signs & symptoms exactly like a badly fitting saddle.       It's a sentence about 6words long & I had to run the video a few times to really get it.

I have always known Sonny rode better in boots but never thought he had sore feet. I knew he had tender feet & wasn't good on gravel etc, but many horses are like that. But as far as having sore feet on any surface, that was not in my comprehension.

Anyway I am riding him always in boots & it has made the biggest difference. I hope his feet don't get sore even with boots on now. If that happens I will certainly know he has a big problem.

I have been hoping the changed barefoot trim guided by Leah would solve his ouchy feet problem. The walls (particularly the toe walls) have thickened very well. But the toe soles & quality of bars don't seem to be getting any thicker which appears to be the main problem. The toe callouses subside when I ride him in boots & reappear when boots come off. So there is the clue.  
Horse Gypsy

I just have this problem of having a variety of horses that are all totally different.  Cocoa my baby is off the charts wide-- treeless is the only way to go with her-- I have the Cheyanne- and a Phenix Voque- and she likes those.  Ruby my QH is wide also- Laura is appx QH is not that wide and Finn who is finally getting better after an injury this winter- we are going to the Vet next week for a a check to see if I can start bringing him back-- is narrow and high withered.  I like treeless but on certain horses I feel like I need more support.

I have been experimenting with different pads-- I have a bunch-- and some times I get a straight sweat pattern on one side and then a dry spot on one shoulder on the other side-- that is with booth my QH and AppxQH  but it is on opposite sides-- so it could be me or it could be them??    I think the treed saddle I have been using is wide enough for the Appx-- but probably not quite wide enough for the QH.   I am seriously thinking about getting a custom saddle-- I just hope one that I have made will work.

Thanks Clarissa-- I have been thinking of pulling my cheyanne out-  I have to put stirrups back on it-- but I never had one problem when  I was riding with that saddle.

Have a look st the thorowgood ap saddles which go to xxw, which is a really generous width and are not expensive. but great to ride in and can be adjusted for differnet horses.

I have our horse, who had the fluidity, in one with a saddle pad and shims under it. He is now working through the back, on a contact for the first time ever - he is so happy. i am using a version on the nuumed pad.
Just ensure it has a SQUARE cantle for the good tree!!!

The only saddle pad with which I have never had dry spots is the Theraflex.  As much I hate to own that, it's true.  So, sometimes it's not the saddle but the pad.  I tried my saddle with a different (read that cheaper) pad and I got dry spots.

oooh I can say I"m going through the same thing with my horse.
First off, what is your shimming pattern? How does the saddle fit without the shims or a saddle pad?

I never got rid of the dry spots with the theraflex. So i got rid of the theraflex, and the fluidity!
Horse Gypsy

I stopped using the Theraflex pad for a while-- but I was still getting dry spots behind the shoulder area, so I went back to it and it does seem to help-- but I always use a liner wool pad with it-- because I have had bad luck with it giving horses white hairs.   I have been trying every shim pattern I can think of and I still get atleast one dry spot behind one shoulder--  IS it because she has rotated shoulders??  That is what I am thinking.  This mare is 9 and just started this spring-- but she has some definate posture issures to resolve--  part of the reason the whole dry spot thing bugs me-- Plus she does buck so I like to ride in a clunky western saddle on her so I have some thing to hold on to when stuff falls apart-- I try her in the English and she seems to like the Western saddle better-- she is a western type of horse I think- just the way her back is.


I've had trouble fitting saddles like all of you and really work hard at making horses comfortable.  Lots of horses, lots of saddles.

What has helped me in the heat build-up problem (to me a major concern) with several different pads (acrylic, wool, theraflex) was to put a 100% cotton bath towel, folded in half, next to the horse, and then put the pad on top of the towel.

We come back from a ride now and the towel is wet, not the horse, and the pad stays clean.  I have several towels for each horse (cheap $3.50 each at Walmart) and take the dirty one home to wash after each ride.  It's really nice to pull the saddle off and see the whole horse's back cool and dry. I'd like to think my horses like it too. (I do check for drier spots on the sides of the withers - so far, so good).

I've done the whole shimming thing too and found that it's best for my horses to never shim the front part of the pad, just the middle where I sit, if necessary.  That leaves plently of room for the shoulders to come back and supports my weight on either side of the spine. I do like the air pad. I special ordered mine a few years ago from the guy that makes them for Parelli, only he made mine in brown...don't I feel special.  

In our part of the country (lots of ranch horses) you can drive by any pasture and see major white spots on many of the horses' withers and sides where the cinch rings go.  Just makes me sad for those horses.....(you know they go ALL DAY like that....) what they will do for us dispite their uncomfortable gear.
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