Adding a Half Pad to a Custom Fit Saddle

Saddle Fit Questions and Answers with August Equine. 

Why would you add a half pad to a custom saddle?

“There are actually a few reasons to consider the use of half pads. (*Important to note that not all half pads are created equal) I use the half pad as an extension of a well-fitted saddle. This pad is a ThinLine Trifecta Cotton Half Pad,  it adds back protection (think impact absorption after landing a jump). Most often when I am fitting a new saddle to a horse, they have been ridden previously in an ill-fitting saddle. This means the back muscles are usually tight, atrophied and sensitive. An extra layer of protection facilitates the top line improvement. It also allows me to ‘micro-fit’ the saddle using 1mm shims in most cases. Having the ability to fit a saddle in a way that invites growth and development is key to the process I use. (Fitting a saddle to an atrophied horse does not invite changes or provide room for new muscle growth) The fewer tree adjustments, the better. Lastly, should the horse be notably asymmetrical it allows me to shim appropriately while we work through any asymmetries.” 

Learn more about Holly of August Equine

Founded in 2001 by Holly Barnett, August Equine embraces the ‘whole horse’ concept and presents a comprehensive approach to maintaining equine back health and proper saddle fit.

  • Graduate of the D’al School of Equine Massage Therapy (2001)
  • Registered with The International Federation of Registered Equine Massage Therapists
  • Worked for 4 years as an Equine Veterinary Assistant alongside veterinarians specializing in chiropractic care, lameness and dentistry
  • Certified by Schleese Saddlery, having completed 8-month apprenticeship program
  • Introductory Master Saddlers Certification
  • Provides saddle-fitting and massage therapy services to clients throughout North America

Holly is available for clinics and seminars on a variety of topics. In the past, she has been a guest speaker at NEDA symposiums, Circle of Professionals with Jane Savoie, Equine Affaire and Integrative Therapies lecture at Guelph University.

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