What size western saddle pad do you need?
A well-fitting saddle pad is essential to your horse's comfort and saddle fit. Western saddle pads come in a variety of sizes, and when first starting to browse it can be confusing on what size you need. Not too small, not too large but just right.
The rule of thumb is your saddle pad should be 4" longer than your saddle with about 2" on each side of the saddle at least. This will allow for any minor movement of the saddle pad.
There is a second number on western saddle pad measurements is the width. This is also called the drop. To measure the drop you will need, turn your saddle over to measure from the underside. Measure from the center of the saddle to the outermost part of your rigging and, under the seat to the edge of the skirt at the leg. Multiply this measurement by two.
You also want to consider your horse's conformation and pad shape when choosing a saddle pad. A pad that has a straight spine will work better for a mutton wither horse. However, for a horse with a high wither you are going to want to find one with a contour. Cut-back styles will also work for a high-withered horse.
No matter the shape of your horse, always pull up the saddle pad into the gullet of your saddle to avoid pressure rubs on your horse's withers.
Have questions on finding the best pad for your horse? Send me a message! I am always happy to talk tack!