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Saddle Fitting Solutions

Saddle Fitting Solutions.

What is ThinLine?

ThinLine is a thin, shock absorbing non slip breathable foam.

Where is the ThinLine?

It is sewn onto the panel of our saddle pads. Here you can see the ThinLine foam on top of a western cotton liner pad. 

endurance round skirt saddle fit pad


Click to view more saddle pads

Saddle fitting solutions are easy and with ThinLine saddle pad shim inserts

you will double your results by saddle fitting with the best therapeutic materials.








  • High Withers: Add Front shims to any pad.
  • Hollow or Sway  Backs: Add bridging shims.
  • Rider Balance: Adding a pair of shims to one side can fix balance issues.
  • Saddle Balance: Front or rear Shims, depending on your issue.
  • Saddle Slippage: Generally no shims are needed, the ThinLine Pad alone will solve this.
  • Saddle Pad Slippage: Generally your tree is too wide. Add a Booster Shim.
  • Equine or Rider Back Soreness: No shims needed, ThinLine protects both.
  • Equine Asymmetry: place both of the pair of shims on the hollow side.
  • Kissing Spine Relief: Add a Booster Shim to any ThinLine pad.
  • Treeless Saddle Pad Comfort: Add a Booster Shim to any ThinLine Pad.

Photo: Front, Bridging and Rear Saddle Fit Shims and the Full Booster Shim.

Stacking and layering saddle fitting shims.

  • ThinLine pads accept up to three 1/4 inch saddle fit shims in a single location.
  • 1/4 inch front, bridging and rear shims are the most popular but you can also purchase a thinner 3/16″ shim for bridging issues or to fill behind wide shoulders.
  • Layering sets of shims will create an even transition for major saddle fit issues. Shims may also be cut with a pair of scissors for custom work.
  • Full booster shims are 3/16 inch thin, when placed under the panel of ThinLine already on your pad you have now generated 1/4 inch of ThinLine protection.
custom saddle fit shims inserts
Layering sets of shims

How to order Saddle Fitting Shims with Saddle Pad.

Select a ThinLine Saddle Pad.  Once the pad is in your shopping cart, scroll down and you will see a product called “Add Saddle Fitting Shims To The Pad In My Cart”, simply add the shims you need.

Click here for Western Pads

Click here for English Pads 

Click here for Endurance and Treeless Pads

OR Click Here to view Saddle Fittings Shims for our most popular pads.


Image: Booster Shim Inserted into Pad

The entire area under the ThinLine portion accepts up to 3 sets of 1/4 inch shims in one area. There are no “pockets”, allowing you to place stack and create gradual transitions between shims.

Saddle fitting with this with shock absorbing foam provides balance, comfort and protection for horse and rider.   Now you simply need to find the pad that fits the dimensions of your saddle and the style that fits your life.  Read on if you need more detailed saddle fitting information.

ThinLine is the only equestrian product endorsed by back surgeons, master saddlers & veterinarians.

Solutions for The High Wither Horse:

Our saddle pads come with a 4 inch wither profile with two exceptions: Basic Pads and the Pro-Tech Western.  All other pads work equally well on peaked withers and average horses. Simply Select your discipline:

*Western Shimmable Pads

*English Shimmable Pads

Then, add a pair of Front Saddle Fitting shims- these will appear below your cart during checkout.

Most high wither saddle fit issues are solved with a pad and a set of front shims.  ThinLine is sewn to the pad, supporting the saddle thereby providing both gullet (spine) and wither clearance.  If you have a horse with very narrow shoulders in addition to a high wither add a bridging shim to create the smooth transition and support the contact behind their shoulder.

Solutions for The Mutton Wither Horse:

Generally saddle movement is the challenge with low withers. Saddles pitch, roll or slip forward. Non-Slip might be the first reason you purchase ThinLine but the noticeable improvement in comfort for your horse and the stability of the saddle will create more joy in your riding. 

We suggest a BASIC ThinLine,  or any ThinLine pad without shims.  Our Western Felt Pads are a favorite for low withers but all styles of ThinLine pads will be effective.  Unless your saddle is bridging or too low in the rear you most likely will not need saddle fitting shims.


western felt shock absorbing pad



Solutions for Saddles which Bridge or Horses with a Sway Back:

Any ThinLine Pad and Bridging Shims are the answer. Stack them then remove layers as your horse develops . It is not uncommon to see horses develop more topline in a ThinLine. Historically, riders eventually remove the bridging shim.  To retain the good muscle on the top line you’ve developed continue using your ThinLine without the shims.  

Bridging Shims are available for every ThinLine Pad. When you place a pad in your shopping cart scroll down to view the Saddle Fitting Shims which are sold in pairs.

Solution for Balance Issues Including Rear Riser Pads:

If you need to lift the back (cantle) of your saddle adding a rear shim to a ThinLine saddle pad is your answer. You may stack up to 3 sets of shims 1/4 inch shims to balance and protect.


Solutions for Asymmetrical (Crooked) Horses and Riders:

All of our shims are sold in pairs. If you have a crooked horse, simply place the pair on one side for severe issues, or simply use one shim.  Our research shows, horses lift their backs better in ThinLine resulting in eventual straightness.  Keep checking on your horses way of going and remove the shim once they are straight, continue using your ThinLine pad.

Solutions for Treeless Saddles and Horses in Intense Work

ThinLine works well with treeless saddles by providing support, integrity and shock absorption in a soft flexible product.

For horses in intense work we offer a full shim allowing owners to double the protection – Booster Shims, sold in pairs.

Shock Absorbing Therapeutic Saddle Fitting Shims

  • Front Shims: Provide lift in the wither area and are available in two thicknesses, sold in pairs.
  • Bridging Shims: Fill in gaps over the top line. Available in two thicknesses, sold in pairs.
  • Rear Shims: Lift the cantle of the saddle for perfect balance. Available in two thicknesses, sold in pairs.
  • Kits available for multiple shims.
  • Full Booster Shim: A pair of shims running the full panel will create ThinLine Plus (1/4 inch) Thickness for intense protection.


Master Saddlers and ThinLine developed a shimming system designed to create custom saddle fit while also providing shock absorbing therapeutic benefits. ThinLine saddle fitting shims are made from the same trademark foam found on ThinLine pads. In addition, shims are easily inserted or removed and stay in place during riding and washing. 

Now adjusting your saddle also includes more comfort. 



Using a ThinLine pad without saddle fitting shims will not alter custom saddle fit.

Easy to Install. Shims remain in place during riding and washing. Shims are invisible, inside your pad.


Front shim slips in to solve wither problems.
Create bridging fit; shim fills in gaps.

The full open panel allows you to place shims exactly where you need them.


Cotton Trifecta Half Pad
Contour Ranch Pad
Endurance Drop Rig Pad
Full Sheepskin Square Cotton Dressage Pad
Dressage full sheepskin
Saddle Seat Equitation Pad





Once you place a Thinline saddle pad in your shopping cart you will see below your cart, Add shims to the pad in my cart. Simply add the shims you need.


Front, Bridging or Rear Western Shims
Front, Bridging or Rear English Shims
Full Booster Shims




ThinLine receives endorsements from top riders, publications, surgeons, Saddle Fitters, Veterinarians, Chiropractors, Equine Massage Therapist, and of course horses and riders.

What the industry is Saying: 

SmartPak Loves ThinLine so much
they developed their own custom pad






SMS master saddle fitters

What Master Saddlers are Saying about ThinLine:

So many horses improve top-line muscle tone by using ThinLine Master Saddlers such as Cordia Person (CSF) educate saddle fitters on how to shim with ThinLine.  For custom saddles, fitters like Cordia, recommend  ThinLine Pads to protect backs and keep saddles fitting until the next check.  ThinLine will not alter the fit of a custom saddle.  ThinLine pads come with a pocket to add shims.


Kissing Spine Disease

Solutions for Equine Sore Backs, Veterinarians endorse ThinLinePlus+:

 -often the culprit of poor saddle fit- sore backs are one of the primary reasons for soundness issues. Veterinarians recommend ThinLine for horses with sore backs and as a preventative measure and as part of their therapy. Burlington Equine Veterinary Services VT: specializing in KSD Kissing Spine Disease treatment, among others recommend the ThinLinePlus+ Basic Therapeutic Pad.



International Company: Back on Track adds Ultra ThinLine to their Muscle Warming products.

Leaders of Therapeutic products for athletes & horses created English & Western pads called the Contender Saddle Pad. Back On Track with ThinLine delivers double the technology. Designed by Back on Track.  If you briefly warm up your horse, Back on Track Products can make sure muscles are loose before you enter the arena.  Coupled with ThinLine, top professionals choose this combination to save their horses for the show ring.

sms society of master saddlers