How to saddle a sway back horse with a corrective pad

If your saddle is bridging. It has little to no contact in the center.  It is important to use a saddle pad that offers an open shimming system.  While there are many corrective pads on the market, each horse, saddle and saddle pad combination are different, shimming in the right place is the most important starting point.

Bridging Shim Placement.

When learning how to saddle a swayback horse with a corrective pad, it is important you are able to place a bridging shim in exactly the right place to provide even contact along the full panel of the saddle. We recommend you only use a pad with an open shim pocket. Saddles will bridge in different areas depending upon your horses confirmation and the tree of the saddle.  Once you have shimmed in the center, ride and check to see if you have an even sweat pattern along their top-line.

Sway Back Saddle Fitting Shims.

Materials used to saddle a swayback horse are as important as the corrective pad itself. The materials need to be supportive, they need to provide pressure relief, they should not shift and they should be comfortable for your horse.  By making our shims from the same material as our shock-absorbing swayback saddle pads, we can double the comfort for the horse while also creating perfect saddle fit.  In addition to placement, the thickness of the bridging shim needs to be correct if you want your horse to lift their back and create a stronger top-line.  We offer shims in two thicknesses, allowing you to provide your horse with precisely the right amount of build-up.

Is it my horse or my saddle?

It could be either, or both. But don’t worry.  We have spent two decades working with saddle fitters to give you all the options you need for a perfect and comfortable fit.  We have a money-back guarantee so feel free to order shims and return those you do not need. Feel free to reach out to our educated customer service reps for suggestions.

sway back bridging saddle fitting

What does the Panel of ThinLine provide for swayback horses?

In this case, ThinLine delivers shock-absorbing protection for both horses and riders. ThinLine is the only product endorsed by surgeons, master saddlers & veterinarians.

“The manner in which this product absorbs motion encourages horses to lift their backs, developing strength and top-line.  It has been endorsed by Veterinarians, for horses, as well as Spinal Surgeons for riders. It is a top pick for Master Saddlers around the world. Equine Chiropractors and Massage Therapists carry it on their trucks to keep horses going strong, supple and relaxed.  Trainers and riders find it a trusted product to improve rider equitation”.  It is the dual benefits of extraordinary shock absorption and rider motion reduction that sets ThinLine apart from other saddle pads.

Additionally, the top layer of ThinLine will automatically span the area and create contact.

How do I know which saddle pad to choose for my swayback horse?

We offer corrective saddle pads and shock absorbing shims for swayback horses in every saddle style. And we have designed our pads to work well with even the most challenging conformations.

How do I purchase the shims I need?

Every ThinLine saddle pad, except our basic pads, have two shim options in the product. Simply select the thickness you desire.  Our shims are “trim to fit” and have score lines to show you where you should cut them to produce bridging, front or rear shims.  The trim to fit shim will give you up to 3 independent shims, allowing you to stack and layer them where needed, filling in the gap and  providing support.

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