Saddle Fit & Shimming with ThinLine



All across the country, equestrians are rejoicing for the return of longer days and warmer weather for optimal days spent at the barn and in the saddle. Did your horses take a vacation from regular exercise over the winter? Perhaps you increased activity and showed in Florida, California, Arizona, or South Carolina, or inside a heated facility all winter. Now is a great time to consider having a saddle fitter out to ensure that any changes that may have occurred over winter will not affect your spring and summer riding plans.

If your saddle fit requires modifications, shims can be added for the ultimate in saddle fit and back protection for both horse and rider. ThinLine70 booster shim going in 2 high res WEB material, which is on all of our English and Western saddle pads and what our shims are created from, provides 95% shock-absorption for both horse and rider. It is the most effective pressure relieving and shock-absorbing foam available.  ThinLine material never compresses, meaning your shims will last a lifetime and will never shift or degrade in any way.

What’s so special about shims?

Shims are an easy, accessible, and affordable way to customize saddle fit without purchasing a new saddle. Our shims come in two thicknesses, ThinLine (3/16″) 4.8mm and ThinLine + (1/4″) 6.4mm. ThinLine shims slide into the “pocket” of our pads. Up to three layers of these pieces can be layered to create an even transition for major saddle fit issues.

Western Ranch Saddle Pad Front Shim

Plus, they arrive to you as 1 piece, so you can cut the exact shape your horse needs and place it inside the pad, guidelines are also included on cutting a front, bridging, or rear shim. Another great feature of ThinLine shims is that they are slip-free, so you’ll never have to worry if the shim has moved during riding or washing.


The full shim can also be left as one piece, for superior protection across your horse’s back.

What type of saddle fit problems can adjustable pad shims solve?

  • High Withers: Add front shims to any pad.
  • Mutton Withers: Any ThinLine pad without saddle fitting shims.
  • 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 full or front 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 full shim to any ThinLine pad.
  • Treeless Saddle Pad Comfort: Add a full shim to any ThinLine Pad.

For major saddle fit issues please seek a professional saddle fitter for help.

If you are unsure who your local saddle fitter is, please e-mail us at [email protected] and we will try to connect you with one. Also see our western saddle fitting tips.

To shop shimmable pads and matching shims, visit



4 thoughts on “Saddle Fit & Shimming with ThinLine”

  1. Hello – do you have any information or pictures that could help me to fit the shim I bought to go with my english seat saver? Not really sure where to slot it into

    I tend to ride leaning a little to the left so that my left stirrup feels longer.

    • Thanks for your question. The shims fit right between your saddle and the seat saver. The non slip thinline will keep it in place, no pockets needed.

    • Thanks for your question Janet! The ThinLine Perfect Fit Pads are designed to be used between your saddle and another pad, giving you a thin, shock-absorbing layer under your saddle. All of the other ThinLine pads are designed to be used on their own or as a liner underneath a show blanket. Please contact customer service for more help at [email protected].


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