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Re: [RC] Treeless Saddles - was Saddles, Pads and weird horses - Elizabeth Walker

That is the theory behind the Port Lewis system, at any rate.  I think the issue with putting the shims in the padding is that it is then critical that the horse, pad and saddle all line up when you saddle up, and that the pad does not shift.  Otherwise - your shims end up in the wrong spot, and you could be worse off than before.  

The Specialized Saddle folks set it up so that the shims velcro onto the saddle tree, so shifting isn't an issue if the saddle is placed correctly.  I think its a really neat idea, but I had some different problems, as their system is a Western tree which was a bit big for my guy, and the saddle just didn't fit me.  

The biggest drawback to the Specialized system I can see is not with the saddle - it's with the person fitting the saddle.  I thought I set mine up fine.  Then when I had a real saddle fitter check it, I found it was bridging .. rather badly, actually.  I could see it when she fixed one side and had me compare the two sides, but not until then.

On Jun 1, 2009, at 11:42 AM, sherman wrote:

I have some questions about these subjects too. I've always wondered what difference does it make if a good fit is attained by a custom pad or a restuffed saddle? I understand that if a tree is too small that no amount of padding is going to fix that, but in some cases, like a dippy back, or hollow behind the withers, isn't proper padding/shimming going to do the same as restuffing the saddle?

[RC] Treeless Saddles - was Saddles, Pads and weird horses, sherman