Port Lewis Pad Analysis- the shape of the back

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This is a Port Lewis pad impression of a saddle that had its gullet plate adjusted to fit the shape of the horse and the impression was taken a few days after the fitting.  The impression shows a fit with no pressure points.  The gullet plate fits the horse well.  Very good, except there is only one problem.  The panels of the saddle were 18 inches long and this impression is only 14 inches long.  The back 4 inches of the saddle are not carrying any weight at all.  If the horse was ridden in a saddle that distributed the weight of the rider over 18 inches, there would be less pounds per square inch, (always what we are striving for) and the rider would have better communication with the horse.  This saddle probably had too much curve in the tree for the shape of the horse.  Some horses are very flat-backed and they need a flatter tree.  It is also possible that because this saddle is made from a material that flexes in all directions, the back of the saddle would always curve away from the back of the horse due to the weight of the rider.   I would also like to see a wider area of panel contact on each side of the horses’ back.  The flocking in this saddle may be a little too hard.  The panel is not squashing down and flattening out like it should.

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