Discuss No sweat under the saddle – cause for concern? at the Tack & Equipment forum - Horse Forums. This has happened the past two times that I've ridden. Both times were within the ...
No sweat under the saddle – cause for concern?
This has happened the past two times that I've ridden. Both times were within the last two weeks and the weather was similar both days: upper 50s/low 60s. At the end of the ride my horse has a little sweat on his neck (like where the breastplate would lie if he were wearing one) and plenty under the girth, but none under the saddle. Both rides consisted mainly of walking around on trails (although we did do a little stretch of cantering both rides and we did pop over some smaller fallen logs) so we're not talking about a serious workout either time. The saddle pad is cotton, and the girth is an Ovation Airform (chafeless neoprene girth). I noticed last time I rode that the underside of the saddle pad was slightly damp, so I wondered if maybe he was sweating a little bit and the pad absorbed it? The girth is neoprene so it doesn't breathe at all which would explain why he was sweaty under there.
Below are links to pictures I took last night of the saddle girthed up on his back but without the pad underneath. (Sorry if they are not fantastic. It was dark and I was by myself and he was fidgety because he wanted to go back out in the pasture and eat.) I felt around underneath it as best I could, and the panels seemed to be making good contact with his back. It also has a nice roomy channel over his spine.
The saddle was brand new in January and fit him really well at the time. (The owner of the saddle shop where I bought, Lynnda at Classic Saddlery, it is an experienced fitter and helped me fit it to him according to the wither tracing I took.) During August and September I didn't ride much because when it wasn't super hot I was helping some friends with their fence project, but a friend was still using him for the occasional beginner lesson. I am really hoping this is not a saddle fit issue!
Last edited by RebeccaMI; 11-09-2011 at 07:43 AM.
Reason: pictures weren't linking properly
You would need to work him for an hour with lots trot and canter to get a considerable sweat pattern to judge. Mild amounts of sweat can get absorbed by the saddle pad.
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FD is right, however, while not related to the lack of sweat under the entire saddle, your saddle does appear to be a teensy bit too narrow for this horse. You shouldn't be able to see a shadow under the top of the panel. That tells me that the tree point angle doesn't quite match the horse's angle.
Originally Posted by Heavenly Jumper
Yes, that shadow shouldn't be there. Maybe send the pictures to Lynnda and see what she says?
Ditto about the sweat -- takes quite a serious workout.
I don't know what happened in my initial post, but the links didn't come out correctly. There should be seven different pictures, not just the first one seven times. I fixed it now.
Originally Posted by crayon
I think before I send pics to Lynnda I should try to get some in the daytime with better lighting. Compare IMG_0001 with IMG_0006, for example. I'm not sure if there's really a shadow there in IMG_0001 or if that's just something weird happening with the flash because it was dark. There's no shadow in IMG_0006. Maybe I'll also do a new wither tracing. If it's true that the tree needs to be widened, I'm sure that can be done.
There is a shadow. The saddle is not touching at the top of the panels on that side -- seems as if it'd be putting pressure a few inches down from the top of the panel. It looks good on the other side, though. Saddle seems a bit curvy, too (rear panels not touching), but the balance looks OK in the last pic.
I would still like to get some pics in better lighting, and maybe also another wither tracing, but I will include that pic of the front left (the one with the shadow) as well when I contact Lynnda.
The rear part makes nice contact when my weight is in the saddle, so I'm not concerned about that. (Should I be?)
I wouldn't be too concerned if your horse is not objecting. However, because of that, it's not a perfect fit. I'd like to see the panels distribute weight evenly when I'm out of the saddle.
I'm not a fan of the angle of the rear panels either... But if your horse really isn't objecting (not yet at least) then you could probably ride in it at least for now. I'm extremely picky about saddle fit though and I personally wouldn't ride in it.
Originally Posted by Heavenly Jumper
Lack of sweat, especially where the saddle is can be due to an ill fit. Because your saddle before and doesn't now isn't necessarily a bad thing. Change in muscle can change the fit, so, kudos to you on building muscle, AND for noticing before you end up having a cranky horse!
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