How to Get a Total Saddle Fit For Your Horse


Your horse’s saddle has a significant effect on their welfare and performance, so regular visits by an accredited saddle fitter are necessary to ensure its balance, movement, and suitability for both you and your horse.

The patent Shoulder Relief Girth was designed to accommodate horses’ natural girth groove while still allowing its sides to attach more securely farther back on the latigos for reduced shoulder interference.

Shoulder Relief Girth

Girths that are too tight pull forward too quickly or contain uneven pressure points can restrict shoulder movement and affect your horse’s back in adverse ways. Girths are one of the critical pieces of equipment needed for freedom of movement on horseback.

Shoulder Relief Girth(tm) offers an elegant solution to traditional girths’ inherent physical flaw of sitting too far forward on a horse’s shoulders: its 2-inch offset redirects billet line and diverts billet lines away from riding into shoulders even on properly fitted saddles, as well as cutback design on elbows for increased elbow clearance.

Another fantastic advantage of this girth is its versatility: you can adjust its shape to fit your horse perfectly, rather than forcing him or her into an uncomfortable form. Velcroing on extra layers of leather ensures a custom fit.

This girth features soft padded calfskin for comfort against the saddle, while durable top-grain English hide provides durability on its exterior. Double elastic on both ends and stainless steel buckles add stability for use with Total Saddle Fit wool fleece girth liners; available sizes 18-34″ in both black or brown finish options.

Shoulder Relief Cinch

The Shoulder Relief Cinch was explicitly created to alleviate cinch galls and elbow interference on horses. Its unique contour contours around the elbow to minimize pinching, slipping, or rubbing that occurs between pinch galls and elbow interference. Furthermore, this full nylon webbing backing offers resilience as well as the look, touch, and feel of leather; removable limestone neoprene or 100% wool felt liners allow one cinch to be used with multiple liners for washing or show purposes.

This cinch features the patent-pending Balance Buckle (Patent #D917109). This innovative buckle evenly distributes weight across the sternum for even contact and symmetrical placement of the saddle.

This cinch stands out due to its unique patent design: the center elastic is set up to fit in the horse’s natural girth groove, while its latigos have been moved further back on his body than traditional cinches would allow. This allows it to neutralize the pull of latigos, which prevents the saddle from pulling into the shoulders’ range of motion.

Six Point Half Pad

Horse owners frequently employ half pads as a means of improving saddle fit and preventing back sores, but only if used appropriately for these reasons.

Sheepskin and wool half pads can be costly and time-consuming to keep in their proper shape, needing frequent washes to stay looking their best. Furthermore, these half pads may force saddles up onto withers, which puts increased strain on wither muscles and trapezius muscles and increases front rounding in horses.

Open-cell foam half pads are another popular type. While this material can absorb some shock and help in redistributing pressure points, it often compresses too quickly and is too thick to work under closer-fitting saddles.

Winder en’s Six Point Sheepskin and Cotton Half Pads are designed to address saddle fit issues while offering excellent wither relief. Each model contains pockets designed for placing shims anatomically correct for maximum saddle fit and horse comfort, with additional felt shims available separately that fit within either Sheepskin or Cotton Six Point Wither Freedom half pad model’s pockets for inserts – one set includes six total insert pockets!


Shims are like the muscles of structural stability: they fill any tiny gaps for rock-solid support across numerous industries and applications. Made of wood, plastic, or metal, shims are often used to help create an even surface between objects.

Shims can be placed between the saddle pad and the horse to fill any spaces not being adequately supported by the saddle, such as behind the withers or along the back. They help alleviate pressure and stress on shoulders, prevent them from riding up on an unstable back swayback position, and relieve bridging issues along the mid-back region of the back.

When adding shims, it is essential to keep in mind the changeable nature of shoulder muscles over time. Due to exercise, weight loss, or injury, one shoulder could become more developed than another, requiring balance shims on both sides of a horse in order to equalize development across each shoulder. Furthermore, riders should be able to sit forward without placing excess strain on the back and shoulders.

ThinLine Saddle Pads include a set of full shims that can be cut to size and layered together for optimal lift on any horse’s body type. Our ThinLine pads include clear instructions to help guide this process.