Saddling your horse with a CSI Saddlepad is pretty simple — once you get used to it. Optimally, you want the center of the Flex-Plate to fall right behind the horse’s scapula (shoulder). You will then place the saddle so the flare (ball) of the saddle tree lines up with the same spot. By doing this, you are offering your horse the most protection from pressure points and allowing the greatest possible freedom for shoulder rotation.
Saddling too far forward is one of the most common mistakes riders make. Be careful not to position the saddle too far forward on the pad or the saddle & pad too far forward on the horse.
A general rule that works for many saddles is to make sure the pad is positioned so that the front edge of the saddle skirt is about three fingers (two to two and a half inches) behind the front edge of the Flex-Plate.
Another VERY IMPORTANT part of saddling with the CSI Saddlepad involves pushing the contour up into the gullet of the saddle. The CSI Saddlepad is designed with a two and half inch contour which allows for very effective wither relief. In order to get the most relief, you need to get the contour correctly placed in the gullet of the saddle. To do this, you need to pull (or push) the pad up as far as it will go inside the gullet. The front leather triangles with the CSI insignia should actually tent up inside the gullet when correctly placed. (See image on left above.)
With our 100% wool inserts pushing the pad up into the gullet of your saddle can be a challenge until it gets broken in through use. To make correct positioning of the saddle pad contour easier, you can push the pad up from the side. Do this BEFORE you cinch and do it equally on both sides of the pad. (See the image on right above.)
If you remove your liner from your pad, be sure to REALIGN the VELCRO CAREFULLY so that it matches up all along the spine. It is more important that the liner be velcroed in evenly from side to side than for the vent holes to line up perfectly.
For the best results using your CSI Saddlepad we HIGHLY RECOMMEND you watch the video below as well as visit our our Saddlepad Fit page for more in depth information on saddle pad fit.
Things to Remember Every Time You Saddle Up
No pad can make up for bad saddle fit. Try to choose a saddle for your horse that fits. Tree width, rigging position and overall length all impact fit.
• Your cinch should hang straight down from the rigging of your saddle. It should not slant forward or backward even after you’ve ridden the horse.
• A longer cinch will make for a more stable saddle. Your cinch should have between 3 and 6 inches of latigo between the rigging of your saddle and the cinch D ring. A wider cinch is more comfortable and more stable.
• If your saddle has a setup for a back cinch, you should use a back cinch. Keep the back cinch snugged tight so there’s no gap between the horse’s belly and the cinch even when you’re mounted. Always hobble front & back cinches.
• The CSI Saddlepad will lift your saddle up a little so you will need to lengthen your breast collar to compensate.
Two more things you need to know …
• Our 100% all natural wool felt inserts are just that — 100% all natural and the bits of vegatative matter in the material are what was on the sheep when it was sheared of its fleece. Since we used needled wool instead of pressed wool, the wool never goes through harsh cleaning processess, so the vegatative matter remains in the finished product. Simply pluck it out.
• You will need to replace your CSI insert (liner, not Flex-Plate). Liners last one to three years depending upon how much you ride and how often you clean them. Keeping your liner clean and following the care instructions on this site will help your pad last longer. Please read and follow the instructions carefully.