Western Airpad or Smartpad with (Long) Center Shims:
This shim has a thick center area that (when placed in the position indicated) provides just enough "lift" to keep pressure off your horse's bulging shoulder muscles as they swing underneath the front of your saddle when your horse strides out. Your horse's body shape will be best served by this shim underneath your saddle because the shim is tapered on both ends, which will transition nicely/gradually along the body toward the front and rear of the functional lifting part of the shim. Our research indicates that this helps keep the saddle in place well. It will also facilitate balancing your saddle seat properly so you should be able to access your balance point easily.
If you are new to shimming, it pays to know that there is often a need to experiment with position/placement of shims and sometimes even trying another pattern or combination of shims may benefit you and your horse.
If you are concerned that you are not setting things up correctly to achieve saddle balance or freedom of your horses shoulders, back or stride we suggest doing our FREE Saddle Fit a Evaluation located HERE.
As the owner of our Saddles and pads, that assistance is yours courtesy of our trained customer service team and requires some digital photos and information that gives us an overall assessment of your current set up.
Most importantly, ride your saddle and explore what some minor adjustments can do. Your horse is always changing shapes, posture and condition so this may be an evolving process.
To refresh your knowledge of WHY we shim, check out our video ‘The Principles of Shimming’ HERE.