Proper Padding

Saddle Fit

Fit is best determined by how your horse goes in the saddle.

Your new Tad Coffin Performance Saddle should accommodate a wide array of horses, if properly padded. Too much padding or too little padding will adversely affect the performance of the saddle. Your saddle arrives broken in; however, the new saddle may sit up a bit higher for the first few rides and may need less padding during this period. 

Note: "Fit" is best determined by how your horse goes in the saddle, not by how it looks sitting on his back.  Look and listen for your horse's opinion.  


Wither Clearance (check after mounting)

There should be at least one finger’s width of clearance under the pommel (as shown) after the rider has mounted, has his weight in the saddle, and the girth is properly tightened. More than a finger’s width of clearance on a low-withered horse is acceptable provided there is at least one layer of padding.


CAUTION: The pommel must never rest on the top of the horse’s spine as this can cause serious injury. Wither clearance should be checked within the first moments of each and every ride. If the clearance is incorrect, discontinue the ride and adjust the padding.

Note: these panels "exhale" once the rider is in the saddle .

Saddle Placement

Padding_girth placement1.jpg

Saddle placement is best determined by the distance between the horse’s elbow and the front edge of the girth. This distance should be approximately one finger’s width (as shown). If the front edge of the girth crowds the elbow, the saddle is too far forward, if there is too much distance between the elbow and the front edge of the girth, the saddle is too far back.



The Tad Coffin Performance Girth is highly recommended as a part of the Tad Coffin Performance System. For correct distribution of pressure, always attach the girth on first and third billet straps. The girth should be comfortably snug before mounting, be careful not over-tighten. After mounting, tighten the girth equally on both sides and check for wither clearance. Check the girth for tightness again within the first few minutes of riding.



The padding required to achieve the correct clearance will vary from horse to horse and even over time with the same horse as his back shape changes. The leather pads are used to adjust the width of your saddle. Never use the leather pad without a square or fitted pad underneath.  Align the pads so the leather pad is centered fore and aft and left and right. Stagger the edges so that each pad sits within the pad below and partially tent the pad(s) into the pommel before tightening the girth. Different shaped backs require small changes in the level of padding. Refer to the guide below in choosing what padding best suits your horse:

We recommend starting with a Toklat Medallion Close Contact fitted show pad or a square pad underneath you Tad Coffin saddle. After mounting the first time (so that your weight is in the saddle) take one finger and check between the pommel and the pad for clearance. If there is not at least one finger of clearance either add a thin leather pad or use a square pad under a fitted show pad. If there is still not enough clearance after mounting, refer to the padding guide below to determine what additional padding is required to best fit your horse. The A5 is slightly wider and may require additional padding on narrower horses than the TC2 would.

Please Call Tad with any padding concerns (434)-989-3229


Low Wither
Well Muscled

For both models, use a fitted or square pad.
No leather pad required.

*Check for >1 finger's worth of clearance after mounting*

Medium Wither
Well Muscled

A5: Add a thin leather pad (or combine fitted and square pads)
TC2: No additional padding required

*Check for >1 finger's worth of clearance after mounting*



High Wither
Poorly Muscled

A5: Add thick leather pad
TC2: May require either medium or thick leather pad

*Check for >1 finger's worth of clearance after mounting*

High Wither
Well Muscled

A5: Add  medium leather pad
TC2: Add thin leather pad

*Check for >1 finger's worth of clearance after mounting*