Panels or Western Skirt
Panels for Ghost saddles - and can work for other saddles with loop-side velcro underneath. Price is for a pair of panels or the complete western skirt with integrated panels. New option - XL velcro opening panels, great for those really wide horses, but may also provide more stability for slab sided horses.
Panels for 16" seat run just over 20", for 17" seat is about 21", for 18" is a bit over 22". Important - the XL panels are 7" wide so you need to make sure your pad structure supports that! See more details below.
I stock mostly velcro opening panels for seat sizes 17" and 18" but can order the others and do have a couple of the closed panels available.
I prefer the velcro opening panels because that makes it easy to shim for rider balance, but the closed panels do have a neat look.
Most people use the standard panel thickness which is a thin layer of formo(a stiff material), a layer of 2cm foam with excellent weight distribution and response-time properties which remain at all operation temps, and a single layer of a softer, shape-forming foam.
The thin panels don't have any of the soft foam and are best for riders under 120lbs or who prefer a bareback pad feel (and reduce stirrup use accordingly) or who use a fairly substantial treeless pad and need to reduce thickness. These have to be custom ordered in most cases.
The thick panels have a second layer of the soft foam and are recommended only for riders over 185lbs or those over 175 competing in endurance. But I rarely advise this as the standard panels are sufficient for my 225# test subject to easily maintain spine clearance with consistent trotting. The extra soft foam really just makes more material to squish and therefore you have to re-check your girth tightness more often.
It's possible to modify the panel inserts with the velcro opening panels, not with the closed panels so choose accordingly. We carry rider balancing shims that go inside the velcro opening panels and now have wedge shims in a velcro pocket to go between the closed panel and the base. Or you can order either version with a built in wedge, if you know your horse is downhill where the saddle sits.
NEW! The western skirt has been redesigned to have incorporated panels for a slimmer, closer contact feel. It comes with the Western saddle, but can also be added to the Florac, Quevis, and Quilty models for a western look.
Rave reviews for this option - "Had my first ride today and OMG it felt so good! Horse was comfy and she moved out really well. I never liked the velcro panels as I felt like I was hovering over the horse. The western panel/conversion distributes everything well without losing the close contact feel. Winner winner! Thanks for your help! The sheepskin seat cover is comfy too! -Gabe"
Even Newer! The new XL (wider panels) are great both on those tabletop horses, but also to add stability to narrow horses. But they must be paired with pads designed for a wider pocket/insert. The XL panels ONLY come with 1 layer of the soft foam since rider weight is already distributed over a bigger area.