Avoid Saddle Soreness: What Saddle Is Best For Flat-Backed Horse?

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 06/10/23 •  10 min read

Horse riding is probably the most thrilling experience you can have.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always a breeze. 

Now let us frankly- Do you have a flat-backed horse? Then you know finding the right saddle can be a real pain in the…well, you know where.

Here is why:

Flat-backed horses shaped like a tabletop.

That’s obviously a unique feature but the problem is they lack the typical arch in their spine, which can make it difficult to find a saddle that fits comfortably and securely. If the saddle doesn’t fit properly, it can cause discomfort and even pain for your equine friend.

That’s where a special saddle comes in. 

A saddle that’s designed specifically for a flat-backed horse can help distribute weight more evenly across the horse’s back. 

How? By reducing pressure points and preventing soreness. 

Today, we will talk about some of the best saddle for wide flat backed horse which will ensure a safe and comfortable ride for both you and your equine companion.

But first……What is a flat back saddle?

In plain words, a flat back saddle is a type of horse saddle that is particularly designed to fit horses with a flat back or a low wither. 

One thing the saddle must have is a flattering panel on the bottom. 

Let’s take examples of quarter horses and draft horses that have flat backs. It is also typically used for older horses whose backs have become flattery with the age factor. 

What makes this so special?

The flat back saddle delivers precise weight distribution. It can prevent back pain or discomfort for the horse. This also allows for better sovereignty of movement in the shoulder area. It is most important for performance horses. 

Flat-back saddles have a variety of unique styles. These may include….

Saddle fitting guide: How to select a saddle for a flatback horse?

The first priority should be to find a saddle that is snugly fitted to the back of the horse. 

Keep in mind, a badly matched bridle can do more harm than good. No one wants to see their horse in distress, with aches, and wounds. Here are some golden tips to get the right saddle for your wider flat-backed pony.

Check if the tree is wide enough to support the flat-back 

A flat-back horse will need a saddle with a little bit of a wide tree. 

The reason? 

The back is less curvature. So, you must pick something that distributes the weight of the rider evenly. It must match the back shape of your horse. 

Panel shape & filling is crucial

Always go for a saddle whose panels are matching with the back shape of your beautiful horse. And when your horse is flat back it’s a must. It will help you to minimize pressure junctures. 

Many riders do not take it seriously and end up with a loss of money and effort.

Panel filling should not be missed out. Select a saddle with a panel filling that provides satisfactory cushioning. It also must not set arm-twisting on the spine of the horse.

Point out the gullet clearance

Ensure the saddle has enough gullet clearance to avoid rubbing or pinching your horse’s withers. Otherwise, your horse might start yelling “distress in the withers” rather than its sweetheart rider.

Don’t forget to check the saddle length & weight

Choose the best saddle for a flat-backed horse with an appropriate saddle length. It should fill the horse’s back without extending beyond its last rib.

Oh, another thing we almost missed!!!!

Always consider its weight. It should be light enough not to strain the horse’s back muscles.

Our suggested top 3 best saddle for a flat-backed horse review

#1. Big horn “king of mules” cordura mule saddle – Best western saddle for wide flat backed horse

western saddle for wide flat backed horse

The scoop:

As the saddle brand name is- “King of Mules”

And it truly is!

The Big Horn saddle is specifically designed for horses with flat top-line and less-defined withers. And as the name indicates, this saddle is only for the mule breed.

Material, design 

If you’re worried about getting caught in the rain, don’t be – the saddle’s Cordura material is water-resistant.

You and your mule stay dry no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. This material is known as Cordura. It is a durable and lightweight synthetic fabric.

Here is the coolest part……. 
It comes with a Flat Top-Line design with swept-back swells. This feature actually makes it the perfect perfect fit for horses or mules with straight, less-defined withers. And the beautiful brown tack is always an attractive addition to recognizing anyone from afar.

Seat & pad

The seat of this saddle is made with grain-out leather. It is padded for added comfort. This provides a satisfactory riding experience for the rider, even on lengthier rides.


With a 16 inches giant horn, it’s perfect for securing your rope or other gear. Plus, the adjustable rigging allows us to customize the fit to the mule’s shape, ensuring that she always feels as comfortable as possible.


The Big Horn Cordura saddle is created on a fiberglass-covered timber tree. It also comprises flat top-line bars and swept-back swells by Steele Saddle Tree Co. 

The result? The saddle is lightweight (just 22 lbs) and long-lasting, perfect for those who are on protracted rides.

Drawbacks of this saddle we notice

We found only two drawbacks to this clean saddle:

#2. Wintec 2000 hart wide all-purpose saddle

Wintec 2000 hart wide all-purpose saddle

The scoop

Effortless leg position, total fitting solution, Protective Cushioning, super soft panel- there are a million reasons to fall in love with this saddle.

What makes it so different from the rest of the others?

The game-changing HART technology.

HART stands for Horse and Rider Technology- that means a saddle that cares about both the horse and the rider. The adjustable HART gullet system allows me to change the width of the saddle to fit my horse’s changing shape, which is especially helpful as your horse gains or loses weight over time. 

Smart, isn’t it?

Material & design 

The Wintec 2000 WIDE All Purpose Saddle is brought to the market after an update with high demand due to its high-quality materials. 

This grippy material is also incredibly durable and easy to clean, making it a practical choice for riders who want a low-maintenance saddle.

What’s more? 

If you consider the design, it’s a masterpiece. The elegant and refined design (available in both black & brown) gives it a raw, vintage vibe. 

Seat & pad

The seat and pad of this saddle are also designed with a grippy material. It provides exceptional comfort and support to the rider. 

That’s not all……

The Cair Cushion System helps distribute pressure evenly across your horse’s back, so he stays comfortable and happy throughout your rides.

Now come to the panel.

Super-soft panels mold around the horse’s muscles for a closer and more stable fit. The rider can experience close contact feeling with the horse. It will definitely give better communication between the two.


The tree of a saddle is essentially its foundation. 

No doubt about it.

It’s the internal framework that gives the saddle its shape, stability, and support. featuring the Elastiflex Tree, The Wintec Saddle offers ergonomic flex and unrestricted movement for your horse.


The stirrup of this creative saddle is created to nourish a close connection emotion. This allows for an effortless leg position and flawless balance.

Drawbacks of this saddle we notice

It may not be the best choice for riders who require a horn for their riding needs. 

#3. Bates Wide All-Purpose Saddle | Dover Saddlery

Bates Wide All-Purpose Saddle

The scoop:

Material, design & color:

The Bates Wide All-Purpose Saddle is made of Heritage Leather. It is then traditionally tanned in natural oil and wax. The result is a desirable rich patina characteristic of the finest natural leather. 

The high oil and wax content of this performance leather enhances your grip. It also gives optimal suppleness and a fully natural surface. Moreover, the saddle is available in classic black and rich brown.

Seat & pad:

The Bates Wide All-Purpose Saddle features a deep seat. 


It also features an ultra-narrow twist for superior comfort and contact. You can sit greatly into this saddle in a well-balanced and prominent position. 

The CAIR® Cushion panels build an exceptionally tremendous impression on your horse’s back. It can maximize the weight-bearing region for your horse’s maximum solace and enactment.


The Bates Wide All-Purpose Saddle has an adjustable fiberglass tree with the EASY-CHANGE® Gullet System WIDE. 

Why is this so important?

This system offers the choice of four interchangeable wide gullet plates to fit your horse’s shape. It also works with the EASY-CHANGE® Riser System. This allows minor adjustments in how panels sit on your horse’s back. We used a Phillips screwdriver #3 to adjust the tree of the saddle.


The saddle’s stirrup is not specified in the product description.

Drawbacks of this saddle we notice

We noticed some users were complaining about the dye and we found it true. It completely rubbed off after using it a couple of times.


As we always say…….

A well-fitted saddle is not a luxury. It’s a necessity for the convenience and security of both you and your pony.  

So, take the time to analyze to find the best saddle for flat backed horse. We mention a few saddles, but that doesn’t mean those three are the only option you have. Yes, Finding the best dressage saddle for a wide flat-backed horse may not be an easy journey- we get it.

But please do the research and find the right one for you. Best of luck!

Pleased riding!

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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