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Took the boys on their first trip packing weight. Went better than I expected. Only question is the saddle sat much higher on one then the other. Switching saddles didn't matter and it didn't seem to make a difference to them. Is this okay or am I just worrying too much? They both were carrying 25 pounds.





 

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I would think you would want the saddle behind the shoulder blades since there would be a lot of rubbing there. The position of the saddle is adjusted with the straps. Make the butt strap shorter and the neck (not really neck) strap longer and it should shift back. The chest strap should be on the sternum.

If the butt strap isn't tight enough the pack will shift to the position in the picture when the goat goes downhill. When that happens you want to stop immediately and reposition the saddle to prevent injury.
 

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Hello,

you have bought a saddle that you can adjust to fit the individual goat. If it's too narrow - which I'd say is the case in the goat where the saddle sits too high - you can start by loosing the screws a bit and allow the sidebards to fit to the back of the goat and then screwing them tight again. This is best done with the saddle out of the pocket pads and lying directly on the goats back. The pocket pad will then add additional padding/protection. If this does't suffice, you can switch the position of the sidebars up or down along the holes in the saddle crosses.

Also agree that it seems that you've saddled to far on the shoulder. If you put the saddle about halfway up the neck and then slide it slowly back onto the spine there will be one point where the saddle settles itself, especially the custom fit.
 

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Sabine is right on the money....
The saddle will settle in place as you slide it backwards.
FYI, this design of saddle is designed to cup the shoulder blades at the front (notice the cupping or concave surface on the epoxy resin paddle). This is designed to provide more surface area for wider load distribution on the goat. (REX, please correct me if I'm mistaken).
Yes, you should pull the saddle out of the pocket pad and adjust the paddles to conform to the goat's shape.
You can also shove your hand in between the saddle felt pad and the goats' shoulder blade and feel where the cup of the saddle is to "seat".

BTW, Sabine, welcome back!!!! I am another goatpacker who values your extensive amount of knowledge and experience.

Charlie Jennings in Utah
 

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I was thinking I asked a dumb question because I wasn't getting any responses. I'll give it a try. Thanks
You better not ask any dumb questions! That is my job ;-) Welcome to the forum. I just discovered I was missing most of the conversations because I wasn't following the NEW Posts link. So sorry it took a while for me to see it.

Hi Sabine, good to see you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got the saddles adjusted. The goats look the same, but there was definetly a difference between the two when it came to angling the sideboards. Thanks a bunch.

Brad
 

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Attached are 2 pictures of my Oberhasli, Scout. With him standing on the rock (goat in blue halter) you can see the depression in his back from behind his shoulder to the end of the last rib (just before the hollow area near his low back). This is where the saddle paddles sit on him. When I put the saddle on it slides into this area. You can see the front edge of the saddle setting just behind his shoulder on the other picture. Good luck.
 

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where are the saddles sitting on your goats now? It's important that the shoulder can move freely, if not, soreness can develop. But it's equally important that the saddle doesn't sit too far back on the spine because the weight of the load is carried by the ribcage. If there's weight on the spine behind the ribcage (only the first two vertebra behind the ribs should have contact with the saddle, if at all) the kidneys and the loin vertebra can get sore, too.
 

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if you like you can check out the following video which I made about two years ago. The wooden Northwest and the Owyhee need to lie a bit more behind the shoulder than the custom fit but this should give you an idea about where to place the saddle.

 

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Yeah that was interesting. I'm so used to mountains that seeing a rural, flat setting like that was interesting. Beautiful area, and I liked the music and the warm lighting and mellow music. I think I can top you and make the ultimate "pack goats in flat country" video if I go 50 miles to the west and hike the salt flats LOL. Hike up the side of the highway berm and call it the summit.
 

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Lots of good responses on how to adjust the custom fit. One more thing to remember is that the narrower the sideboards are set the higher the pad will hump up in the middle giving it the appearance of sitting even higher than it is. The humping of the pad is by design and is meant to allow air flow under the pad.

BTW, welcome back Sabine!
 

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thanks! Would you believe that this is atop a mountain region?
Wow, hadn't trealized that...its like being in Central Wyoming area..you are at 8000 feet but it seems you are in the middle of a flat arid deserty area. Wild. Of course yours is lush and WY is not...its just that you don't realize you are in a mountainous area and the you REALLY need to repsect how fast the weather can change in a couple of days. I.E. 90 F (32 C) one day and -10 F (-23 C) the next with +40 MPH (65 KPH) winds on top of that. But I digress...;)

BTW, remind me what kind of goats you have?...their horns are very intersting.

Cool video...thx!
 

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Lots of good responses on how to adjust the custom fit. One more thing to remember is that the narrower the sideboards are set the higher the pad will hump up in the middle giving it the appearance of sitting even higher than it is. The humping of the pad is by design and is meant to allow air flow under the pad.
Good to know, thx Rex. I just made a deal on one of your Finished wood ones & Adjustable ones from a local packer that has had to give it up due to land and health restrictions. Looking forward to giving them a try.

Cheers,

TOU
 

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BTW, remind me what kind of goats you have?...their horns are very intersting.

Cool video...thx!
the one with the stripes in the face and longer hair is a toggi x alpine, the pure white is toggi x saanen, the larger white without horns who's lagging behind is saanen and the smaller white with the yellow halter is saanen x boer.
 
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