I'm happy to share the JBN impression pad test results.
- 2012 Circle Y JBN wide
- rider is myself (approximately 5'2 and 140 lbs). Horse is Uno.
- walk, trot, canter
- EDIX merino western pad
- felt inlays and felt shims to balance the saddle
- Top of the picture is front of the saddle, left panel is left side of saddle, right panel is right side of saddle.
The second picture shows the impression pad when we rode with it between the saddle and the saddle pad. This is the best way I can measure the weight distribution capabilities of the saddle itself. This shows decent weight distribution but a disproportionate amount of weight under the back edge of the pommel and along the top edge of the panels. The impression pad slid a bit left and I believe that led to slightly more strain on the pad on the right side, I don't think that was from the saddle.
The third picture is the impression pad after a ride with it between the horse and the saddle pad, which gives us an idea of how the saddle and saddle pad are working together. This is with felt inlays and shimming for saddle balance. I experimented with shimming and different inlays with similar results. There seemed to consistently be disproportionate pressure along the top of the panels (parallel to the spine) and the back edge of the pommel. The former is a common issue with older treeless saddles, I will give the benefit of the doubt that newer models address this better. The latter is an issue that I believe barrel models of all brands are likely to have. A forward hung stirrup rigging makes it more challenging to distribute pressure from the stirrup over a larger arean of the saddle and the horse's back. I hope to have the opportunity to test a newer model sometime to see if they were able to successfully mitigate both issues.
I am using Cassy Saddle Impression Pads.