Saddle fit tips
Max wore his little pack on a walk for the first time today, just a loop around the park across the street. He did really well but I couldn't figure out why the saddle kept sliding to the right, especially when he trotted. The two rolls that were supposed to rest on his ribs kept pinching together and resting on his spine together; is that okay? I adjusted the cinch so that I could just barely slip my fingers underneath. The pack was empty. Does anyone have any tips for how a saddle should fit properly?
Flexible tree packs are pretty notorious for sliding to one side, especially when new. I'm not sure exactly how your pack is made, but with my Sopris packs, they need time for the rolls to flatten on the bottom and curve just a little to conform to the goat's back before they'll stay put. I'm not sure why the rolls are pinching together on his spine instead of spreading out over his ribs. When they pinch together, do they still leave a space between them along the spine as they should?. It's hard for me to know exactly what's going on since this is a custom saddle whose design I am not familiar with other than the photos Mike posted here.

When I tighten my Sopris saddle, the rolls pinch together, but they are stiff enough that the round shape keeps them apart at the bottom, leaving a channel down the spine. The foam rolls in mine also have a seam or split down them so that when they pinch together, that seam makes an angle instead of rounding like the rest of the foam. This angle allows the roll to have a flatter shape on the bottom where it sits against the goat's back. It's hard to explain so I can try to get a photo maybe on Monday if you remind me.

Your little roly-poly guy is going to have more-than-average trouble keeping his saddle in place because of his shape. You may have to get it tighter than you realized. Goats are not symmetrical because of the rumen, which changes shape as they hike throughout the day. A full rumen tends to push saddles to the right, and then as it empties over the course of your hike, the saddle may start sliding to the left. A rigid pack seems to handle these changes very well, but I usually have to "balance" my Sopris packs by putting slightly more weight in the left pannier when we start a hike, then moving some of it over to the right as the goat's rumen changes.

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