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Thorowgood T8 Compact GP Saddle

Fairfax Saddlery - Item #22062
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As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just use the pre-paid return label included in your order within 60 days from the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

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Why We Love This

The Thorowgood T8 Compact GP Saddle is perfect for shorter backed, croup high or flat backed horses.  It is also a great option for the petite rider on a large pony/small horse.  Compared to similar saddles, the Compact GP saddle is compact for its size, has a neat seat, slimmer rear gussets and the tree is shorter and slightly flatter on the underside. It is made from a durable but practical combination of leather and synthetic materials. 

Made in the UK

Test ride this saddle! Click here for details.

Favorite Features

  • Super-comfy deeper seat that gives you a little extra in-saddle security and locates you centrally for balance and control
  • Versatile GP that's forward enough cut to allow for jumping and cross-country as well as schooling and hacking
  • Fully adjustable knee and calf blocks provide customized leg support
  • Quality leather seat and knee pads give the feel of riding on an all-leather saddle
  • Changeable gullet for a custom fit
  • Flocked with 100% British wool
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We put our products to the test in our barns and on our horses, so we're confident that you'll be thrilled with your purchase. However, we know that life in the barn can sometimes be unpredictable. That's why we've created a stress-free return policy. If you purchase an item and it doesn't meet your expectations, we want to know about it, take care of you and give you your money back.

Free Return Shipping on all Sized Items

As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just use the pre-paid return label included in your order within 60 days from the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

The Fine Print

We love our products and we're happy to take them back - even custom items. We'll happily take back everything from engraved halters to personalized jackets - even embroidered blankets that have been worn (minus the manure, please). But there are a few things we have to restrict returns on (silly federal regulations).

Health regulations require that undergarments (including bras) need to be in new condition (tags and packages intact) in order to be returned. (Even if it wasn't required, do you really want to shop from a store that takes back used undergarments?!)

As riders, we know what a big investment a saddle is. That's why we're proud to offer the best Test Ride program in the business. You can keep our Test Ride saddles risk-free for five days, to really make sure you like the fit and the feel. We know that to truly try a saddle, you have to really ride in it. So go ahead and girth it up. Forget about wrapping your stirrup leathers. Try it with or without a saddle pad. Basically, treat it like you already bought it, so you can make sure you really want to. Because when you buy a saddle from us, we want to make sure you love it. Of course, we want our other customers to love their new saddles, too.
That's why we have a Test Ride option for each saddle we carry - so that all of the other saddles can stay in pristine condition, waiting for their new owners. For this reason, if you purchase a saddle outside the Test Ride program, it's still eligible for return, but must be free from any marks or damage.

So that's it. Seriously. Those are all of our "rules." Well, except the most important one - treating our customers the way we want to be treated. So if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do, please call us at 1-800-461-8898 or email We are always happy to help.

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SmartPak customers are some of the most conscientious animal owners around. We encourage you to share your experience with the products we sell to help fellow customers to make informed choices for their animals. We do not edit these reviews in any way - they are direct customer-to-customer communication. We do monitor reviews for positive and negative feedback, and use this feedback to improve our selection as well as sharing feedback with product manufacturers to help them improve their products. Please note that we recommend consulting your vet with serious health issues.

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(Maintenance Dose = )
Ingredient Per Serving Per Pound


Flap Lengths:

17"- 13.75"
17.5"- 14.5"
18"- 15.75"
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    Thorowgood T8 Compact GP Saddle is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 10.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Quality for the Price I recently started an OTTB under saddle and knowing both that he has some asymmetries and that his shape would change, I was hesitant to invest a large chunk of change into a saddle. None of the saddle options I had were a good choice for him--he is thin-skinned, has a higher wither, but is THE widest non-draft horse I've ever sat on (think like sitting on a pitbull...), and a forward last rib AND girth groove--yikes. Luckily, the Thorowgood T8 Compact GP saddle, on the budget I had (where having a saddle fitter come out wasn't an option at this time), solved all of these issues for a well-made, serviceable saddle with enough ability to adapt to a developing greenie. I followed the instructions from Thorowgood on how to measure for gullet sizes, and ordered a different size (I think wide) than the medium the saddle comes with. I use a cut-forward girth that seems to help keep everything in place, and the panels are supportive enough that I have been riding without a half-pad, with no back soreness--he has also been using his back better. I agree with the quality of this saddle mentioned by other reviewers, as well as its comfort--I find it extremely comfortable to ride in, and it puts me in a secure position, which I appreciate as he learns how to jump! One other reviewer mentioned squeaking: I notice a small amount of squeaking of the synthetic parts of the saddle occasionally, but it generally goes away within a couple of minutes and appears to be related to how cold it is. (However, that's not a huge issue in the Southwest...) Another reviewer noted that the panel extended down onto her horse's side to cause a pressure point--the compact model does not do this to my horse, but I had previously ordered the non-compact model, which did cause this issue. However, both the trial saddle program and Smartpak's customer service have been EXCELLENT in this process, and I could not be happier with having tried and bought a saddle through them. A couple small things I do not like about the saddle (and what kept it from earning 5 stars): 1. The stirrup bars are curved upwards with no joint--I have always ridden with jointed bars, with the joints down and open as a safety feature, and I am not a huge fan of the fact that stirrup leathers cannot easily pull off if necessary. 2. As someone else noted, the billets are very stiff, particularly at first. They also seem like they have fewer holes, spaced closer together. The stitching and webbing seem more extensive than many saddles, and cut out the option of higher up holes--there are only six holes on each side. Aside from these, I am exceptionally happy with this saddle, particularly at this price point!
    Date published: 2018-12-13
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good for casual riding Leasing a short-backed irish sport horse and this is his saddle. Fits his back very nicely, but puts the rider in an awkward position. It throws me foward onto my crotch and makes it difficult to open up your hips, would not reccomend for equitation or anything more demanding than pleasure riding.
    Date published: 2017-08-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the saddle I test rode this saddle first and I was very impressed how comfortable the saddle was. It fit my short backed mare great! I typically ride in a Wintec AP saddle so this was an adjustment, the seat is deep but after a few rides I found it to be quite comfortable. The new saddle out of the box was just as comfy as the test ride saddle. Overall, I think this saddle is a great purchase and is excellent quality for the price. I also want to say that this was my first time purchasing through Smart Pack and their customer service is outstanding!
    Date published: 2017-06-13
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice GP saddle so far Only been riding in it for a few weeks and haven't tried jumping in it yet. I like how it's easy to clean. Gullets easy to change. Happy that it's wool flocked and can be adjusted/changed. The Billets are really stiff and can be hard to get girth buckles in - hopefully that softens with time. The stirrup bars are set deep and tight so it makes adjusting the stirrups really tough - I bought thinner stirrups to help with that, I hope. Over all is very comfortable and looking forward to using it for a long time.
    Date published: 2017-02-22
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great fit, comfortable, but squeaks like crazy! I purchased the high wither GP saddle. This fit my young, super high withered, short backed horse GREAT. I bought it specifically because she's going to change shape a lot over the next year as she grows and is brought into work and the changeable gullets should work perfectly as she changes. It's probably the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden in and I've been riding horses for over 30 years. Unfortunately the saddle SQUEAKS like crazy. It's my first synthetic saddle and I expected some noise vs a leather saddle, but it can be hard to hear the instructor at times...that can't be normal!!! I tried all of the tips the manufacturer suggested to help get rid of the squeak, but none of them worked. Regrettably I'm going to return the saddle because of the squeaking.
    Date published: 2017-01-15
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from not sure how to review waiting on saddle one ordered came in damaged sent back according to tracker saddle was returned 2 days ago waiting on shipping order for replacement
    Date published: 2017-01-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice fit for my shark fin TB I appreciate the saddle test ride opportunity. It was nice to be able to try two saddles prior to purchase.
    Date published: 2016-04-20
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Design Flaw Keeps This From Being a 5 Star Saddle I just test rode this saddle and loved how it fit my hard-to-fit tubby pony and how it fit me. It put me in excellent balance. I have the Thorowgood T8 dressage saddle - which I adore after 1.5 years of steady use - and I had high hopes for this being my new pop-over-small-fences saddle but it has a fundamental design flaw that I think would create a pressure point on my pony's back and which is keeping me from purchasing it. The back of the sweat panel connects to the saddle's underside panels at such a low/bad place as to create a pressure point on the horse's back. I'm not sure if this is a problem with this particular test ride saddle only or the whole series. My Thorowgood dressage saddle has the same issue with a bad/low connection point between the back of sweat panel and the underside saddle/back panel but it's not as severe - it JUST avoids being too low and creating a pressure point. Attached are some pictures with arrows pointing to what I mean.
    Date published: 2016-02-19
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great saddle for a great price I rode hunter/jumper and after a break, am now slowly getting into dressage. I do not own or lease, but ride a variety of schooling horses in the breed of quarter horse or appendix. I had already test rode a used Pessoa jump saddle which put me into a chair seat and didn't fit the horse I rode at the time, so I changed my search to find an affordable all purpose that put me in a good position and had options for adjustment. Of course, in a perfect world, there would be a perfect saddle for every horse and for every rider. But if you do not own or lease, you may be in my situation and stuck with barn saddles that are older than your grandmother. In the end, it's either biting the bullet and buying a saddle you hope will work out, or gritting your teeth while riding on something that is akin to a frozen pancake. The Thorowgood is an excellent option for someone in my situation. I generally ride in a 17 inch, so I was a bit wary of test riding a 17.5, but it rode perfectly (I am 5'7) and put me into perfect placement. The leather seat and leather knee rolls are an added bonus. The saddle also has adjustable billets that you can move, which helps accommodate girth placement on different horses. The blocks are velcro, which is a great option to keep or remove (I removed mine). I will say that unlike the other reviewer, the medium gullet that comes with the saddle was too big for the horse I usually ride. It fit another horse perfectly. I suggest buying the narrow/medium gullet and medium/wide gullet to partner with the medium gullet already in the saddle if you are test riding. Therefore you can get a good idea of if you need to go smaller or larger in terms of fit. I paired the saddle with the Thorowgood synthetic stirrup leathers. I did not like the synthetic Thorowgood stirrups. Good looking, but it was like riding in tupperware. I had to stick with regular irons. All and all, worth the three month wait! :)
    Date published: 2016-02-14
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Best synthetic saddle out there! I bought this saddle after repeatedly striking out with used saddles and not finding any affordable new leather saddles that fit my needs. I was looking for a deep seat GP (I'm a fairly new adult rider leaning towards dressage but leaving options open), black, adjustable gullet and with a real leather feel. This saddle not only has a leather seat and knee rolls, it actually looks and feels like a "real" saddle and does not have any of the issues I've encountered with other synthetic brands. It's lovely to ride in and puts me in a great spot. My only WORD OF WARNING: This saddle is sold as "adjustable", but they don't sell the changeable gullets WITH the saddle and don't warn you about what size you will get when you buy it. You have to buy the gullet changers separately, for about $40/ea., and you have to guess at which ones you may need. My saddle came with a medium tree, which ended up being WAY narrow on all of the horses at my barn (when I say narrow, I mean it completely bridged the back of the smallest guy in our barn). I ended up buying the medium-wide and wide trees, but the wide is actually more like a medium-wide, so I suggest always buying a size larger than what you think you would need.
    Date published: 2015-12-15
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