So what sort of damage can these stands cause? See the photos below for some examples of the indents that can be caused and you can see in the photo on the left how the bar digs into the underside of the saddle!
Instead you should always use one of the following: a single pole that sits inside your channel (preferably padded so it doesn’t leave dents in your gullet leather either) OR a stand that allows your panels to sit on a flatter surface OR ensure your saddle stand bars are well padded - for this you can use pool noodles, slip on covers or other thick padding. See below for some suggestions on safe racks and stands.
Here are a couple of examples of how to convert these racks to something safe for your saddle panels but you can also use very thick, firm foam or other similar padding.
As a perfect example here is what recently happened to me with a brand new saddle not even used on a horse yet!
My saddle stands have pool noodles for padding but unbeknownst to me one of the noodles had slipped around (see the middle photo below) and the saddle panel was sitting directly on the end of the bar. You can see in these photos what happened to it!
And this was only after a fairly short time. The indents may eventually come out with use and conditioning with a balsam but if left too long it’s possible that they could leave a permanent mark!