It is 2 panels that go along the horse's back the same as panels in a riding saddle and then both ends the panels are joined by a "X" which is up above the saddle off of the horse's back and these are what you would hang your packs on which would hang down either side of the horse. It is all cast in one piece made of some sort of hard synthetic stuff. It doesn't weigh much unlike the older style pack saddle trees that were made of hard wood. I'm not sure whether it would padded like a riding saddle or whether you would use really thick "saddle" blanket. It needs some sort of rigging for attaching the girth/s. I had it because I used to have a donkey that I intended to make carry firewood. The donkey has long ago died of old age having lived a long and lazy life never carrying a stick of firewood. Oh well Such are dreams!