Because the weight is more distributed, it creates fewer pressure points on the horse's back during riding. A good pad will also be breathable to help dissipate the heat that’s created under the saddle during riding.
These days, it's the opposite, new pads are designed to protect the horse's back from the pressure of the saddle. They’re designed with the horse in mind and a modern pad can help with poor conformation of the back, as well as taking the impact out of pressure points during competitions or when carrying heavy loads.
Saddle blankets are continually evolving with the latest technology to provide the maximum comfort and protection for your horse's back. The range of horse pads on the market is pretty immense and it’s hard to know what you should be shopping for.
The natural fibers are highly breathable and sweat absorbing, and they contour easily to the horse's back. These layers mean that they're very good at dissipating the heat away from your horse's body.
Because of their density, wool felt pads are highly shock absorbing and defend against excessive pressure. Neoprene pads are the easiest ones to maintain, they can be cleaned off easily with a hose or a damp cloth.
The rubber-like texture of neoprene pads gives them an excellent grip which is great for a slipping saddle. Neoprene isn’t very breathable unless the pad is made with a special “waffle” design.
They're commonly known as therapeutic pads because they benefit horses with conformation faults in the back or withers. A gel pad will provide high levels of cushioning and support though they aren’t very breathable.
A half pad can give extra support directly underneath the tree of the saddle. This can be good for horses with poor muscle condition or conformation faults, or for saddles with too much clearance.
One good way to check that the pad and saddle fit well, is by looking at the sweat marks after riding. If the sweat is unevenly distributed around the pad then it could mean you need to replace the blanket or that your saddle fit needs to be adjusted.
These are the amount of time spent in the saddle, the weight of the rider and the conformation of the horse. If your horse has perfect back conformation but works for more than four hours at a time over rugged terrain then you should go for the thickest option to alleviate pressure.
If you have a pleasure horse working on flat ground and are rarely in the saddle for more than an hour at a time then choose a thinner pad. Thicker isn't always better, if your saddle fits well, you don't want to set the balance off with a thick pad.
Some pads are cut out at the front to provide relief for a horse with high withers. With so many designs on the market, you'll be sure to find the right one to suit your horse's exact needs and requirements.
Natural fibers such as wool and felt material cost more due to their comfort and high wicking capabilities. If you're on a smaller budget then memory foam is a good material to choose, it being a slightly less expensive alternative.
Polyester material is the most durable fabric outer and is a good choice for a pad that will undergo lots of wear and tear. Lots of saddle pads these days are adjustable which is great for adapting them to your horses changing needs.
If you're riding in a very hot climate or under the conditions of a show then choose an extra breathable pad. Matching colored pads look good on a team rider or to represent a specific barn.
Pads with good wicking properties are more cooling because they will draw the moisture up and away from your horse and allow air to flow beneath the blanket. Natural fibers such as wool, sheepskin, cotton and felt material are the best at wicking and are therefore the coolest ones for a horse.
If you're experienced with a sewing machine then saddle pads are surprisingly easy to make at home. Making your saddle pad means that it will be custom-made to your horse and saddle.
You just need a sewing machine, thick cotton, a few simple materials of your choice to make one at home. Children especially will love themed saddle pads that can be crafted at home.
Saddle blankets are made from a huge range of different materials so it's important to follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions. A lot of synthetic ones can be put in the washing machine while ones made from natural fibers will need specialist cleaning.
Hanging the saddle pad out in the sun to dry after cleaning will help to kill off any from the horse's sweat. Dover Saddlery is based in the USA and is a trusted brand that's been producing equine equipment for over forty years.
It's machine washable making it an easy pad to maintain and it comes in six elegant colors all finished with a quilted diamond pattern. It's finished with a tough micro-polyester quilted outer and comes available in a range of vibrant colors.
The thickness and wicking properties of this saddle blanket make it one of the best saddle pads for roping. It has a heavy felt center providing lots of support making it very comfortable and one of the best saddle pads for barrel racing.
The pad comes with leather wear guards to protect from the contact at the withers and the girth. This is a nicely crafted pad that will be sure to last a long time under a Western saddle.
These shims can also increase the shock absorption capabilities, which can help prevent injuries to your horse during large amounts of time under the saddle, making it the bestsaddlepad for trail riding. This pad is made from cotton making this very soft, lightweight and breathable for your horse.
Extra memory foam shims can be easily added or to suit your horse's needs and it has a precise contoured fit. It has a high level of shock absorption making it one of the best saddle pads for jumping and evening.
When it comes to choosing the best pad then you can't go wrong with the Contoured Memory Foam Pad from ECP. It offers extra support, the maximum in shock absorption, and is sure to provide the ultimate in comfort for your horse's back.
It's a standard piece of riding gear that provides comfort to your horse and enhances your safety as a rider. These saddle pads are designed to eliminate chafing against the skin, alleviate some pressure points, and allow for some cooling airflow.
When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Remain ProS port Dressage Blending style and comfort, the Remain ProS port Dressage pairs an attractive suede top with a soft bamboo lining that helps keep sweat under control.
It's offered in a wide range of colors that match the company's fly hoods and polo bandages. Created with a contour that follows the spine, this model has a pliable, energy absorbing core that provides a high degree of comfort, as well as cooling that helps maintain a desirable body temperature.
It offers easy care at a fairly low price point, although it isn't the thickest option you'll find. Aside from absorbing sweat and keeping the saddle dry, their function is to reduce the concussive forces acting on the horse’s and rider’s respective spines.
Over the years, with modern medical technology and expertise influencing their design and fabrication, saddle pads evolved in function and form. Aside from absorbing sweat and keeping the saddle dry, their function is to reduce the concussive forces acting on the horse’s and rider’s respective spines.
The fundamental function of saddle pads is to provide cushioning under the , distributing and lessening impact between the spines of the horse and the rider. Saddle pads are typically made of a durable and washable fabric blend, such as cotton with polyester fibers that are quilted over a thin layer of poly fill.
Saddle pads can offer much more functionality, though, depending on the materials used and some specific design features. Western pads are built like blankets, square-shaped or rectangular, and made from wool or similar material.
English saddles are designed to give the rider a closer feel of the back of the horse. There are several other types of saddle pads, including the dressage, which is essentially rectangular with a long drop at the sides.
For extra shock absorption when they land, jumpers need a good quality saddle pad. Gel pads help distribute weight more evenly along your horse’s back to relieve pressure points.
Saddle pads come in a variety of colors and materials that can make it a bit difficult for you to choose the right one for your particular horse. To provide comfort and protection for your horse’s back, the saddle pad ’s closeness and fit are important components that should be considered.
When a horse is being ridden in a saddle that does not fit well, it will ultimately show a basic set of symptoms including soreness along the spine. To provide comfort and protection for your horse’s back, the saddle pad ’s closeness and fit are important components that should be considered.
Remember that, aside from providing closeness to your horse, a saddle pad should also offer weight distribution and shock absorbency. Most consumers purchase these types of pads to cater to their specific purpose or need.
Specially designed pads are used to lessen the effects of sore spots or high withers. Although she began as a TEFL teacher, earning several teaching certificates and working in both Russia and Vietnam, she moved into freelance writing to satisfy her passion for the written word.
She has published full-length courses and books in the realm of arts & crafts and DIY; in fact, most of her non-working time is spent knitting, cleaning, or committing acts of home improvement. Along with an extensive knowledge of tools, home goods, and crafts and organizational supplies, she has ample experience (okay, an obsession) with travel gear, luggage, and the electronics that make modern life more convenient.
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