Saddle Pad Purposes – Choose One That Best Fits Your Horses Needs
Saddle Pad Purposes – Choose One That Best Fits Your Horses Needs. The purpose of a good pad is to add comfort for your horse and keep dirt and sweat off of your saddle. Although most people will purchase a pad based on colors and design. I admit I have a few myself in an array of bright colors and patterns, but there are the ones you want to consider owning to give better fit and performance.
One of the latest ones out there is the gel pad, these can be used more effectively on a hard to fit horse, or if you have to use one saddle on different horses with different conformations. Some information that I have collected indicate a poor rating concerning the cushioning and impact reduction. I think this pad like others has a specific purpose and is recommended for short term use by other analyst. Another type of pad is the rubber or keyhole pad, although it was probably designed to help create a better fit for your saddle to your horse’s back, it may not be the one to go with. In using any three that are mentioned they can cause overheating of the horses back and thus developing sores and soreness over time. The idea of a better ride is closer contact with your horse and some pads do just the opposite.
A synthetic fleece pad is another type out there but keep in mind over time and use the cushioning and wicking of moisture from the horses back begin to decrease, possibly caused from matting and dirt that develops and builds up on them. I also read that a test showed the neoprene and the synthetic fleece hold heat much longer than wool or cotton when removing them from the horses back after a long ride.
The foam pad, which may be one of the better choices, comes in a closed and open cell design, the closed cell, it looks like, is the one to go with. Studies showed that it performed better in moisture test and impact resistant test. A good one to consider is closed cell composite with a wool felt lining or sheepskin lining to again wick away moisture. The wool or sheepskin pads rank at the top of the list. When you have a properly fitted saddle these are the best ones to consider. The idea of it all is, to use the pad as a comfort solution rather that a fitted one, the saddle itself should be the fitted solution. Therefore the thinner ones and the natural fiber pads are recommended most highly in extended and long term use. All saddle pads have their intended uses and a person should consider those options before using them on their horse.
With any pad you own be sure to keep it clean and dirt free. Some can be tossed right in the washing machine while others require a wash using a stiff brush. This I hope gives some insightful information when deciding which kind of pad to buy. I wanted to get a better understanding myself on the purposes and uses of the saddle pad and thought I would share some of the information with my fellow riders.