Saddle Pads

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If you are worried about your horse and saddle protection, you might be interested in finding the best saddle pad, and you can find it here. In addition to improving the stetic of the horse and the saddle, a good saddle pad will help you protect and preserve your saddle.

In this sense, we are going to answer some of the most asked questions in order to help you with some tips and considerations about how to choose the best saddle pad for your horse:

How many types of saddle pad can we find? 

A saddle cloth, also referred to as a saddle blanket, or saddle pad is a piece of material placed underneath the saddle on a horse's back. We could categorize saddle pad in three seven types, each of them offers different levels of comfort and protection in relation with their material and shape:

   - Saddle pad western: these kinds of saddle pads are large and rectangular, and they are perfect to fit under the skirt of the western saddle. 

   - Shaped pad (all purpose saddle pads): This is a saddle pad with a simple design, it fits the edges of the saddle which allows to show more of the horse. This type of saddle pad is also good because it is soft for your horse’s skin. 

   - The square pad: This type of saddle pads is warmer, especially comfortable, and it is frequently used for jumping (saddle pad to jump) eventing and dressage. 

   - Sheepskin half pads: these are common saddle pads for dressage and showjumping. They are usually soft and comfortable pads; they help protect from impacts and keep the saddle adjusted to the horse.

   - Corrective saddle pads: This type consists of a normal saddle pad with a corrective insert to help make the saddle more symmetrical. This kind of saddle pads usually goes with memory foam which makes them more adaptive and prevents saddles from slipping.

   - Corrective half pads: corrective half pads are used in order to help training with problematic horses. In this sense, asymmetrical horses can benefit greatly from the use of a half pad with removable shims, which can be used to fill the less developed side of the horse until that muscle develops.

How to measure a saddle pad?

One commonly asked question about saddle pads is how to measure a saddle. In order to help you find out how to make your saddle pad fit, we are going to give you some steps in this sense:

   - To make the best saddle pad fit, you need to measure two things: length and drop.

   - The length needs to be measured from front to back

   - On the other hand, the drop needs to be measured from one side to another, and down the other side.

   - Then, you will have to make sure there is at least two inches of pad around the saddle.

How to fit a saddle with a saddle pad?

As we have addressed before, it is very important to learn how to fit a saddle pad in order to make it work with your saddle and your horse. In this sense, there are many questions that will pop-up when choosing a saddle pad… can a pony saddle pad fit a horse? Can a saddle pad be too big? Can a saddle pad be too long? How do I keep my saddle pad from slipping? How much do saddle pads need to weigh? Well…we will try to answer this, and other questions about how to fit a saddle pad bellow:

Ideally, every horse needs to be ridden in a saddle that perfectly fits them but it is not always like that. This is because horses change, and pads have their limitations, and they are not able to correct a saddle that does not fit the horse correctly first. Here we give you some advices in this sense:

   - If the saddle is too wide: extra padding may help to stabilize

   - Saddles may have localized areas of high pressure. In these cases, natural sheepskin is a good material to relieve localized high pressure.

   - To wick moisture and heat away from your horse’s back, choose natural rather than artificial.

   - You can use sheepskin saddle pads if you are trying to improve the fit of a saddle that is the correct size but not a perfect fit.

   - It is not recommendable to use incompressible materials under saddles that have pressure points. 

   - Sheepskin is a good choice if you are looking for attenuating forces on the horse’s back.

   - Be careful because there are some types of pads that can make the horse’s back hotter. 

Why use saddle pads?

Can you ride without a saddle pad? The answer is simple, yes, you can ride without a saddle pad. However, according to an online survey, more than 98 percent of riders use a layer of padding between the saddle and the horse’s back. The reason why these riders use saddle pads are: because they want to solve saddle-fit problems, because saddle pads make horses more comfortable, and because they absorb the sweat, prevent slipping and protect the saddle. In this sense, we could say that saddle pads have a lot of functions, depending on your needs and the type of saddle pad you should get.

We could answer why to use saddle pads easily explaining more about their main advantages:

   - They protect the underside of the saddle

   - They improve saddle fit by distributing the forces on the horse’s back when he moves.

   - Saddle pads help keeping the saddle and the horse clean and dry

   - Saddle pads dissipate heat from the horse’s back and wick moisture 

   - They can keep the horse’s back warm in cold weather and near body temperature when the weather is hot. 

However, there are still some riders who continue to ride without a mantilla, which is not very common but is still an option to avoid putting more fabric between the horse and rider, which sometimes could make the horse sweat.

How to clean a saddle pad? 

A saddle pad is a blanket which helps fitting the saddle with the horse, among other advantages we have seen before. Some questions that can come up in this sense could be how often do I need to wash the saddle pads? How clean fleece saddle pads need to be? Can saddle pads go in the dryer? Do I need to buy a cleaner for my saddle pad?

We are going to explain bellow some recommendations about how to clean a saddle pad:

   - First of all, use a brush or any similar tool to brush the saddle pad before cleaning it.

   - Then, do a pre-wash on the wash rack with a specialized product if there is some mud and dirt 

   - If necessary, you can mix some water and stain remover and let things soak overnight.

   - Choose correctly the cleaning product for cleaning saddle pads, taking into consideration the type of saddle and fabric of your saddle pad.

   - Be careful of the products you use to clean the saddle pad, because some of them might irritate your horse’s skin.

   - And finally, and important, can saddle pads go in the dryer? It is not recommended.

Are gel saddle pads good?

A gel saddle pad could be good for the horse if it is correctly used.  A gel pad is a saddle pad made of synthetic material (soft gel). It is meant to be placed on the horse and it needs to perfectly fit on the horse’s back; Gel pads are made of elastic material that will adapt in the horse’s shape. These are the main advantages we can find in gel saddle pads: This kind of saddle pads works by preventing the saddle, and stabilizing it, it also protects against impacts, helps the rider and the horse to be more comfortable, and they are perfect to make the saddle fit.

Are felt saddle pads good?

Felt saddle pads are a good option for moisture absorption and breathability, which make them a common choice for many riders. However, felt saddles have both advantages and disadvantages. One of the main advantages of felt saddle pads is that they are perfect for horses who sweat and in humid climates. These felt saddle pads are good and felt and fleece are the most commonly used materials; besides, they are easy to clean.

When do we need to use a saddle pad?

We have already described the main advantages about using saddle pads, but when de we absolutely use saddle pads on horses? In this sense we will need to ask ourselves some questions and the answer we will help us to choose the best saddle pad for our horse: 

   - What is the discipline you do with your horse? As we have seen, depending on the discipline you ride in, there are some different saddle pads that will fit better. 

   - How high is the whither of your horse? You may need a saddle pad for high withers, or a saddle pad for low withered horses, for example.

   - Which type of saddle do you have? It is important to measure your saddle and check the shape of the saddle in order to make your saddle pad fit perfectly. 

   - Does your horse need a special saddle pad for their back? Sometimes, saddle pads are meant to help your horses with any back problems they might have, besides, you might need a saddle pad for a sensitive horse, or a saddle pad for a young horse.

   - What size of saddle pad do I need? And how much does a saddle pad need to weigh? Depending on your saddle and your horse, you will need to have saddle pad sizes and saddle pad thickness into consideration.

   - How long do I need the saddle pads to last? Depending on the budget you have and the time you will need to use the saddle pad you will have to think about the saddle pad endurance and the saddle pad measurements.

Furthermore, you will have to choose the best saddle pad manufacturers given that there are a wide range of saddle pads on sale. There are many saddle pad manufacturers, however in Marjoman we can help you find the best saddle pad quality for your horse, with the perfect fit for your saddle and for the comfort of your horse. Contact us for more information and visit our shop to discover the best saddle pads. 

When do we use the best therapeutic saddle pad?

A therapeutic saddle pad has the function of preventing and helping healing from aggressions and impacts in your horse. Thanks to technology which continues to progress in this sense, we can find new tools and ways of helping our horses in this sense: new materials to help improving and healing, etc.

In this sense, therapeutic saddle pads are perfect for horses if they are correctly used, if they fit and if you use them according to saddle pad manufacturers. In this sense, the best therapeutic saddle pad will meet all these expectations: The best saddle pad increases energy, increases blood flow, offers Better endurance, decreases recovery time, improves performance, enhances speed, improves stamina, and finally and most importantly, increases comfort.

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