For horse enthusiasts like you, horseback riding is just a part of the routine. It is something that delights the soul and lifts the spirit. At the same time, as a responsible horse owner, you understand that a strong and free-spirited creature like a horse can also get hurt and suffer from irritation even with a usual activity as someone riding on its back. Constant friction caused by the saddle rubbing against the horse’s back can cause pain or irritate the back of the horse. To prevent this, choosing the best saddle pads for horses is an important matter that you also need to consider to ensure your trusted steed’s overall health. And if you need some help concerning this, reading this post might provide you some helpful information.
Saddle Pads for Horses
A saddle pad is designed to protect the back of a horse from friction that could be caused by a saddle constantly rubbing directly on the horse’s hair and skin. These pads are also designed to protect the saddle from damage at an early stage as it keeps some of the sweat of the horse away by absorbing it.
A simple saddle pad will be enough if you are able to secure a perfect fitting saddle for your horse. Adding too much pad will only create pressure points and will only be uncomfortable to both the rider and the horse.
If there any health issues that are affecting your horse’s back, like high withers or sore spots, or if you don’t have a well-fitting saddle for your horse, you may need to use a specially designed saddle pad to address the current concerns with your steed’s health issues.
Others may still feel that riding on bareback is appropriate. But if you have tried to do so, you might have experienced the uneasiness while bouncing on your horse’s spine and withers. It might not just have felt weird, it might have been so painful that after riding for some time, you had wished that you have placed a right-fitting saddle so you could have enjoyed the ride.
The ride without a saddle will not only be uncomfortable, exhausting, even dangerous to you but to the horse as well. But if you have the a good-fitting saddle with a nice pad placed securely under it, you will be able to ride your horse with confidence and will enjoy every moment of it.
Choosing the Best Saddle Pads for Horses
It is recommended to have your horse measured up by an expert saddler who should also be informed of the general purpose of your rides on the horse, whether it be general riding, jumping, dressage, chasing or cross-country.
The basic purpose of saddle pads for horses is to provide a thin layer of cushion between the horse’s back and its saddle. A saddle pad is designed to protect against friction caused by the saddle rubbing against the horse. It also helps protect the saddle by absorbing some of the horse’s perspiration. The exterior of several saddle pads is usually made of a durable, washable fabric blend, like cotton with polyester fibers that have been quilted over a thin layer of poly fill. Saddle pads can offer much more benefits depending on the materials used to make the saddle pad as well as its specific design features. A saddle pad that is made from moisture-wicking materials, such as natural sheepskin, bamboo blends or high-tech fabrics, will keep perspiration away from the horse and will help prevent its back muscles from overheating.
When choosing the most suited saddle pad, you need to consider its functionality in relation to your riding requirements.
Different Types of Saddle Pads
It would help to note that there are different types of saddle pads that you may choose from. You may want to pick one based on your intended purpose for riding your horse as well as the overall condition of your horse.
- Shaped saddle pads. These saddle pads are cut to conform to the shape of the saddle. They are favorable to use for jumping, all-purpose and dressage saddles. They are usually made of genuine sheepskin or synthetic fleece.
- Square saddle pads. These pads are designed to have a thin layer of batter on its interior for light cushioning and are perfect combination for jumping and all-purpose saddles.
- Comfort pads. These pads are filled with polyester batting and quilted for cushiony comfort.
- Baby pads. This are thin sheets that can be placed under heavier saddles to keep them clean.
- Specialty pads. These saddle pads are designed to address concerns such as saddle-fitting issues, reducing horse back pain, heat, trauma and friction. They may be used under, over or in place of a conventional saddle pad.
Which of these would you consider the best saddle pads for horses?