All riders want to ensure the highest level of comfort for their horse. It is for this reason that we invest copious amounts of money into products that claim to improve the comfort of our horse while we ride, whether it be cushioned boots, heavily padded girths, or luxurious saddle pads. Many riders acknowledge the importance of the saddle pad, as well as half pads, and do their best to invest in a saddle pad that seems right for their horse, but many do not know the science that goes into designing a saddle pad, as well as the deciding factors that should be kept in mind when choosing a new pad for their horse. Continue reading for more information on the saddle pad, and how EquiPoint can supply you with the pad that is right for you and your horse.
What Is a Saddle Pad?
Saddle pads are cushioned pieces of tack that are designed to be placed over the horse’s back, and beneath the saddle. They are not limited to just one discipline of riding; saddle pads are used among both english and western riders. They come in a variety of materials and designs, but some of the most popular saddle pads are constructed of sheepskin, memory foam, cotton, or gel. Saddle pads are used as a shock absorber and cushion for the horse’s back, distributing and absorbing the pressure from both the saddle and rider, preventing the pressure from weighing down heavily upon the shoulders and back. They are also used to prevent the saddle from rubbing on the skin and hair on the horse’s back and shoulders. Many riders enjoy styling and customizing the color of their horse’s gear, with saddle pads being one of the most noticeable and commonly customized pieces of tack in most scenarios.
Is There A Need for a Saddle Pad?
There is absolutely a need for a saddle pad. They are an important part of ensuring the comfort of the horse while riding, and the use of properly-designed saddle pads in everyday riding has increased drastically in the last decade or so. Saddle pads are not seen simply as a piece of cloth to go underneath the saddle; they are now recognized to be an important piece of tack that is crucial in ensuring that the horse is comfortable and will be able to perform at their best and highest level. In addition to supplying comfort and support for the horse, saddle pads can also be used to correct minor issues with ill-fitting saddles, as well. Each horse has their own individual and unique conformation, but unfortunately, saddles are usually not specially and individually crafted for each horse they are to be used on. For this reason, it is not uncommon to experience issues with the saddle resting incorrectly on the pommel or cantle. There are currently quite a few different saddle pad options that offer solutions to these problems. Placing a saddle pad in between the horse’s back and the saddle helps correct minor fitting issues, allow for a better contact while riding, all while simultaneously providing the horse with support and comfort. While saddle pads do assist in correcting minor fit issues with saddles, it is important to keep in mind that the purchase of a saddle pad does not permit the use of a saddle that is clearly not meant to be used on a certain horse.
What to Keep In Mind While Choosing a New Saddle Pad
There are a few deciding factors that should be kept in mind while shopping for a new saddle pad for your horse. The first factor to keep in mind is the type of work you are doing with your horse, as well as the amount of work that you are doing. A horse that undergoes a generally heavy and intense work schedule will usually require a different type of saddle pad than a horse that is usually used for simple pleasure riding. The discipline in which you do most of your riding is something that is important to keep in mind, as well. As english and western saddles differ in many areas, it is crucial to ensure that you are using a saddle pad designed to be used with the saddle you are using to ride your horse. Something that should also be considered is your horse’s unique conformation. Some saddle pads are designed to help raise up certain areas underneath the saddle to allow for a more even weight distribution, preventing large amounts of pressure or weight from being placed on certain parts of the shoulders or back, which can lead to serious pain and soreness for the horse. There are saddle pads designed to relieve pressure and weight on the withers, while other pads are not designed for one specific area, and provide relief simply all over the back and shoulder area. It is also important to keep in mind that while you may be tempted to buy the fanciest and most expensive saddle pad for your horse, it is crucial to ensure that you are purchasing a saddle pad that is right for your horse, considering their unique confirmation, the discipline in which you usually ride, and the workload that is generally expected of your horse.
How EquiPoint Can Help You Find Your New Saddle Pad
EquiPoint‘s massive online saddlery and tack shop is your best source for beautifully-crafted saddle pads that will make an immeasurable difference in the comfort of your horse while riding. We are dedicated to helping you discover products that drastically improve your experience with your horse. Browse our inventory of saddle pads designed for both western and english disciplines to find the saddle pad that is just right for you and your horse for an improved riding experience. Rest assured knowing that EquiPoint is here to help both you and your horse reach your maximum potential, all while keeping the comfort and happiness of your best friend in mind.