Are You Using the Right Saddle Pad for Your Horse?

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When looking at tack for sale you will quickly discover that the variety of saddle pads available is staggering. How do you know that the saddle pad you’re currently using is right for your horse? We’ll help you out with these tips.

Consider the Fit

A saddle pad’s fit in relation to your saddle size and horse’s shape is the most important factor in finding the right saddle pad. A saddle pad should cover the entire area beneath your saddle without any gaps. Most saddle pads are designed so that their edges extend out beyond the saddle by an inch or two, but any pad that extends out further (excepting a Western pad) is probably too large for your saddle.

Evaluate Your Discipline’s Restrictions

If you will be entering horse shows, carefully evaluate whether or not your saddle pad falls within the restrictions and expectations of your chosen discipline. Some disciplines, like hunters or dressage, have very rigid expectations in terms of saddle pad color and style. Straying from these specifications can result in score penalties or even disqualification. Be sure that any saddle pad that you use falls within the specifications of your discipline.

Think About Thickness

A saddle pad’s thickness can affect its shock absorption and padding abilities, though the pad’s material also plays a role in this. You should still think about how thick a saddle pad you need, though, since using a pad that is too thick will actually cause your saddle to fit more narrowly. Alternatively, using a pad that is too thin may result in a saddle that sits too low on your horse’s withers or back. A pad’s thickness affects the fit of the saddle, so be sure that you evaluate the fit of both the pad and the saddle simultaneously.

Consider Necessary Alterations

Saddle pads are available to fix a wide variety of issues, from poor saddle fit to sore backs. Shims, riser pads, therapeutic pads, and insert pads are just some of the different pad styles that you can choose from. If your horse has a particular issue that you need to resolve, then be sure that you’re using a pad intended to work with that particular issue.

Choose a Material

Don’t forget that pads come in a wide variety of materials, each with its own particular set of advantages and disadvantages. It’s best to research the different materials available to familiarize yourself with their properties. Wool, cotton, foam, gel, and synthetic materials are some of the choices you’ll have in choosing a saddle pad.

If your current saddle pad isn’t right for your horse, then looking at tack for sale can give you an idea of the wide range of saddle pads available.

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