Horse Saddle Pads: Types And Benefits
As the name suggests, horse saddle pads are cushioned pads that are fitted between the horseback and the saddle. They provide protection and comfort to the horse when you ride it for long hours. Horse saddles are mainly made of leather or synthetic leather-like material. When directly placed on the back of the horse, the leather saddle causes it to rub against its back, causing discomfort to the animal. These horse saddle pads, besides providing protection, help in absorbing the sweat.
Another benefit of using a saddle pad when riding a horse is that when the saddle is placed directly over the horse, the sweat and the dirt stick directly to the saddle. It creates a cushioning effect and also absorbs the shock. Cleaning a saddle pad is much more convenient than cleaning the underside of the saddle.
Types Of Horse Saddles
Horse saddle pads are used based on the saddle type used on the horse’s back. This is so because the shape and size of each saddle type vary, and this variation in dimensions determines the type of pad that must be used.
The 3 Main Saddle Types Are:
- Western: They are larger and heavier and are adapted for the horse to be ridden on rough terrain all through the day. The leather used is thick and pliant. They are also fitted with a horn that is used to grip the cowboy rope and a cantle that supports the rider during cattle roping activities.
- English: They are lighter in weight and do not have a horn. They consist of a cantle and pommel, a cushioned seat, and side flaps. They are best suited for speed and endurance events and need appropriate horse saddle pads.
- Australian: They are a mix of the above 2 saddle types. They have low seats fitted with knee pads for extra security. The stirrups are further up than usual for added comfort.
Types Of Horse Saddle Pads
There are 6 main types of horse saddle pads:
- The Shaped Horse Saddle Pad
This type of horse pad snugly fits the saddle. It is shaped such that it is a perfect fit for the saddle. It is best suited for long-distance riding, and the material used in making them too guarantees maximum comfort to the horse. Fleece trimmed and full fleece pads are the two types. More people choose the former over the latter as it is easier to clean and maintain.
- The Western Horse Saddle Pad
Like western saddles, they are large and rectangular-shaped. Most of them are made of wool, and for extra protection, foam or fleece linings are used that prevent the saddle from rubbing against the horse.
- The Square Horse Saddle Pad
They are ideal for competitive equestrian events. They have a sheepskin lining for added comfort. The square shape is also perfect for the team logo to be displayed.
- The Corrective Horse Saddle Pads
They are extra features such as memory foam and non-slip material. They can be added to the above-mentioned horse saddle pads for better fit, protection, and comfort.
- The Corrective Horse Saddle Half Pads
They are used to adapt to various horse shapes. They consist of memory foam or gel pads or sheepskin lining that provides symmetry to the horse’s body.
- The Sheepskin Horse Saddle Half Pads
Mostly seen in equestrian events, the pads can be of either real or fake sheepskin. Since these events involve jumping in certain parts, these pads act as effective shock absorbers.
No rider wants their horse to be uncomfortable. To ensure that, horse saddle pads are the best option that guarantees comfort and protection and, for this reason are widely used by riders.