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The jumping saddle pad that generally used for show jumping is shorter than a dressage saddle pad. The show jumping saddle pad should always fit well and not slide around under the saddle. When jumping, a lot of forces are at work and can quickly contribute to the saddle and saddle pad shifting, which must be prevented.
The functions that a jumping saddle pad should fulfil should also be taken into account. Proper padding is important to make your horse more comfortable, and the saddle pad should be breathable and wick moisture away from the horse's back. Anti-slip properties on the underside provide the necessary grip.
The all purpose saddle pad has a slightly different shape, it is slightly more extended than the jumping saddle pad and has a slightly curved shape. It is of course ideal under an all purpose saddle, but you can also use it for show jumping and dressage. An all purpose saddle pad is of course also ideal if you ride both dressage and show jumping, so you don't have to keep changing saddle pads.
Both the show jumping saddle pad and the all purpose saddle pad have become accessories in addition to fulfilling their functional purpose. Many great colours, fleece trimmings, piping, embroidery and crystal accents will have you spoiled for choice when choosing a new saddle pad.
All purpose saddle pads are cut a little shorter than dressage saddle pads, but longer than jumping saddle pads. Their shape is adapted to the all purpose saddle and they are curved at the front. Unlike dressage saddle pads, they are not rectangular in shape, but have a cut-out that mimics the shape of the saddle.
They are available in the same materials as dressage saddle pads and offer the same variety of styles and colours, both traditional and trendy.
If you have an all purpose saddle, you will be best served with an all purpose saddle pad, as its shape makes it the best fit for this saddle.
In terms of design, the right saddle pad for you and your horse is, of course, a matter of taste. If you like to make a statement, you will enjoy the wide range of colours on offer. A bright yellow dressage saddle pad on the shiny coat of a black horse would certainly standout. For piebalds, whose coat colours are already distinctive, muted colours make a better choice, as they are less distracting and emphasise the horse's natural appearance.
If you enjoy sparkle, there are plenty of choices available, including sequins, Swarovski crystals and rhinestones. Your sparkly dressage, all purpose or jumping saddle pad will give you a truly dazzling look while riding.
Of course, traditional, restrained and muted colours are still in fashion and are timeless classics that you and your horse can always enjoy.