The saddle pad is a form of a saddle cloth. Other cloths are saddlecloths or pads. The saddle pad is usually rectangular and is placed between the horse's back and the saddle. Like all saddle pads, it absorbs the horse's sweat. It therefore protects both the saddle and the horse's back. Besides this function, the saddle cloth also serves as a decoration for the horse. As it is larger than the saddle, it can be embellished very well. Such ornaments are for example embroidered names or club emblems.
To fulfill its function optimally, the saddle pad should be breathable, absorb sweat well, act as a damper between saddle and horseback and be easy to clean. Saddle pads are either made of cotton, a mixture of cotton and synthetic fibres, lambskin, polyamide or polyester. These materials each have their own specific advantages and disadvantages. You won't find a saddle pad that meets all requirements perfectly. When buying a saddle pad, you must therefore always decide which characteristic is most important to you.
You can select saddle pads according to both material and shape. Cotton is very breathable, absorbs sweat well and is easy to wash. However, these saddle pads only have a slight cushioning effect. Saddle pads made of a synthetic fibre are inexpensive, very breathable and easy to wash. However, they hardly absorb sweat and have no cushioning effect.
Very popular are saddle pads made out of a mixture of cotton and synthetic fibre. They combine the positive properties of both materials and are still comparatively inexpensive. Lambskin is extremely breathable and therefore lambskin saddle pads absorb sweat very well. They have a good cushioning effect and are easy to clean. Saddle pads differ in shape for dressage and eventing or jumping horses. Dressage saddle pads are longer in the area of the saddle flaps. Saddle pads for baroque horses are often pointed at the front. For ponies, shettys and minishettys there are special size-adapted saddle pads.
To ensure that you can enjoy your saddle pad for a long time, proper care is important. It depends on the type and frequency of use How often you have to wash the saddle pad. Not only the appearance is important.
The sweat that the saddle pad has absorbed while riding must also be washed out.
However, before washing, you must first remove the horse hair from the underside of the saddlecloth.
To do this, you can either use a special coat weeder or a hard brush. Before washing, you should read the care instructions of the saddle pad carefully. It is often recommended to hand wash the saddle pad at a moderate temperature. Saddle pads made of pure synthetic material can also be washed in the washing machine. The manufacturers usually recommend a special washing lotion for lambskin saddle cloths. You should never use fabric softener. It reduces water resistance, makes the fibres stick together and can cause allergic reactions to horses. After washing, the saddle pad is air dried. However, it should not hang directly in the sun.
The saddle pad must fit the saddle and should not be too small. There should be no creases. It must not press or rub.
You should also make sure that the room between the saddle cushions is not reduced. Of course, it should not disturb the movement of the horse. To meet these requirements, saddle pads are adapted to the shape of the saddle.
That is why saddle pads for all purpose, jumping and dressage saddles have different back lengths as well as different lengths in the saddle flaps.
When buying a saddle pad, you must therefore first know which saddle it is supposed to fit under.
When using the saddle, you should always pull the girth straps of the saddle through the corresponding eyelets of the saddle pad. Only then you can be sure that it will not slip out of place when the horse moves.
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