If you’re among the 2 million horse owners in the U.S., you probably own a saddle pad unless you are a constant bare-back rider.
But did you know that a saddle pad can wear over time? Or that a poor quality saddle pad can cause issues with performance, saddle wear, and the health of your horse?
Even though they come in different sizes, materials, and cuts, horse saddle pads have the job of protecting your horse and the saddle on rides. Whether you are trail riding or working your mount in a paddock, a good saddle pad is a must.
Read on for a guide that shares 5 benefits of having a comfortable saddle pad, for both you and your horse.
1. Protect Your Horse’s Back
If you are newer to riding, you might be asking why have a horse saddle pad in the first place?
Whenever a saddle is placed on a horse, it begins to rub on the back. A well-fitting saddle can alleviate a lot of this, but there will still be friction. If your horse has high withers, having a specially padded saddle pad will help along with their saddle.
If your horse often develops sore spots, the right saddle pad can be beneficial as well.
Another of the saddle pad perks is keeping your saddle clean.
Horses love to roll in the dirt to alleviate the itch of drying sweat, shed their coats, and help maintain their body temperature. Even well-groomed horses have dirt on their coats, and they pick up more as they ride. Saddle pads help keep the underside of saddles from collecting dirt.
Horses also get sweaty, especially where their saddle sits. A leather saddle will soak up the sweat and need more cleaning if a proper saddle pad isn’t used.
3. Better Performance
Cheap or ill-fitting saddle pads can cause issues with the fit of horse saddles. Some may not wick the sweat from both you and your horse. This may cause more sweat build-up and keep you from riding as well as you are used to.
Too thick of a riding pad can cause your saddle to move from side to side or backward and forwards, affecting your ride.
4. Adds to Your Horses Look
Another of the horse saddle pad benefits is the variety of colors and designs you can find. Competitive shows look for well-groomed horses, and having matching kits and rider wear adds to the aesthetic of the look.
Many companies sell saddle pads that fit the bill of both comfort and style.
5. Saddle Pads Offer Variety
From trail riding to horse racing, one saddle pad doesn’t fit them all. Saddles and horses are different from event to event. However, you can find saddle pads to fit every kind of riding you need.
Make sure you research the best material and fit for each type of riding that you participate in.
Ride in Style and Comfort
Riding a horse should be fun and safe for both you and your mount. If the only thing keeping you from that is a need for new saddle pads, make sure you get one today. Your horse and saddle will thank you.
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