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Western Saddle Pads

Frequently Asked Questions

Western Saddle Pads

What size saddle pad do I need?

The size of the saddle pad you need generally corresponds to the size of your saddle. You should measure the length of your saddle and add an extra 2-3 inches to determine the correct pad size. This allowance ensures that your saddle pad provides enough coverage under the saddle without being too small or too large.

How to fit a saddle to a horse with no withers?

Fitting a saddle and pad to a horse with no withers can be challenging because there's a greater risk of the saddle shifting. For such horses, it's advisable to select a saddle pad with a contoured design that can provide a better grip and help to keep the saddle in place.

How thick should a saddle pad be?

The appropriate thickness of a saddle pad depends on the fit of your saddle. Generally, the pad should be thick enough to provide cushioning and absorb shock without being so thick that it alters the fit of the saddle. A standard thickness is about 1/2 inch to 1 inch, but this can vary depending on your horse's needs and the type of riding you're doing.

How to fit a saddle pad?

To properly fit a saddle pad, align it with your horse's back, ensuring it covers the area beneath the saddle without extending too far beyond the horse's last rib or shoulder. The pad should not interfere with the horse's movement or the position of the saddle.

When is a saddle pad too thick?

A saddle pad may be too thick if it changes the way your saddle fits, creating pressure points, or if it makes the saddle too high, affecting your balance and the horse's comfort. Signs of an overly thick pad include uneven sweat marks on your horse's back or a feeling of instability while riding.

How to measure for a saddle pad?

To measure for a saddle pad, start by measuring the length of your saddle from the front to the back. Then, add approximately 2-3 inches to this measurement to find a saddle pad size that offers sufficient coverage. A pad that's too small won't provide adequate protection, while a pad that's too large may hinder your horse's movement or saddle fit.

Does impact gel really work?

Impact Gel saddle pads are highly regarded by riders for their shock absorption qualities. The gel technology in these pads is designed to dissipate energy horizontally, much like ripples on a pond surface, which helps to minimize shock and pressure points on the horse's back. This makes them a good choice for horses with sensitive backs or for riders who spend a lot of time in the saddle and want to ensure their horse's comfort.

This distribution of weight and shock can lead to a more stable and comfortable ride for both horse and rider. Despite being on the higher end price-wise, many riders find the investment in Impact Gel saddle pads worthwhile for the added comfort and protection they provide.

How to use a gel pad under a saddle?

To use a gel pad under a saddle, first, ensure that it is the right size for both your saddle and your horse. The pad should be positioned correctly on the horse's back, aligning with the horse's natural top line, and the saddle should be placed over it, making sure that the pad does not cause any bunching or shifting that could affect saddle fit or horse comfort.

These gel pads are not only appreciated for their shock-absorbing properties but also for their ability to distribute a rider's weight evenly, which can reduce fatigue for the horse.

Different saddle pad sizes for different saddles?

Yes, you might need different saddle pad sizes for different saddles, as saddle shapes and sizes vary, especially between disciplines like English and Western riding. It's important to measure each saddle individually and choose a pad that complements each one's unique dimensions.

What type of saddle pad should I use for a horse with wither sores?

For horses with wither sores, or to prevent them, a saddle pad that offers wither relief, such as a contour or cutback style, can be beneficial. These pads are shaped to relieve pressure from the withers, which is where sores commonly develop.

Can I use a saddle blanket with a western saddle pad?

Using a blanket over a pad on a Western saddle can be done, particularly if you're looking for additional padding or want to keep your saddle pad clean. However, it's important to ensure that any additional layers don't interfere with the fit of the saddle or create uneven pressure points on the horse's back.