A saddle pad is not just for comfort. It is a vital part of your horse’s good health and optimum performance. A poorly fitted saddle pad can do more harm than good and may result in some defensive behaviors due to pressure on reflex points causing discomfort.¹
A saddle that puts undue pressure on sensitive points on the horse’s back and spine will cause the horse to instinctively lower its back to relieve the pressure and pain. The result will be a horse who is not only resistant to responding to the rider’s requests but holding himself in an unhealthy posture while riding or training, which can result in injury.¹
What Is a Saddle Pad?
From a very basic perspective, a saddle pad cushions the saddle for the comfort of the horse and helps keep the saddle clean for the rider. Saddle pads are also much, much more.
Saddle pads reduce friction, increase air circulation, help distribute pressure more evenly, absorb shock, and can even help compensate for the unique structure of each horse. The ideal pad would be adjusted based on the horse’s weight and therapeutic needs at the time in order to prevent injury or help an existing injury heal properly.
How to Fit a Saddle Pad on a Horse
The ideal saddle pad will keep a gap between the horse’s withers and spine and the saddle. The contoured and moldable type of saddle pad is ideal, as cloth saddle pads can shift and bunch and end up filling that space. This allows the freedom of movement the horse needs to be able to lift its back while engaging its muscles during exertion.²
Make sure the saddle pad extends beyond the edges of the saddle. Remember that a saddle pad will make the fit of a saddle tighter, so your saddle should be sized with the pad in mind. A saddle pad is not meant to correct a poorly fitted saddle; they are meant to work together for ultimate comfort and safety for horse and rider.
Tips to Get the Best Saddle Pad Fit for Your Horse
There are many aspects to consider when trying to get the best fit for a saddle pad. Some of the basics are:
- Make sure that the saddle pad works with the shape of your horse’s back and their overall shape. A mismatch in this area can create additional pressure points on the spine or withers.
- Match the saddle pad shape to the saddle for a good fit. This will reduce movement and bunching that can also result in a poor fit while in use.
- Saddle pads come in a variety of shapes. The one that is most common is the square pad, but there are also shaped pads, as well as half-pads. The shape of the pad can vary by discipline, and some pads are used together with a square pad.
- The size of the pad is very important and can vary depending on the style of saddle and type of riding being done. Consider the size of the horse as well. Ponies will need smaller pads. The pad should extend just beyond the edge of the saddle.
- As stated earlier, a pad should not be the solution to an improperly fitted saddle, though they can improve the fit of a good saddle. A horse that is naturally not symmetrical may benefit greatly from a custom or moldable saddle pad. This may also be addressed with the use of shims or a combination of pads.
- Saddle pads come in a wide variety of materials. Make sure to choose a material with good wicking capabilities to keep your horse cool and reduce sweating. The padding and fill should also be considered to make sure the saddle pad is not only comfortable but evenly distributes the pressure of the saddle and rider.³
Sedelogic Saddle Pads from Vitafloor USA, Inc.
Here at Vitafloor USA, Inc., we carry a variety of saddle pads crafted by Sedelogic. Sedelogic saddle pads are expertly crafted and rigorously tested to ensure the best experience for you and your horse.
The technology employed by Sedelogic creates the highest level of shock absorption, an even distribution of weight, and the ultimate in orthopedic benefits. The saddle pads utilize a unique system of moldable, breathable thermoplastic that can be shaped to create the best fit for each and every horse.
The saddle pads can be re-molded as needed if your horse gains or loses muscle mass or if you choose to use the pad for a different horse. The pad can be easily reheated and reshaped as often as needed.
Reach out to us here at the Global Headquarters of Vitafloor USA, Inc. if you have any questions or would like to learn more about Sedelogic saddle pads. We have representatives all over the world to address any questions you may have.