While they may look graceful as they perform, horses endure a lot of shock and discomfort that can not only affect their performance but their health as well. That’s where saddle pads come in. Because they play a huge role in your horse’s welfare, you must ensure that you invest in the best saddle pads for your horses.
The Top Benefits of Saddle Pads
Saddle pads are more important than most people think. Besides affording horses and riders a comfortable ride, they also offer countless other benefits. Here are the top three:
1. Help Improve Performance
One of the most significant benefits of saddle pads is that they help improve performance. The main reason for this is that they help absorb sweat from the horse’s body, which could otherwise cause the saddle to slip. Sweat and unwicked heat under the saddle can also cause discomfort, thereby negatively impacting your horse’s performance.
2. Keeps Your Horse’s Back Healthy
Despite being strong, horses are also delicate creatures. They are prone to injury if not taken care of properly. Riding without a saddle pad (or using a bad saddle pad) can result in you damaging your horse’s spine. Adding a good saddle pad ensures your weight is evenly distributed on the horse’s back. It also helps cushion the horse from your weight during jumps, ensuring the force isn’t strong enough to cause other types of injury.
3. Protects Your Horse’s Skin and Prolongs Saddle Life
Saddle pads help reduce the friction between your horse’s skin and the saddle. This helps protect your horse’s skin and muscles and prevents your horse from having a sore back. A good saddle is also essential to ensuring that your saddle lasts longer. Because it reduces the friction between the saddle and the horse’s back, there’s less wear and tear.
How to Choose the Best Saddle Pads for Horses
Now that you know the importance of saddle pads, let’s quickly look at how you can pick the best one for your horse.
Prioritize Saddle Fit
When looking for the best saddle pad for your horse, always start with saddle fit. To find a good-fitting saddle pad, make sure it matches the contours of the horse’s back and the contours of the underside of your saddle. This ensures the saddle pad doesn’t put too much pressure on the horse’s spine or withers.
It’s also crucial to understand that saddle pads are never meant to rectify an ill-fitting saddle. While in some cases they do help with this, the priority must always be to find a saddle pad that will be a perfect fit for your horse.
Get the Right Style of Saddle Pad for Your Horse
As you shop around for saddle pads, you’ll find that there are three main types to choose from. These are:
- Shaped saddle pads. These are best for riders doing dressage.
- Square saddle pads. Square pads are more popular in hunting and jumping disciplines.
- Half pads. Half pads are versatile and can be used in all disciplines. They can be used alone or in conjunction with square and shaped pads.
Another crucial criterion you must use to select the best saddle pad for your horse is the shape. Like human beings, horses have different body shapes. That’s why, when looking for a saddle pad, you must consider the shape of your horse’s back. For example, you could get (among other options):
- Contour shaped. Contour saddle pads are designed for horses that have a slight dip in their back. They’re also helpful for horses with more prominent withers.
- Straight shaped. These are best suited for round or mutton-withered horses or horses with a flat back.
- Cutback saddle pads don’t have material on top of the withers and are designed to provide full wither relief.
This extra padding helps to achieve a better saddle fit and assists in the even distribution of pressure across the entire back, especially relieving pressure from the highly susceptible withers and kidney areas.
These are just examples of the different shapes you’ll find as you shop around for the best saddle pads for your horses.
Consider the Material Used
There are a lot of factors at play in choosing the perfect saddle pad for your horse. One of those is the type of material used to make the saddle pad. Your options include:
- Closed-cell foam
- Open-cell foam
- Cotton wool
Each type of material has its pros and cons, so be sure to do your due diligence to know which material is best for you. Note, however, if the material used results in a thicker saddle pad, it may change the way your saddle sits on your horse.
The Unique Advantages of Vitafloor Saddle Pads
With so many manufacturers of saddle pads on the market, you’re probably wondering what makes Vitafloor saddle pads your best option.
Besides the quality factor, our Sedelogic saddle pads are the future of saddle pad technology.
Sedelogic saddle pads are meticulously crafted to ensure maximum shock absorption while still giving your horse optimum comfort as you ride. Add the efficient weight distribution and orthopedic benefits, and you’ve found yourself the best saddle pads for you and your horses.
Sedelogic also offers a new line of uniquely re-moldable custom-fit saddle pads. Using advanced technology, these come with a thin, sturdy layer of breathable thermoplastic that provides the perfect fit for each of your horses. What’s more, as your horse’s body changes (gaining muscle, weight, etc.), you can simply reheat and reshape the pad as often as needed. You can use the same process if you want to use the saddle pad on a different horse.
A result of years of research, Vitafloor’s line of saddle pads undoubtedly features the best saddle pads for horses you’ll find on the market.
So, if you’re in need of saddle pads for your horse, make sure to check out our inventory. Alternatively, give us a call at (352) 737-6743. We’d be more than happy to help you choose the best saddle pads for your horses.