is to check for Equine Infectious Anemia. It is literally drawing blood and testing that blood; my vet sends it out, others can do it themselves (or so I'm told). I don't think this is a test you can do by your lonesome. If you transport your horse(s), board them, show them, or take them to camps where other riders are with their horses, a coggins is required to make sure that no one else's horses get EIA. Without it, you can be fined; if you transport your horse across state lines without it, it's my understanding the police can impound your horse, trailer, even the car hauling it.
Originally Posted by EIA article linked above
Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease for which there is no vaccine and no cure. Though most horses succumb rapidly to EIA a percentage of infected horses appear to recover. However they still harbor the virus and during times of stress may become ill again. It is because of these healthy appearing carriers that we test horses. It insures that we do not put their pasture mates at risk.
As for "2," do you mean stains or impressions of the saddle/pad in his winter coat? As far as I know there's no fix for this. Friends and I ride in the winter and we thoroughly groom the horses before, and after, we ride. The "post ride groom" helps eliminate any leftover dust and get the winter fuzzies back in order. But we always see a soft impression in the hair where the girth was right behind their elbow.
3. I'm not sure if you can "add" padding to Western saddles (that one is beautiful, by the way). If you go to a professional they may be able to add some. A woman who boards where I work recently had a pound of fleece added to her dressage saddle by a professional. Otherwise, you can buy pads that you put on the saddle itself; like this
. At the livery where I work we use these on harder saddles -- with 24 head and nearly 30-35 saddles, paying to have each one re-padded regularly is usually out of the question. And if you're not going to high-stakes shows, a cover pad would suffice.
Maybe if you find a local saddle repair man/maker, they could add some padding if the saddle is uncomfortable for you to ride in?