Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Range, WI
I've never heard of a thin Navaho blanket under a pad, particularly not for trail riding. Wool pad liner, yes. Blanket, no.
I personally use a 100% wool pad (Diamond brand cause I can't afford Five Star). Western saddles (as compared to English) put a lot of pressure, so just using a thin blanket is inadequate. Using doubled or multiple blankets/pads is just asking for slippage, particularly with barrel racing. A good quality, thick wool contour pad would be ideal. I also have used ProChoice pads with success if you want something pretty.
For a cinch, sizes don't necessarily convert from English because the fit on a girth tends to be fairly custom depending on the saddle. The majority of horses I've ridden in Western have fit into a 30 or 32" cinch. I personally love Weaver Airflex but a lot of people swear by mohair. I will never use neoprene. Most of our trail horses ended up with girth sores (I worked at a riding stable) when we tried neoprene. The cheap felt cinches worked better.
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