Has anyone even (recently) seen someone riding without a pad/numnah? I tried to google for a photo, but came up empty handed.
In my time with hunters, I've never seen someone ride without a pad. And cmon, the whole point of riding western is to have the cool, matching, colorful saddle blankets, right? I'm clueless on saddleseat, maybe it's a show routine in that discipline?
Someone post a photo of someone riding without a pad!!
And I Love Lane, I've never heard of those pads being called "western" english pads. I've always called them Easy View Pads or Number Pads. I don't really like them though...I'm a stickler for the classic numnah-type pad.
um yes! That's why I started this thread! Just for one example, I've added a link to a page that I was looking at that made me start the thread
Ahh, yes, the hideous "number pad". I HATE Those things! Lol They are common in HUS breed show classes, but you won't find them much in the open show (real) Hunter classes.
These are photos from the prestigeous Washington International Horse Show, where most US top Hunter, Jumper, and Dressage riders hope to get a shot at showing. You'll notice that none of them use the "number pad."
Yup yup, went to Olympia yesterday - high end Mountain and Moorland showing. All were in showing saddles (except for two shetlands who just had a leather pad with stirrups). About half had no visible numnah at all (I suppose they could have been completely concealed, but it's not uncommon for there to be no pad at all in showing) and those who did had ones the same colour and cut as the saddle to make them almost indiscernable.
And the Shetland:
I felt really sorry for that little girl - he was really speedy and a bit of a **** to be honest...
Hmmm, I've noticed a trend! The photos without pads/numnahs are taken in the UK! And then the "NoBit Bridles" one from Australia. Maybe those of us who've never seen someone ride without a pad have been just stuck in the US (myself included).
PS - What is a "showing saddle?" A separate riding discipline (like huntseat vs saddleseat)? Or just a separate saddle used for showing vs schooling?
We don't really have 'huntseat' here and no saddleseat at all (always bugs me that it's termed an 'english' discipline...). Most people just ride their horses in a GP (general purpose) English saddle. If you do a lot of dressage you might invest in a dressage saddle. If you do a lot of showjumping/cross country you might invest in a jumping saddle (forward cut flaps, larger knee rolls). Most people stick with one GP saddle for everything unless they show a lot or are quite well off. The show saddle, for ridden showing classes (the one I posted pictures of was a M&M championship and had both a ridden and in-hand conformation section) has very flat saddle flaps with almost or completely NO knee rolls and is cut very far back away from the horse's shoulder. It's purpose is purely to show off the conformation of the horse as it moves and free up the shoulder, not to help the rider's position or confort - consequently they are quite difficult to ride in. You wouldn't ride in it outside a show except to get you and a horse used to it (or were crazy), and you usually only see them in quite high level showing classes.
There's also the working hunter saddle (hunter is a 'type' of horse in the UK, not a riding discipline, and classes are held in-hand, ridden or 'working', meaning over jumps and through gates and stuff. The working hunter saddle is like a compromised show saddle, still cut quite flat and straight, but given a little bit of cut and padding beneficial to the rider to help with jumps.