Why are western saddle pads so thick?! - Page 4

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Why are western saddle pads so thick?!

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    10-02-2012, 11:15 AM
I just want to point out that this thread is ridiculously informative As someone who knows nothing about western saddle but wants to buy one some day, this information is all invaluable.
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    10-02-2012, 11:16 AM
Green Broke
Cheaper pads are just made cheaper, the materials usually aren't high quality, the stitching can come undone, and the pad will start to wear out quickly..As well as the pad not being the best..

I would only use the two blankets for something like Western Pleasure..I'm not saying every time but sometimes the two blankets can slip and move around, this can cause unevenness of the pads, bunching, and some discomfort.... You can just as easily but something like a 3/4" pad and it be around the same "bulk" as the felt and navajo together.

In my experience I just went with what others recommended, especially when I started buying more of the performance pads, like the higher priced ESPs and the Impact Gel pads..There are brands that I do trust now, like the ESP.. I've had many of them and I've just been happy with their quality and how they fit..

You can sometimes tell just by looking at a pad, like with the felt pads..You can't really mess up a felt pad, it just depends on the quality of the pad and the maker.. If anything, you can buy it and return it if you don't like it.

Even when you get into the higher priced pads there are people with different favorites..I don't like the Professional's Choice AirRide pads, they slip around under your saddle, make this crunchy noise that I can't stand, and seem cheaply made..I also loathe the Charmayne James Professional's Choice pad, that thing IS made SO cheap. It just comes down to what brands you trust and what works best for your horse.
    10-02-2012, 11:41 AM
Originally Posted by Tracer    
I just want to point out that this thread is ridiculously informative As someone who knows nothing about western saddle but wants to buy one some day, this information is all invaluable.
I agree! I'm super grateful for all the extremely informative responses. I feel much less lost now.
    10-02-2012, 11:53 AM
I have tried a number of pads and don't think I've ever quite gotten it right.

My QH is ridiculously wide and "mutton withered," so saddle fit has always been a problem. I have "compensated" by using thin pads and it's only made matters worse. In my ignorance, I pretty much ruined my horse and he's now retired at age 22 (been retired for 4 years). Pads I tried on him: "fleece" pads, including "cool back" fleece, thick (cheap) "rug" style pads with fleece lining, thin wool "show" blankets with a felt liner.

With my Arab, I tried a couple of different pads: a fleece pad with a "tacky too" type lining, a regular fleece pad, and a Charmayne James Pro Choice pad. The tacky too pad worked best, and he HATED the Pro Choice pad. I bought it used, and actually thought there was something wrong with it at first due to the crinkly noise. I will agree with the poster that said they don't like them AT ALL.

I now have a new horse and am currently pad shopping. Here's my thread, also lots of valuable input in there: Saddle pad recommendation - Western

My trainer likes Pro Choice or thick wool felt pads. I think I'm going to go with either an ESP pad or a wool felt pad. I'm going to try and find a contoured pad in my budget.. it just seems like they would fit the horse a lot better than a straight pad.

I'm actually going to up my budget a lot for a pad, though... I think focus is so much on saddle quality that we tend to overlook the importance of a pad. I'm expecting to spend at least $100 - $150 for a pad... hoping to keep it under $200, though.

My biggest problem now is that most of the pads I'm finding are HUGE. It seems most are made to fit the oversized show saddles. Since I plan on getting a "regular" sized saddle, I don't really want 6+ inches of pad sticking out.
    10-02-2012, 11:59 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by nikelodeon79    

I'm actually going to up my budget a lot for a pad, though... I think focus is so much on saddle quality that we tend to overlook the importance of a pad. I'm expecting to spend at least $100 - $150 for a pad... hoping to keep it under $200, though.
I would hug you if I could!

*runs off to your thread* I think I know of a few you'll like..
nikelodeon79 likes this.
    10-02-2012, 12:03 PM
I believe in wool. I often use this pad, which is 1" thick, by itself:

Ranch Tough Contoured Pad

Mine is about 1.5 years old and the only wear to it is a spot missing some felt where a dog got hold of it...

I also regularly use two of these, each being maybe 1/3 inch thick:

Mayatex Cowtown NZ Wool Saddle Blanket - Statelinetack.com

The Mayatex wool blankets are a single thickness, but are very thick. I use one when riding with my Aussie-style saddle, and two when riding Mia with our Circle Y.

For added oddity, I sometimes use this with a western saddle:

Wintec Comfort Pad White - Statelinetack.com

It covers the area where there is a wood tree in the western saddle. Combined with one of the Mayatex blankets, it seems to work for at least 3 hour rides.

Those are my choices, but I don't ride my horses very hard.

    10-02-2012, 12:18 PM
Originally Posted by phoebeeliza    
Thanks for all the options! Right now Pony and I are both working on getting back in shape, so I only want to do light trail riding, an hour or two max at a walk only.

I understand that the cheaper pads must not be as nice, because why else would they be so cheap, but can you explain a little more what makes the difference? It is so hard to tell online, when one can't feel things and see what they're really like.

A lady I work with recommend combing a 1/2" real wool felt pad liner with a Navajo style blanket over it, for sweat wicking and padding purposes without a ton of bulk. Does that seem like a good idea?
I agree. To start out a 100% wool pad, like Diamond makes, is relatively cheap. I pay about $50 for mine. Then top them with a blanket. 100% wool, not a synthetic felt blend, wicks sweat and wont burn a horses back because it breathes.

I have a couple high dollar pads because every once in a while I think I HAVE to have one :), but I always go back to the wool. I have used them for years and mainly for at least 8 hours at a time on a horse. Never had an issue with a good wool pad and a blanket if your saddle fits right.
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    10-02-2012, 02:20 PM
Green Broke
I have a 1" thick wool/felt blend pad. Best. Pad. Ever. No idea who makes it, but it fits all of my horses great (narrow 3 year old, HUGE in all directions 11 year old, high withered 21 year old, round 5 year old...), and if I hate the color I can easily throw a blanket on over it.

1/2" Barely even counts as a pad. That's like...half of an inch! O.o XD Anyways.........

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