Western saddle pad opinions
Are these pads any good?
Brookside Wool Trail Ride Pad Brookside (Supplies Tack - Saddle Accessories - Pads)
Unfortunately, I just don't have the money to spend on the really nice 5 Star saddle pads. It just won't work in any way unless I can find one for less than $100 and I haven't seen that at all in the months that I've been looking.
Another question, is the 34" x 30" length along the spine and then width from one side to the other or is it vice versa? I've been wondering this about western saddle pad measurements for a while now.
I haven't used a pad like that so far. I've had pretty good luck using the cheaper pads. Mine is a Reinsman that we bought for $30 to $40. It's worked well for me and I've had it for about 6 years. My wife has bought some more expensive pads thinking they were "better" for the horses.
Two were the Reinsman contoured type with neoprene underside. The horses did not like them and we have to use a felt liner pad to use them.
Her most recent was a Weaver with memory foam insert. After using it for the summer, her horse developed white spots on the sides if his whithers. She has gone back to her cheaper and simple pad.
All three were suppose to be better for the horse by wicking moisture away or letting air circulate better. However, the cheaper has turned out better.
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I haven't used that one either. I have a Classic Equine ESP pad (that I wish I could replace for a contoured one due to the shape of my mare's back, as it slides down no matter what and smashes her withers. I do really like the pad otherwise.) and a Reinsman Tacky Too, the same kind usandpets mentioned their horses not liking, but I don't have an issue with it.
However, I can answer the measurement question: The larger number is the length down the back and the smaller number is the width. Most are usually around 30" wide, but length varies for different back lengths.
Mine is 100% wool felt for about $45 with a wool blanket over top.
Is there a difference between wool and wool felt? I mean, common sense tells me there should be.
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Personally, I would stay away from needled wool pads (Wades, Diamon Wool) - they have the lowest compression/concussion ratings. I believe Reinsman makes a wool felted pad, as are Slones,Wrights, etc. Read the info about them & if you have questions, ASK the company. If they him & haw around, they are not being truthful. :) If you can find a used 5 Star or Slone, that would be great too - they wear a long time & even used, will give you a lot of life yet. I sometimes know of used 5 Stars, so you can always check w/me too on those.
Another way to look at it ... would YOU want that material in a pad on you?? Neoprene is horribly hot, does not breathe - tacky too stuff pulls hair (put it on your head & rub it back & forth or pull one way - OUCH!) A scratchy wool pad (that is due to the "other" fibers" ) is going to be scratchy to them too.
ok, just went & looked at that Brookside pad. It is a lower content of virgin wool BUT should work ok. The only thing I would "complain" about it is that it has very little contour to it - it will not sit on your horse's back like it should & if your horse has high withers, will not give you any room at all.
The 5 star was my first contoured pad, and I can't believe that it took so long for me to buy a pad shaped like a horses back, to fit on a horses back, sounds so simple, but it took me a while
Here is what I've been using with Trooper for about 1.5 years ($62):
Ranch Tough Contoured Pad
The girl who rides Trooper 90% of the time only weighs around 115, and most of our rides are around 1 hour, so we're not talking heavy use. We usually use it by itself.
With a heavier rider or more intense riding, I'd think about putting more money into the pad. For our light use, this one has held up well, and I've never seen any sign of tenderness in Trooper's back when rubbing him down after the ride.
BTW - Trooper is the Appy in this picture:
bsms, I use them too with a wool blanket. For the price they are a good choice.
If you want to spend about $200 for a pad then there are great choices for that price bracket.
I believe in spending the most money I can afford for tack(and I do), but not everyone is going to drop a few bills to buy a pad.
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