Fleece saddle pad, pros and cons?
So here's the pad I'm looking at:
Roma All Purpose Square Fleece Lined Saddle Pad
I'm wondering if the fleece will make my horse get too hot when riding, as we usually have hot and dry weather at the barn.
I don't think you should have a problem with that pad. If anything, the pad will soak up your horse's sweat.
A pad for an English cut saddle
A properly fitting English saddle does not need a pad of any sort.
Years ago cloth saddles came into use in order to help keep the saddle clean - but the use of a saddle "pad" to help an ill fitting saddle to fit is not a good solution.
Sweat under the saddle would be minimal if there was no pad. The gullet is designed to provide a good flow of air.
If I clip out my horse during the late summer or the spring to help with the sweating problem, then I leave a saddle patch of unclipped hair to protect the horse's back from abrasion.
If you do fit a pad or cloth, then it should be of a natural fibre which can be washed regularly.
I also find that modern "coolers" which have a very effective moisture absorbing fabric built in are excellent for promoting the sweaty horse to cool down after exercise. I always avoid leaving a hot sweaty horse in a cold breeze.
Some new saddle pads are said to be designed to absorb sweat and to be washed but be careful - any materials other than cotton or natural sheep's wool are suspect until proven otherwise.
I had one of these (don't know where it ended up tho?? hmmm) they work but seem to get messy quick, sounds obv but, if u get a fleece lined pad I would make sure u brush the inside regularly with a dandy brush to get rid of any muck as once i had washed mine a few times the fleece bobbled a bit but brushing em off means less time between washes!!!! sorry if obv!
Thanks for the quick replies and tips. ;)
My horse's saddle does fit, but it is uphill so I use a foam riser pad. Hence why I like to use a saddle pad. I don't want the foam resting just on her back, plus it'd get pretty dirty, too. ;)
So fleece isn't natural and I should be careful if I do purchase this pad?That's kinda what I got out of your post...
Used to use mine in winter and never had a prob
I never know you could ride without a saddle pad. Wouldn't it cause sores on the horses back?
We have discussed saddle fitting on several threads to my knowledge.
The difference between a Western saddle and an ENglish saddle is that the English saddle has a much smaller area through which to transfer the weight of the rider to the back of the horse. The pounds per sq inch factor is much higher and a badly fitting saddle will press down on the horse's back and cause discomfort. Some pads do give some relief but essentially the saddle was designed to sit on the horse's back without any interface.
Look up the web sites of the various manufacturers - they all mostly give tips as how to choose a suitable saddle and how to fit it. But nothing beats the "experienced eye" of a saddle fitter.
The saddle must be level, the spine must not be impeded neither must the shoulder and the saddle should be no longer than the length of the weight bearing length of the horse's back. English saddles are divided into patterns ie gp or dressage, length ie 16.5 inch to 18inch and width ie standard then wide to extra wide.
But equally it is very important that the rider feels comfortable - so the rider must sit up on a saddle which already fits the horse and then decide whether or not he/she feels comfortable.
If the saddle does not fit the horse, then lessons to improve the posture or seat of the rider are wasted.
The horse won't get the correct message.
It is equally as important to have a correctly fitting bridle and a bit which suits the horse. A horse strapped up with ill fitting gear is useless to anyone but a novice rider.
who won't know the difference.
If the rider is presented with a tacked up horse by an owner, then all he/she can do is to look to make sure the straps are correctly adjusted. But once the horse belongs to the rider then it becomes the rider's responsibility to check that the tack fits the horse and if you are not sure then to ask someone who is sure.
The horse relies on signals/aids/cues/instructions/ given by the rider to perform - if the saddle, the bit or the bridle doesn't fit, then the horse gets the wrong messages.
For this reason a Western saddle could be seen to be an easier option since these saddles are designed to spread the rider's weight over a larger area. It is also means that the wider saddle will fit a wider range of horses.
But I am told that the modern Western saddle calls for expert fitting as much as an English saddle.
If Grandma has an old ENglish saddle up in the attic, the chances that it will fit a new horse correctly are slim.
Buying a saddle over the internet is fraught with disaster.
I have 4 saddles in my tack room, all belonging to horses that I have owned. None of them fit my present horse - I went out and bought her a new saddle and I drove her in a horse trailer for 3 hours to allow the local expert fitter to choose for her the correct saddle - which I merely had to approve of - not choose myself. But the saddle fitter watched me ride my own horse to make sure the horse was comfortable.
Take care with this matter of tack fitting - learn the significant facts. After the choice of the horse, it is the next most important thing to do.
I would say go for it! Yes everyone knows that a well fitting saddle needsno pads at all but I do it for added comfort and to protect from future back problems. The flece is a really popular choice seeing as it provides slot of comfort but still looks really nice and streamline. Yes, in the summer thay will cause your horse to sweat a little more, but horses are horses and their gonna sweat anyways. Also, they don't cover as much as a square pad which I find leaves a huge square of sweat. In either situaton just give your pall a quick rinse after you ride. Now to get off topic, yes you need no pad for a wellfitting saddle I know, but not once have I seen a rider without padding. Even in the olympics, and those saddles fit their horses like gloves! Anyway hope this helped!
I personally don't like fleece because it seems to slide around a little. Roma makes that same pad in sheepskin which is fantastic for not slipping and keeping the horse's coat as dry as possible. It's on sale at Dover Saddlery for $99. At least it was last time I looked.
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