Western saddle pads...
I'm looking to get a new one since I cheaped out on my current pad and it shows. So, basically I'm looking for recommendations.
I need it to be around an inch thick, have that leather where the stirrups come down, be a color that goes with super dark oil leather (almost black) with a bright red seat and doesn't clash with neon green or light blue, and preferably under $50.
Also, if there's a way for it to be a cut back/have some sort of wither relief, that'd be super great too. Another thing that would be nice is some sort of back relief-ness like gel or something for the poor Lacey girl cuz even though her back doesn't get sore, at her age she needs babying.
Any tried and true recommendations?
I'd suggest to look at used one. Under $50 is pretty hard to find something really nice. I really like my reinsman (and they have cut back versions), but it was like $70 new. :(
The best $120 I ever spent was on my 5 star equine pad, I struggled with spending that much, Hey I've paid less than that for saddles, but I'm now so glad I did. My dogs are happy with the cheap and nasty pads that I wasted my money on, they use them as beds, and my horses share the 5 Star and the Reinsman Tacky Too which is my 2nd choice pad.
I snagged a great ebay deal on the Reinsman, and I would far rather buy a lightly used really good pad, than a new not so good one.
Since I had the decent pads my saddles sit better, I've had no slipping saddles, no sore backs, and we are all a lot happier. I strongly advise saving the pennies until you can get a good one.
I realize that money is tight everywhere. That being said, unfortunately, there are no quality pads that exist for $50 or under. There are pads that sell for that amount but nothing that is going to do your horse any justice.
There are ways to cheapen up on tack but saddle pad shouldn't be one of them. It is a barrier between you, your saddle, and his back. Save your $50 and use a second pad on top of what you already have until you have saved enough for a good pad.
I've used many different pads over the past 30+ years of ownership and by far the best pad I've ever owned, and the one I'll always use, is the 5 Star. It isn't expensive when you consider what it does, how it's made, what it is made of, and how long it will last you. You will go through 4 or 5 cheap pads before you ever wear out a 5 Star. I'll agree with golden Horse on that pad.
Said it all! Unfortunately, I'm in the same boat with you. But I am just going to use 2 saddle pads until I save up enough for a 5 star, classic equine, or impact gel saddle pad, which all are priced above 100$ new.
I, too, would rather buy a lightly used than a crappy new. If you are concerned about any kind of contaminants...send it off to a blanket laundering service and have them clean and sterilize it. Our blanket service only charges $9.00 for this!
I love my reinsman pad. Bought it used at a tack swap for $5 and that was the steal of the century. Its a tacky-too and I love it.
I am one that doesn't bother with getting the expensive ones. Yeah, they may be better, but I have to have no less than 2 or 3 pads on hand at a time and I ride enough that they get worn out quickly no matter the brand. So I go with the cheaper ones that are easier to replace. This is a brand that I found and I am really impressed with so far.
Apache Southwest Saddle Pad: Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com
I am not a big fan of the cutback pads unless you are using them on top of another pad. Every time I tried to use one by itself, it ended up wearing a sore just behind the withers.
I agree with the others, what your looking for just isn't possiable for $50. My favorite pads are professionals choice smx air ride pads, I have one that has lasted 2 years of use on many horses everyday. it still looks brand new, i just switched colors so right now it isn't being used though. I bought a charmayne james smx pad recently, its really nice too. There both around $150-$160 though. So I say save your money or buy a nice used saddle pad.
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