Whats the best western saddle pad? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-11-2012, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Whats the best western saddle pad?

I was wondering what everyone's opinion is about the best western all in one pad or best under pad with blanket combination might be? I am looking for something that can breathe as the weather is getting very warm and I would like to have the best ventilation and best comfort for my horse at the same time. We will be trail riding and team penning mostly. My husband uses the Professionals choice smx air ride with a quilted thin pad underneath to protect the pad. I have a Reinsman tacky too pad. Some say you can put the neoprene tacky too pad next to the horse without using the quilted pad. What is best?
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-11-2012, 02:21 PM
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I really love my smx air ride contour pad,all in one excellent withers clearance, back contour and equal pressure. So much better than felt +blanket.I use no liner. I vaccine both sides works great!
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-11-2012, 04:11 PM
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I would run as far away as you can from the air ride pads...they are way to thin and hard to protect your horse from any shock.

I like ESPs a lot and am a big fan of 5 Stars now...they are both great quality. Also I have had great luck with Impact Gels and EquiPedics they are 4 of my top pads. And if they get dirty take them to the Car Wash and spray them off (no soap).

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post #4 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Barrel racing, where do you buy the pads you mentioned? What kind of price range are they? We have only a few good sources for western gear in my area. I would be willing to buy off the web as I have not seen these brands before.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 12:43 AM
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I don't the air ride pads at ALL either.. They slip and move under your saddle..

I use Classic Equine ESP pads..They are my absolute favorite pad ever..but I also like the Impact Gel pads.

Your best bet at finding the ESP pad you like is to just Google Classic Equine ESP pads..There are a ton of different colors, styles, and price ranges.. I paid around $140 for each of mine. They are worth every penny though and last forever.

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post #6 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 01:56 AM
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I only ride western for pleasure but found the air ride pro choice (no other pad underneath) to be the best possible fit for my girl after trying numorous brands, she has higher withers then most "western" breeds, she is a WB, so was having trouble finding a pad that gave relieve but still had support, truthfully her top line has never been better since this saddle/saddle pad combo.

I have had zero issue with slipping/moving, that being said my saddle is a really great fit and I am not doing any crazy turns/maneuvers, but go fast, roll backs, over obstacles and the sweat/heat distribution is always the same, I did not get the same results with felt, and a couple other local choices, I have not personally used the ESP though.

Everyone has personally opinions and need different things for different disciplines, but I figured I would add my own "two cents"
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 02:04 AM
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I'l repost, what I posted in another thread regarding saddle pads --

Originally Posted by enh817 View Post
Pretty much everything I've read has suggested that wool pads are best for dispersing pressure and keeping the horse's back cool (or as cool as possible), which is a bit counter-intuitive, but I guess it breathes better than some of the synthetic materials.
100% wool has been suggested, but that can get a bit pricey, so I think wool blends will work okay also.
Wool also shouldn't slip too badly, or at all.
Whatever you do, avoid the pads with gel in them. They're very heavy and don't seem like they'd allow for my breathing. In addition, I've read a number of negative reviews on them, saying that they actually create more pressure points, as the gel pools in certain areas.

It makes sense, logically, to me, that wool would offer the best weight dispersal and shock absorption, as it doesn't seem like wool that thick could compress too much.

5 stars seems to have nothing but rave reviews, but are a bit pricey for me.
I have found some other similar pads, haven't decided which I'm going to go with, just yet --

Classic Equine Wool Felt Pad.
Smith Brothers 100% Wool Pad - Smith Brothers
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Mustang Wool Contour Wool Pad

The wool pads always come in neutral colors, but then you put any pretty saddle blanket, that you'd like, over the wool pad.

Another option would be, getting one of these wool pad protectors -- Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Wool Pad Protector and put it under whatever saddle pad you want to use. That way you still get some of the benefits of having the wool directly on the horse's back (although you won't get the same kind of weight distribution as you would with a thicker wool pad).

I'm probably going to grab one of those wool pad protectors and one of the wool pads I listed above (after trying to see if I can find some reviews on them), in the 3/4 inch thickness. Between those two wool pads and the handful of decorative Mayatex blankets that I have, I should have pretty decent options as far as thickness and look go :)

If your saddle fits super well, I don't think you have to be QUITE as picky with the saddle pad. In my situation, my saddle has to go on a variety of horses, so I need the best pads I can afford.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 02:10 AM
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LOVE LOVE LOVE my 5 star equine, so glad I spent the money on it
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. At least I have a few more ideas than I did previously. I'm sorry if the post has been posted before. I just didn't want to highjack someone else's thread. I appreciate your opinions greatly as I am newer to western gear.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-12-2012, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
LOVE LOVE LOVE my 5 star equine, so glad I spent the money on it
I cannot find the coloured ones anywhere that they promise they have on their website, lol.

Expensive but worth saving for I suppose

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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