Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
English pads? My friend makes her own with mattress pads she buys on sale. She sews an edging around the cut-out shape and voila! Cheap, easily-washed pad. Then her picky mare has a fresh, clean pad for every ride, and the expensive show pads are saved for shows and clinics.
I remember seeing in some older books that a clean, thick towel worked well as a saddle pad, because it was easily washed, and a well-fitting English-style saddle shouldn't need a pad for any reason other than to protect the saddle from sweat anyway. A somewhat-local Saddlebred barn uses towels under their saddles, too - you shouldn't see a pad on a Saddleseat horse, and a towel protects the saddle from sweat and is easily folded to the correct size. Be aware that a good, thick towel is key here, not some cheapo one from the discount store. A good towel will not wrinkle under the saddle.
I would not do a DIY western pad-- western saddles are designed to be ridden with a thick pad, and inadequate padding can really sore a horse.