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Saddle pad rubbing hair off horse's back!?

56013 Views 74 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  horselovinguy
Every winter, this seems to happen to my mare...she is a very "wiggly butt" mover, IE she has a naturally back and forth movement rather than up and down like some other horses. What seems to happen is that with the back and forth movement, the saddle pad moves and rubs off the hair underneath where it's moving. The attached pics are of my mare's back and you can see where the pad has rubbed on top (hair is really thin and appears to be dark since she has black skin and you can see it through), and you can tell where down the sides of the back of the pad it has broken the hair as well.

The strange thing is that this rubbing is BEHIND the saddle, NOT under the panels directly (we placed the saddle on her back in the correct spot to make sure of that). I have tried using a really thick poly pad, a super thin baby pad, and everything in between with no luck! I've even tried taking some of that "sticky" material that you use to line your cupboards with and putting it under the pad and it just moves right along with the pad!! :evil:

Anyone else have this issue and how did you correct for it? For now, when I'm jumping I just use a fitted pad so that there IS no pad back there to rub, but what the heck will I do for dressage??


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my horse has the exact same problem. and the saddle was checked and it fits perfect I also use a raiser pad and sheepskin. I don't really have any advice (still trying to find out the problem myself) but I'll be happy to see what everyone else says
I would be interested to see what would happen if the saddle pad was lined in sheepskin or you just used a sheepskin pad under her saddle.

Mattes makes full square pads that are lined in sheepskin on the back.
Hmm where would I get sheepskin to put under the current pad?
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Oh I've seen those drew, they're nice although very expensive...have you seen the Ecogold pads?? They are nice and a little less harmful to the pocketbook! ;)
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Have you tried a thin kitchen towel under the pad?
no I haven't but a friend recommended a Sham Wow so as soon as those arrive I'll be giving them a try!!
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well, that`s the problem of your pad,dont use poly pads, use sheepskin pad, especially the Australian sheepskin. here are some samples. you may have a look. Merino Sheepskin Saddle Pad Brown Fleece English Horse Pads
I like wool as well, natural fibers tend to wick moisture away and not rub your horse's hair the wrong way.
I once tried a Fleeceworks pad on Sandie's back but it rubbed ALL of the hair off under the saddle, worse than the above photos!! Which is why I shyed away from those :-/ But if I could find a thinner version, maybe that would work?

Somoni, the link you sent me just may end up working, those look thinner than the fleeceworks I tried out!
This is often indicative of the rider being too much on the cantle. The weight isn't evenly distributed over the bars.
This is often indicative of the rider being too much on the cantle. The weight isn't evenly distributed over the bars.
Hmm interesting note! I HAVE been told that I tend to ride too much on the cantle and need to tip my pelvis more forward...but why would it only be happening each winter though? I don't ride differently in the summer vs the winter each year? :-|
What do you all think of this pad?

[ame=] Merino Sheepskin Dressage Square Saddle Pad [Misc.]: Sports & Outdoors[/ame]

Like I mentioned before, I used a Fleeceworks sheepskin half pad once, but it was on TOP OF a regular thin AP saddle pad, and it rubbed ALL of the hair off underneath the saddle! Do you guys think that was just because I used it on TOP rather than underneath, or think that may have been just too much padding altogether under the saddle? I don't really want to buy something this pricey and find out the hard way!! :p

Here's a link to an old thread of mine by the way, when I began having this kind of issue. The strange thing is that THIS year, it was my dressage saddle, NOT the Collegiate, that caused the I am wondering how much of this is pad-related somehow...

Found this other person's thread when I googled the issue and seems I'm at least not the only one!!
Bald spots/rubs behind saddle pad? [Archive] - Chronicle Forums
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Subbing - I have this same issue, but with a wool pad under my stock saddle.
Well glad I'm at least not alone!!
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Ok...subbing! Same problem just started happening to me. I bought a new round skirt 100% wool felt western pad for my barrel saddle and exactly where the back edge of the pad sits behind the saddle there are two worn spots on the hair on each outer edge from the pad rubbing back and forth I assume??? I was wondering if it was because previously the square pads kinda hit the hip bone a bit and lifted over that spot and now with the round it sits right there and rubs????? Interested to see what others have to say...
For the two of you who subbed because you're having the same issue, does it only happen to you in the winter as well, or is it an all year round type of thing?
I cant honestly answer that as I just switched to this round pad (always had square) and never had the issue before. However, I am assuming it would be much more noticeable in winter considering there is alot more hair? I know my horse slicks out so much in summer it would not be as easy to notice IMO cause it isnt like it has rubbed him bald it has just rubbed away some of the hair and left it almost matted down and broken????
Good point!
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