The saddle pad, also known as a blanket, is a particular type of horse cloth, meant to provide a bit of extra cushioning between the saddle and the horse. This piece sits directly on the horse’s body, where it wicks up moisture and cleans up dirt. It is also worth noting that the pads are also used to correct minor saddle fit issues, but not major ones. Here are some common types of saddle pads for horse owners.
Saddle blankets work well with most horses. This traditional saddle blanket is essentially a thick piece of woven fabric folded into half. Their simple design allows them to work with many horses. On the flip slide, they tend to slide beneath the saddle, bunch, or catch burrs and seed heads, which results in soreness.
A saddle pad is an improved version of the blanket. Most of them are padded to absorb impact loads as the horse moves; a couple of straps secure the pad. Most pads are ergonomically designed to fit the contours of the horse’s back, thus reducing the possibility of slippage or bunching even further.
Felt Saddle Pads
Felted pads have been a common feature under saddles for centuries now. They are made from compressed wool, which allows them to absorb sweat and dissipate heat. Contoured felt pads provide a better fit than square and rectangular designs.
Neoprene Saddle Pads
Neoprene saddle pads are highly preferred when shock-absorbing properties are a significant concern. The weave pattern employed in most pads helps keep the horse’s back cooler. They also tend to be easy to clean, usually requiring a few quick rinses with a hose.
Saddle pads are mainly used to make a horse comfortable by providing shock-absorption and moisture wicking properties. They are also used to correct saddle fit problems and to keep the horse’s back cool.