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The necessity for functionality led to the development of the Western saddle. It increases the rider’s weight, covers a significant portion of the horse’s back, and necessitates a hefty pommel and horn to dally rope off. This implies that the horse, regardless of activity, carries a burden on its spine and withers.

However, thanks to contemporary materials, purchasing a horse saddle pad with less weight is possible, but the pressure is still the same. When it comes down to it, your horse’s spine, its most vital organ, is under a lot of stress. It’s time to start making your horse comfortable using the best saddle pad. Here are the key things to look for:

Taking in as much shock as possible

A horse saddle pad can increase a rider’s weight by up to 40 pounds. This means the horse’s spine is under a lot of pressure, whether doing a sliding stop, corralling livestock, or galloping around an arena. A wool fleece saddle pad works best to lessen the shock to the horse. Wool fleece adds a substantial layer of padding between the horse, saddle, and rider, whether used alone or combined with closed-cell foam or gel foam. The outcome is a horse that is less sore and recovers quicker.

The saddle pad and high withers

A cut-out pad was previously considered the best treatment for high withers. The cut-out pad’s disadvantage is that it exposes the top of the withers to the saddle’s candle. The cantle smacked into the most delicate area on the horse due to a good yank on the horn by a calf or a poor landing in the saddle. The answer is to use high-wither saddles for horses to increase protection rather than reduce size.

The best saddle pad for high-wither horses is the cut-out pad shape which improves upon it by adding a gusset that covers the withers and high-density foam to fill in the hollows that form to either side. This offers comfort while defending against the pommel and relieving pressure on the withers.

Heat dissipation

Observing a horse’s sweat dripping off the saddle is essential during the performance. The movement of a horse produces a lot of heat. Additionally, the heat from the sun or the lights from an arena help elevate the temperature. It is crucial to try to drain heat from the animal to assist the horse’s function at its best and shorten the time it takes for its core body temperature to return to normal.

Like a pony blanket, a base wool pad allows heat to escape while wicking sweat away. Add the fleece layer for comfort and additional heat-exhausting qualities. Choosing the ideal saddle pad for a horse is not always simple, but it is possible. Commit to purchasing the greatest pad you can find, one that offers solutions to fitting and heat issues to keep the horse happy and performing at its best.

The takeaway

Horses can be any size or shape, just like people. As a result, you should consider the shape of your horse’s back when choosing a saddle pad.