It’s official. We’ve reached the point of the summer where we enter the barn cool and collected, and exit looking like we’ve failed at outrunning a thunderstorm – disheveled, wet, and more than a little winded. Hot and sweaty are consistent adjectives for every equestrian, and they same goes for our horses.
And our saddle pads absorb the brunt of our hot and sweaty lifestyles – literally.
No matter the discipline or the intensity you ride, there are important factors to consider when choosing the material that separates your saddle from your horse.
The area that the saddle pad covers is a relatively large piece of horseflesh real estate and covers some pretty important large muscle groups (like, the ones we rely on to keep their front end and hind end connected). Having a breathable saddle pad keeps the horse cool and their muscles functioning optimally. For western riders, pads like the Professional Choice Cowboy Felt Deluxe Saddle Pad offer an air ride core that provides comfortable fit and breathable shock absorption. For English riders, the Weatherbeeta Prime All-Purpose Saddle Pad offers a moisture wicking, breathable fabric, plus a mesh spine that allows air flowing down the saddle channel. Or you can also reduce the surface area you are covering, by going with a contour pad like the Professional’s Choice XC Pad, which also features a mesh lining that absorbs, quickly dries, and is lightweight.
2. Wither Relief
Whether it’s hot or cold out, wither relief is important, but when the temps rise, wither clearance involves not only preventing pressure points, but also allowing air flow down the channel of the saddle. Saddle pads like the Shires Air Motion Jump Saddle Cloth for English riders, and the Classic Equine ContourPedic Saddle Pad for Western riders both offer wither relief along with wicking properties.
Things getting sweaty may be inevitable, but your saddle sliding can be avoidable. Using a pad that offers stability while keeping your horse cool is paramount, and the Ovation Coolmax Slipgrip Euro CC Pad offers just that with its gripper top combined with Coolmax lining.
No matter how breathable and well fitting the pad is, there is still going to be sweat, and lots of it. Having a pad that is durable enough to hold up to lots of hosing off, drying, and washing is imperative. We need it to not only stay in one piece, but also hold its shape and not get bumpy and lumpy. Adding a pad like the Majyk Equipe Ergonomics Air Mesh Pad, not only ensures fit and breathability, but will also last you for sweaty season after sweaty season.
Now, most of us don’t REALLY need to add more items to our saddle pad collections, but we think that in the name of summer comfort and durability, that a adding a few of these to your shopping cart may be in order.