The saddle pad and saddle blanket serve as an extra layer of cushioning between the saddle and the horse’s back. It keeps the horse feel comfortable especially when you’re going out for long rides. Aside from comfort, it also keeps the saddle clean from the horse’s sweat and dirt so you don’t need to clean it more often. Since cleaning and washing saddle pads and blankets are a lot easier, maintenance is more convenient and easily done.
Since there are plenty of types of saddle pads and blankets, here is a simple guide on how to choose which Western saddle blanket or pad suits your horse best.
Western Saddle Blankets and Pads
If you want an upgraded version of the traditional saddle blanket, you could go for a Western saddle pad. It looks like a folded saddle blanket that is attached securely in place with leather straps. It has padding on the top and bottom layer to serve as an extra cushioning to make the horse more comfortable during the ride.
It could be adjusted to fit the contours of the back of your horse, making bunching and slipping less likely to happen. You could choose from a variety of materials depending on which is comfortable for your horse. Since saddle pads are thicker, they are a lot harder to clean and wash frequently.
Neoprene Saddle Pads
If you’re looking for a pad with optimum shock absorbing properties, neoprene saddle pads are the perfect choice. Aside from neoprene, they also have a more shock absorbent centre made from foam, wool or gel, lessening the strain from the back of your horse. Neoprene weave is not too tight, keeping the back of the horse cooler than regular saddle pads. It could also be contoured and rounded to fit all kinds of horses.
Felt Saddle Pads
Felt saddle pads are made from felted wool, making it soft and comfortable to touch. It dissipates heat well and even absorbs sweat, helping keep the horse cooler. If you have a dropped back horse, felt saddle pads are perfect since it fits perfectly to the contours of your horse’s back.
Western Saddle Blankets
Western saddle blankets typically look like a long, thick woven fabric folded in half. There are also plenty of colours and weave patterns with plain or fringed edges to choose from so it is up to you which one suits your style. Western saddle blankets are easy to wash and clean.
You could even just toss them in the washer and dryer to clean. Although Western saddle blankets work well with almost any kind of saddle, some of them could slide down easily because of the design. It is also prone to bunching which can cause sores on the horse’s back. Aside from that, saddle blankets catch seed head and burrs easily because of its material.
Now that you have an idea on the different types of Western saddle blankets and pads, it would be a lot easier to choose which one is right for your horse.
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