View Full Version : What to buy for a pad...

Mar. 10, 2008, 10:06 AM
Argh I am so confused over what to buy for a saddle pad...

Last year I rode in an Abetta Saddle and Saddleright pad. However, when winter came it was obvious that I was having serious saddle fit issues with the amount of white hairs that grew in on my mares coat. I was and still am devastated over this.

In November I purchased a new western saddle for her. I took her with a friend down to Allie's Tack in RI and the owner fitted my mare. I haven't had a lot of chance to ride my girl since getting the saddle. I did get a pad to use with the saddle because my Saddleright pad was a barrel pad and this saddle has a square skirt. I'm not sure the pad is the one that I want to use for my long rides. It's not a wool pad or anything, well maybe the inside is wool but the part that touches the horses back is almost like a netting type material. Perhaps to wick away moisture??

So now I am on the search for a new primary pad or perhaps just a second pad that I can have on hand for when I go on camping trips, etc.

But I don't know what type of pad I should purchase. I'm a trail rider but I ride on various terrain during different weather (rain, heat, cold, etc) We go on rides that last from an hour or all the way up to about 6 or 7 hours.

I have a Dixie Midnight pad that I have yet to use. Still unsure whether I want to use it. I bought it to use with my Saddleright pad.

So do I want to buy another Saddleright pad (sold my barrel pad), or perhaps a 5 star pad? The massage therapist that saw my girl after I had discovered I had done terribly wrong by her (even though she didn't "tell" me that I was hurting her) told me that she prefers real fleece pads. She says she hates wool felt pads and other synthetics. So if I were to go with her advice that knocks the three pads that I have mentioned out of the water. So I don't know where to go from here.

I have found this pad on line, I've found it cheaper then this on e-bay http://www.aretesaddlery.com/tack/sheepskin-saddle-pads/square-westen-pads/western-pad/prod_100.html

Can some of you endurance riders share your thoughts? Skito pad maybe? http://catalog.windridertack.com/viewProduct.cfm?item_id=486525

I don't have any money to really spend, especially after buying the new saddle, but hey my girl is worth it to me.

Mar. 10, 2008, 11:45 AM
I like my real wool lined navajo pad with pockets... I bought it here..


Mar. 10, 2008, 03:33 PM
I have a Cashel pad and really like it. Although, I'm not the trail rider like most on here are. I just do my little 1 hour a day ride..:yes:

Mar. 11, 2008, 07:46 AM
You have to consider the saddle. Of course, you really won't know untill you've got some miles in it whether your saddle really does fit decently. Anyway, a thick pad can make a saddle fit too tight in the pommel area. Treed saddles are very frustrating this way. Personlly, I really like the Toklat Woolback pads. They are wool fleece woven into a fabric backing and are very dense, very breathable and last forever. they are washable, much easy to do than wool felt.


Mar. 11, 2008, 08:45 AM
Are the Toklat wool back pads real wool or synthetic?

I'm so worried that I am going to "hurt" my girl again. The frustrating part was I felt her back a lot last year before and after each ride to see if she was sensitive in any area and she didn't give any signs.

Mar. 11, 2008, 09:31 AM
Real wool, very thick and dense. I just don't have any trust of saddle fitters, especailly the ones who are selling you the saddle! Anyway, thick pads can cause a saddle that fits well with a thin pad to pinch the withers and bridge. So, you need to know that the saddle will accept a thick pad and not change the saddle fit. Which, at this point, you are hoping is correct. It's a real crap shoot!


Bank of Dad
Mar. 11, 2008, 09:37 AM
I have the 5-Star and like the pad, although I haven't used it much. My horse is round and low-withered, I'm a little concerned it will slip on him. I also worry about compression on pressure points, although its not supposed to do that. I got the Dixie Midnight knock-off to use under it, its a bit bulky and hard to get both adjusted right. I used it with his heavy winter coat, but I worry the DM will rub once he sheds out.
I also have a Tacky Too that I use a lot and like it and it doesn't seem to rub and definately doesn't slip.
I like that quilted sheepskin one you posted. Maybe I'll get that too.
I used Toklat for my English saddle and liked it. It slipped a lot on my friends horses however. I think its real wool.

Mar. 11, 2008, 11:38 AM
When I rode treed saddles, I really liked sheepskin pads. I also owned a Toklat woolback which was quite nice as well though preferred the sheepskin which had less bulk.

Ditto on watching out for that a pad doesn't change the fit of the saddle.

Just a heads up "saddlefitter" story:

Only one I knew of locally so called her even though I was wary as this fitter also represented a certain brand of very expensive saddles. First visit was fine, however she brought demos of her saddle even though I was explicit when setting the appointment that I was not interested in purchasing one. Some pressure to try and buy once there but I nipped it in the bud. She found my saddle fit "ok".

Several months later, loin soreness led me to call her again. I had a couple of demo saddles in the barn and was at a loss as she was the only local fitter I knew. It was difficult to get her out even with paying her fee and after the second visit it was quite clear that her raison d'etre was simply to shill for the saddle company. She was irritable, rushed thru the exam and declared that since I wasn't interested in X saddle, that she couldn't do anything for me.

FWIW, I ended up with a very pricey dressage saddle similiar to what she sold and if she had been a more courteous and professional person then I may have eventually been interested in purchasing one of hers. Heck, I went through six saddles in three years before settling on the Freeform last year!

Mar. 11, 2008, 12:10 PM
cashela...i have no pad suggestions, but don't beat yourself up. My mare ended up with white hairs as well with no tenderness or change in gait noted! I felt her back always since we were doing very long rides last year. I bought a skito and so far like it tho have only had a few short rides this winter.


Mar. 11, 2008, 12:38 PM
pandorasbox, did she sell County saddles? Around Amissville area?


Auventera Two
Mar. 11, 2008, 12:44 PM
I recently ordered a Toklat Woolback in high profile with ultra cell inserts. I have another Toklat Woolback that I really like, so I hope this model will work good for the treeless saddles.

I agree that pads are a crap shoot. I just read yesterday about somebody spending 300 dollars on a Supracor and after a few rides, the horse sloughed off a bunch of hide on his back. :eek: Presumably from too much heat and friction buildup. So even really expensive pads have no guarantee they won't hurt your horse. But then some people swear by Supracor and it's the only thing they'll use.

I agree that pads are incredibly frustrating.

Mar. 11, 2008, 01:41 PM
It is really frustrating!! Heck if I could ride her bareback I would!! But that would cause more issues because her spine and my butt bone do not mix. I can't ride her bareback unless I have a pad beneath me. Her spine isn't that prominent though.

Good thing about going to Allie's for my saddle was the guy didn't pressure me at all to buy a saddle. He spent a lot of time with us and enjoyed playing with Cricket. He told me that even if I didn't get to ride in it in the winter that if I didn't feel right in the spring to come back and see him and we would find something that does work. I will admit it is taking some getting used to riding in a leather saddle versus the synthetic.

I've ridden a friends horse in a treeless saddle, I liked that. But I am so worried that I am going to hurt my horse more...

Mar. 11, 2008, 03:48 PM
I like my Dixie Midnight pad liners. they do work at keeping the horses back cooler, and your pad, clean. Just rinse after you ride and hang to dry.

I like either a real wool pad or the Prof Choice pads. The Prof Choice has a 60 day money back guarantee if you don't like it.

Mar. 11, 2008, 04:17 PM
Have you seen those Bareback Saddle pads that are sheepskin against the horses back and then the seat is sheepskin too with a soft foam cantle for support? I think they were in Dressage Today magazine. Looks sooooo compfy for both horse and rider.

Mar. 13, 2008, 01:03 PM
You need to look for a CONTOUR pad. I also recommend a high amount of wool felt.
5Star, Diamond Wool, make good pads.
No neoprene .. too hot. doesn't absorb sweat, adds heat.
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS Pull your pad up into the gullet of the saddle.
A contour pad will help TREMENDOUSLY in this effort because it is shaped to go above the withers.

I am seriously considering a Tucker endurance pad for a new saddle that I bought (not a tucker saddle though). Price is around $70.

5 Star also has one I like a lot. I don't want more then 5/8" thick wool / hospital felt under the saddle. No extra cushioning because I have found those little "spots" can cause more sores than they relieve.

Mar. 13, 2008, 03:32 PM
I really like the Equipedic the best of all I've tried.

I would never ride without a Dixie Midnight type pad underneath. It is so wonderful to never have to wash your $$$$ pad. Personally I think they also help with keeping the saddle from slipping too.

Auventera Two
Mar. 13, 2008, 04:13 PM
After buying Thinline hoof pads for the insides of all my hoof boots, I'm intrigued by the material. I put the hoof pad on the counter top, put my elbow on it, and lifted my whole body weight onto that one pointy elbow. I felt no pain or discomfort at all. I was REALLY amazed. There are some pretty outstanding stories of the Thinline pads, and after experiencing the hoof pads, I am definitely going to save for a Thinline to go on top of my Woolback.

The problem I have is that I have 3 horses who are ridden - sometimes all at once. So I need 3 full sets of evertyhing and that is $$$$$ ! :eek:

Diamond Jake
Mar. 13, 2008, 04:18 PM
After buying Thinline hoof pads for the insides of all my hoof boots, I'm intrigued by the material. I put the hoof pad on the counter top, put my elbow on it, and lifted my whole body weight onto that one pointy elbow. I felt no pain or discomfort at all. I was REALLY amazed. There are some pretty outstanding stories of the Thinline pads, and after experiencing the hoof pads, I am definitely going to save for a Thinline to go on top of my Woolback.

The problem I have is that I have 3 horses who are ridden - sometimes all at once. So I need 3 full sets of evertyhing and that is $$$$$ ! :eek:

I have the Thinline endurance pad, and I put it on top of my Diamond wool pad. Works great! With your Toklats, you may have to get three different ones for your three horses, but you can use the Thinline with all of them.

What do you think?

Mar. 13, 2008, 08:01 PM
Is the thinline endurance pad big enough to fit under the abettas, anyone know?

Diamond Jake
Mar. 14, 2008, 08:56 PM
Not by itself.
Its area covers amply outside the main pressure points of the saddle, but does not go past the saddle skirting.
So I cannot see the Thinline pad underneath my saddle... from far away, anyway.

PM me with your email address, and I will see if I can email a picture to you by Monday.

Mar. 15, 2008, 12:09 AM

I have both of the pads you linked to in your original post. I've been using my skito for 2-3 years now and love it! I have one with the 100% wool backing and highly recommend skito.

I also have the sheepskin pad, I just got it this week. I purchased it from http://www.serendipitydecor.com/sheepskin-saddle-pads-horse-tack/product_info.php/cPath/126/products_id/639/western-sheepskin-saddle-blanket-full-quilting-lined-3-colors.html
as they had the best price. The shipping was fast too. It is beautiful engel sheepskin and so far I love it too. I like to use sheepskin right against the horses skin.

For now, I have the sheepskin pad on bottom and the skito on top of the sheepskin - a comfy arrangement for my horse I think. You would do well with either pad, but keep in mind that the sheepskin pad does not add too much bulk so if you need a thick pad you would want to double up with another pad or use something else like a skito.

Mar. 18, 2008, 10:40 AM
Thank you. I haven't purchased anything...yet...