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View Full Version : What is the purpose of a baby pad?



Crown Royal
Mar. 1, 2012, 07:51 PM
To use under a half pad to keep the sheepskin clean? To use on it's own? To use under a regular thickness pad when schooling? One website description says it's useful because it'll keep the amount of laundry you do down...but you'll still be washing the baby pads instead of the regular pads, correct? I've always used regular saddle pads by themselves and under a half pad if I use one but am curious as to why people use baby pads. Maybe it's just because I'm browsing Smartpak looking for things to add to my monthly autoship and I want something to buy? :lol:

KateKat
Mar. 1, 2012, 08:02 PM
They're smaller and thinner. The ones I've used have always not come down as far under the flaps of the saddle so its a closer feel. They also dry faster after a ride since they're so thin.

Not 100% sure how it makes an impact on laundry though...maybe they figure a bunch of baby pads are a smaller load than a similar number of regular saddle pads? So less soap and water (although I would think its a neglible amount)

Anyway...I much prefer baby pads over regular ones. In fact, I just bought one of the Lettia Coolmax ones during the VTO Leap sale. Just get the contoured ones with the girth strap. Enabling engaged ;)

danceronice
Mar. 1, 2012, 08:10 PM
I don't know, I don't wash any pads every single ride anyway (and I have yet to figure out how/if I CAN wash the heavy felt Western pad...I'm guessing no, what with leather pieces.) I have a few baby pads, and a few fleece pads...if anything when I feel like washing is necessary the fleece are easier to deal with. (Not real sheepskin, obviously. That's a PITA to clean.) They dry faster and seem to get less beaten up by the washer.

NeedsAdvil
Mar. 1, 2012, 08:14 PM
I use mine under other pads (my thinline or mattes) to keep those clean. And baby pads are MUCH thinner and you can wash many more of them at one time than regular pads. I wash my pads after every use, sometimes 2 uses if my horse was clean and didn't sweat much. I get so grossed out when people do not launder their pads. Would you wear the same gross sweaty workout clothes over and over without washing?

Kestrel
Mar. 1, 2012, 09:30 PM
It's much easier to get gobs of shedded-out hair off the baby pad than it is to get it out of a fleece pad. I pretty much only use them during shedding seasons and the hottest weather.

msrobin
Mar. 1, 2012, 10:14 PM
I use my baby pads under my main thicker pad, truly to keep it clean. Plus the baby pads have some really cute designs and make for a nice turnout.

GingerJumper
Mar. 1, 2012, 10:34 PM
I love baby pads... they wash and dry easier and reduce bulk under my leg. Plus they tend to be cheaper than buying the same amount of normal pads.

norcalammie
Mar. 1, 2012, 11:24 PM
My saddle fits my horse but I need to use a Mattes pad against his back as he has a very sensitive back! The saddle is fit with the Mattes pad and the baby pad goes over the Mattes pad to keep the underside of the saddle clean.

A thicker pad would change the fit but the baby pad adds very little.

Gracious
Mar. 2, 2012, 09:00 AM
I use them under whatever sheepskin pad I'm using to help keep the sheepskin clean. I ride a variety of horses so I was each baby pad after one use to prevent spreading any skin funk that might be present. Easy to wash and dry and more cost effective than buying a thicker pad for each horse.

DarkStarrx
Mar. 2, 2012, 09:05 AM
My saddle fits my horse but I need to use a Mattes pad against his back as he has a very sensitive back! The saddle is fit with the Mattes pad and the baby pad goes over the Mattes pad to keep the underside of the saddle clean.

A thicker pad would change the fit but the baby pad adds very little.

Do you have a picture of using it like this? I've heard of others using it like that as well, but I could never quite picture the finished product. I always use it against the back of the horse.

SillyHorse
Mar. 2, 2012, 09:30 AM
Would you wear the same gross sweaty workout clothes over and over without washing?
No, but I don't enjoy a good roll in the mud, either. :lol:

Gracious
Mar. 2, 2012, 09:38 AM
No, but I don't enjoy a good roll in the mud, either. :lol:

:lol: I just love the evil look I get when I start brushing the mud off my horse. "Mommm, I worked so hard on getting it just the way I like!"

LoveJubal
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:27 AM
Since we're on the subject - I use a pad under my half pad to keep the sheepskin clean, like most posters.

However, I don't use baby pads very often because they wrinkle and bunch and I feel like they never lay down right on the horse's back. I have to fold them a little at the top to make them fit even halfway right as my horse has higher withers.

Instead, I have a few of those Western little Navajo blanket saddle pads and they seem to work much better. I have to fold them back to make them the right length, but they lay right down and don't seem to bunch as badly.

I have never gotten up the nerve to try one of the thicker All Purpose pads like a Roma, Equine Couture, or whatever.
I know they're thicker, but do they fit better than a baby pad?

M. O'Connor
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:29 AM
Many people DO wash the pads every single time they touch the horse, or at least every single time they get sweaty and soiled. If you keep your pads clean, and your horse clean, both will stay clean longer and your horse will be less prone to skin problems and/or soreness.

Having a number of baby pads to use each week means that you don't have to wash the big bulky full or quarter pads (sheepskin or fleece) that are used on top of the baby pad each time they are used. This saves both your washer and your fluffy pads (some of which are genuine sheepskin and not so easy to clean).

If you have 5 or 6 of them, you can just wash the baby pads once per week, or if you are managing a barn with a lot of horses to ride, you can do a wash whenever your supply of clean ones runs low.

M. O'Connor
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:33 AM
I use the plain Dover ones that are a little fitted--always bought on sale; I use the thinner ones in summer, thicker ones in winter.

The ones that are just squares or rectangles, we use on ponies. Not too often on horses, as they are a pain.

ElisLove
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:37 AM
Man, I hate it when I reply to topics and my post never shows up!!

To post again what I had already posted

From what I have seen of others using baby pads and from using them myself a few times, the purpose of a baby pad is to bunch up under the saddle and make the horse uncomfortable.

froglander
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:42 AM
I have one, it's square and bunches up so I pretty much never use it.

Something I have often wondered about. Fleece half-pads, isn't one of the benefits of fleece/sheepskin the breathability and natural fibers and stuff, but against the horse's back? Seems like you are missing half the benefits of using one if it's always over the top of another pad?

JB
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:42 AM
I detest the original baby pads. As mentioned, they can be very, very difficult to get to lay flat on the horse's back AND stay pulled up into the pommel.

Fortunately there are now several types of 'baby pads" that are shaped like regular square pads, including being contoured to follow the horse's back and withers, and those are the ONLY ones I will ever use now. Dover makes some, just as a starter.

Crown Royal
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:43 AM
What about these? I get 10% off Smartpak products because I have my supplements' on autoship:

Baby Pad (http://www.smartpakequine.com/smartpak-baby-pads--6525p.aspx?cm_vc=Search)

Celeritas
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:51 AM
Funny, I find that the shaped baby pads fit worse than the regular plain square ones! I absolutely detest the Lettia baby pads, all they do is bunch up. I much prefer the plain quilted ones. No bulk under the leg, easy to wash, and I haven't had a problem with them pulling across the withers. While I would ideally love to use my Mattes pad directly on my horse's back, I only do so when showing, since it's a PITA to wash and takes a couple days to fully dry.

Celeritas
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:52 AM
What about these? I get 10% off Smartpak products because I have my supplements' on autoship:

Baby Pad (http://www.smartpakequine.com/smartpak-baby-pads--6525p.aspx?cm_vc=Search)

Oh and Crown Royal, I actually just got one of these to try. I'll use it tonight and report back!

Crown Royal
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:55 AM
Oh and Crown Royal, I actually just got one of these to try. I'll use it tonight and report back!

Thank you! :)

JB
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:08 PM
What about these? I get 10% off Smartpak products because I have my supplements' on autoship:

Baby Pad (http://www.smartpakequine.com/smartpak-baby-pads--6525p.aspx?cm_vc=Search)
I can't get any "baby pad" link to work, but if I search for "baby pad", everything I see labeled as such is the same flat outline, square pad that I simply won't use.

The only one I see there I'd use is the Lite AP pad (http://www.smartpakequine.com/smartpak-lite-ap-saddle-pad-9504p.aspx?cm_vc=Search)


Funny, I find that the shaped baby pads fit worse than the regular plain square ones! I absolutely detest the Lettia baby pads, all they do is bunch up. I much prefer the plain quilted ones. No bulk under the leg, easy to wash, and I haven't had a problem with them pulling across the withers. While I would ideally love to use my Mattes pad directly on my horse's back, I only do so when showing, since it's a PITA to wash and takes a couple days to fully dry.
I've never used the Lettia, but have several of the Dover International Baby Pads (http://www.doversaddlery.com/rider's-international-baby-saddle-pad/p/X1-1923/?ids=dcwgvj45lshhxs55r0yvty45) and have never had an issue with any bunching or slipping. I DO have an issue with them being a bit on the small side though - doesn't take tooooo long for them to shrink to the point I either can't use them, or have to be very careful in how they get placed :(

molly8it
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:18 PM
Since we're on the subject - I use a pad under my half pad to keep the sheepskin clean, like most posters.

However, I don't use baby pads very often because they wrinkle and bunch and I feel like they never lay down right on the horse's back. I have to fold them a little at the top to make them fit even halfway right as my horse has higher withers.

Instead, I have a few of those Western little Navajo blanket saddle pads and they seem to work much better. I have to fold them back to make them the right length, but they lay right down and don't seem to bunch as badly.

I have never gotten up the nerve to try one of the thicker All Purpose pads like a Roma, Equine Couture, or whatever.
I know they're thicker, but do they fit better than a baby pad?

The Western "navajo" blanket is a good idea -- you could try the Arab size, which is a little smaller and might fit under your English saddle without folding.

I got a Roma quilted pad for Xmas and it fits the wide, short-back Morgan I ride and doesn't bunch like the baby pad did. A little less convenient to wash, but the bunching baby pad bothered me, too.

hequestrian
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:28 PM
I love baby pads although as time goes on they have become less and less convenient. Most of mine are not shaped and on my new guy they slide back very quickly through my ride.

I use mine as the first layer on the horses back and then use my fleeceworks (http://www.hitchingposttack.com/servlet/the-1319/Fleeceworks-FXK-Halfpad-with/Detail) half pad... I am saving up for an ecogold though as I think they look great...

I have considered getting the smartpak shaped pads but havent ordered one yet so I look forward to see how it works out.

MintHillFarm
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:42 PM
Many people DO wash the pads every single time they touch the horse, or at least every single time they get sweaty and soiled. If you keep your pads clean, and your horse clean, both will stay clean longer and your horse will be less prone to skin problems and/or soreness.

Having a number of baby pads to use each week means that you don't have to wash the big bulky full or quarter pads (sheepskin or fleece) that are used on top of the baby pad each time they are used. This saves both your washer and your fluffy pads (some of which are genuine sheepskin and not so easy to clean).

If you have 5 or 6 of them, you can just wash the baby pads once per week, or if you are managing a barn with a lot of horses to ride, you can do a wash whenever your supply of clean ones runs low.

Yes, I agree completely. I have also had some of my shaped saddle pads for over 20 yrs and are no longer made, so I don't want to over wash them. And the baby pads are easier on the washing machine. I don't want to add bulk, just want to keep my pads clean...

So I use the Beval baby pads; they are thin and all cotton. They wash well and really hold up. Some others I have seen are either too thick or shrink around the binding making them a poor fit on a horse's back.

NeedsAdvil
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:46 PM
No, but I don't enjoy a good roll in the mud, either. :lol:

Exactly. Even more reason your horse's pad should be laundered frequently. :yes::yes:

Trevelyan96
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:04 PM
Not a fan. If I am using sheepskin, I want it against the horse's back for the benefits its supposed to provide. I just let them air dry and then brush them with a medium stiff brush after each ride. They are washed weekly if needed with Melp.

When I don't need the sheepskin, I love the Roma Ecole saddle pads like this: http://www.doversaddlery.com/roma%c2%ae-ecole-cloud-quilted-all-purpose-saddle-pad/p/X1-19526/
They're actually the only non-sheepskin pads I will buy now. They are washed after every ride.

If I need a correction pad, I'll use a thin, shaped quilted pad underneath. But as I only have 2 horses who've had their saddles fitted, its rare to need this unless I'm riding a school horse who's a funny fit.

jaslyn1701
Mar. 2, 2012, 09:14 PM
Just wanted to say thanks, Kate Kate, for being an unintentional enabler! While I like baby pads, I have often mourned their lack of shape. Thanks to you, I just ordered 2 from Smartpak!!

Celeritas
Mar. 4, 2012, 07:37 PM
OK, I am back with my review of the SmartPak baby pads.

They are thicker than the usual plain quilted pads. The underside is almost like a brushed flannel; I'm not sure I will like this in the summer because it seems like it'll promote more sweating. They're pretty much like the Lettia baby pads, but I found it didn't bunch and shift as much so I like the SmartPak one better than my Lettia ones.

The size is generous, it's long enough to accommodate a wool Beval pad, and it's long enough to go to the end of the flaps.

I got it embroidered and it came out perfect.

It's in the wash right now so I can't report on how it washes up yet, but I expect it will be fine.

hundredacres
Mar. 4, 2012, 08:46 PM
I wish someone would invent something like this to go under dressage pads. Something to keep the bigger, thicker pad cleaner, so it doesn't have to be washed as often - it's a PITA to wash them....at least for me and my machine. I've never braved the laundry mat.

Tiffany01
Mar. 4, 2012, 09:18 PM
I have a sheepskin halfpad.
http://www.doversaddlery.com/centaur-fleece-1%2f2-pad-w%2frolld/p/X1-19360/
In white/white.

ElisLove
Mar. 4, 2012, 09:43 PM
... they are talking about baby pads, not half pads

norcalammie
Mar. 4, 2012, 11:24 PM
I ride with the Mattes half pad against the horse's back with the baby pad on top. The baby pads I have a Wilkers and they have the girth loop. I have NEVER had a problem with them moving - probably becasuse they are on top of the half pad.

TheJenners
Mar. 5, 2012, 02:52 AM
I also use baby pads under other "stuff." And yes, I use the Dover shaped baby pads. I ordered a cute pad from...a company, can't remember the name, I think Bad Pony? Logo is a bucking pony? Anyways, ordered the baby pad from them and UGH, it was square. I went to the thrift store, found a quilting for a baby bed thing (human) and took it, the new square pad and a shaped pad to the seamstress. Had her add the quilting at the wither to make it shaped, worked like a charm.

Loathe square baby pads. Hate that they bunch up.

Jaideux
Mar. 6, 2012, 01:15 PM
I got an embroidered baby pad from a COTHer for Secret Santa a few years ago, and it's great.

I also got a 3-pack from a local tack store (I have no idea what brand they are) and they, too, have been great!

I don't have any problems with bunching or shifting, and they are long enough front to back to use with a half pad, and where they fall along his sides is just fine for me (a few inches shorter than the bottom of the flap). Granted, I may have to take an extra 10 seconds while I'm tacking up to make sure they are smooth against his back before I plop the saddle on, but I don't find that unreasonable.

I don't know if I just have a unique combination of horse back shape and saddle size/fit, but really, I have not encountered the bunching issue.

SidesaddleRider
Mar. 6, 2012, 01:27 PM
We use this type of baby pad every time we school: http://www.doversaddlery.com/baby-saddle-pads--3-pack/p/X1-19558/?ids=cjrf5345lf0yibqdqvktog55.

It goes on the horse's back, with either a thinline pad, a halfpad, or a shaped fleece pad on top, then the saddle. I have never had a problem with one bunching, and it only slips if my husband forgets to tighten his girth (I have NEVER seen anyone have such a problem remembering to tighten his girth again a minute or so after getting on, LOL).

They are easy to use, much less bulky than a regular square pad, and it keeps the pad above it clean. I probably have a 12-15 of them, as I only use a pad once if they get at all dirty or sweaty, and then throw them in the wash.

I personally hate the original, super-thin, rectangular baby pad, as those DO shift/bunch, and always seem to be pressing down on the withers. And, if you fold it back, you are then creating a pressure spot under the saddle.

tabula rashah
Mar. 6, 2012, 03:40 PM
I wish someone would invent something like this to go under dressage pads. Something to keep the bigger, thicker pad cleaner, so it doesn't have to be washed as often - it's a PITA to wash them....at least for me and my machine. I've never braved the laundry mat.

Here ya go Dixie Midnight pads (http://www.dixiemidnight.com/)- these things are amazing! I use them both under my endurance saddle and my dressage saddle. They keep the regular saddle pad clean and you just hose the dixie pad off. They are also great for allowing airflow to the horse's back and keeping the saddle nicely in place. Looking at the website- they look a bit rough or scratchy- but they aren't- they're fabulously soft.

Electrikk
Mar. 8, 2012, 09:16 PM
At my barn, we generally use baby pads under half pads when schooling at a show if our division is soon after schooling. it keeps the fleecy cleaner, and they're thin enough that they can just be pulled out rather than having to undo the girth to take it out... we're used to dealing with puffy ponies, so we try not to mess with the girth when not necessary :)