I have been looking at getting my horse a new pad and a lot of people seem to like the Back On Track pads and other products. My horse is very stiff, mainly in his neck though. When he looks back at me and stuff I can hear his neck and other areas popping. This is suppose to loosen them up from what I hear. Other opinions on ways to loosen him up are also welcomed! Thanks.
I felt the BOT pad was helpful for my kissing spines horse, as it seemed to help his muscles warm up a bit quicker. But I didn't expect miracles, so any little bit of help was worth it to me (it is a nice enough pad just in its thickness and construction and appearance, so it isn't like it was totally a waste of $ to try it even if it didn't work).
If the search on here will work, there have been a lot of threads on COTH about BOT stuff in the past that you might look for.
I really like my BoT pads! I put it on while I groom so it has time to sit on his back before I tack up. I find that he's at least somewhat looser through his back but he's also in more consistent work now so that may be contributing to it too. I don't wash mine after every ride...I had one that I washed consistently and the binding started to come off. I got it replaced by SmartPak and now I only wash them when they're gross FWIW.
I ride in a BOT pad about 99% of the time cooler weather. In nicer weather I ride in Fleeceworks contour pads. I honestly can't say that the BOT pad has made much of a difference one way or the other. But it is a nice pad - good construction and thin enough that I can put my thin-line pad on it without creating an issue with the saddle fit. Like Florida above ... I only wash mine when I absolutely have to (which reminds me that it's about time). I would probably buy one again, but then I am not noted for being on a budget when it comes to saddle pads as it is the least expensive of all the pads I use.
Just an idea ... when I bought my horse last year (an older fellow) I started to do carrot stretches at least 3 or 4 times a week. We don't do anything too intense, but I do stretch him a little before we start, then again while I'm on his back (using little treats), and finally when we are all done before I put him away.
It's made a huge difference in his flexibility and movement through his neck and back. He loves doing the stretches. He completely relaxes when we do the stretching at the end. In fact, he looks to me to do them in case I forget. It might be worth a try instead of/or in addition to the BOT pad.
i have both a BOT saddle pad and the BOT mesh sheet. i've noticed his muscles are warmed up faster when using the saddle pad and he does seem to be generally looser from wearing the mesh sheet overnight 3/4 nights a week (worked up to that by starting at one hour and then adding an hour every other day until he was ready to wear it overnight). granted my horse is 18 today (woot carrots for him!) so he's also generally a little stiffer to start anyways. i think the BOT products have been worth the money.
I don't wash mine after every ride...I had one that I washed consistently and the binding started to come off. I got it replaced by SmartPak and now I only wash them when they're gross FWIW.
I read that someone brought their pad to a tailor and had it measured for a cover that way the pad stayed clean and all she had to wash was the cover. Just an idea, I don't know how expensive that is but you could also make it your self.
i use them on all the horses i ride and have noticed a difference in one of the ottb's i ride. my own personal gelding loves their saddle pads along with using his fleeceworks pad.
rachel s. with i sell tack is amazing btw-i've bought one pad and polos from her. the pads are slightly fussy with how they're stored imho. the pad falls apart if you fold them in half (had one replaced by smartpak because of this) but found that if i store them flat and in the bag they came in, they don't fall apart. i hand wash them once a month or when they get really gross with woolite and then hang dry. hair is a bit of a pain to get off but a gentle brushing seems to help a lot. i use the polo wraps as well and have noticed that my gelding's legs are not as hot/sweaty as compared to regular polos. i'm hoping to buy the pillow wraps. if you need a bag i recommend smartpak's large gear bag. holds both my pads beautifully with space for more.