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Sheepskin vs Wool half pads?

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  • Sheepskin vs Wool half pads?

    Currently I use a sheepskin Mattes half pad. I really love the pad except that it needs special stuff to wash it, and I won't be able to wash it as frequently as other materials.

    For Christmas I have asked my family for money towards a second Mattes half pad in custom colors. With all the sales starting online, I was looking around to see if there were any good deals to be had on a Mattes pad. I discovered that Mattes makes wool and sheepskin options, something that I wasn't aware of. The wool version is quite a lot cheaper than the sheepskin pad, almost $100 so. Which got me thinking.... What is the difference between wool and sheepskin? Is there a solid reason to prefer one over the other?
    RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
    2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
    Western Dressage
    Draft Mare blog

  • #2
    The difference is that the wool pad have wool fibers woven to cotton. The sheep did not have to give up his hide for that pad, just his fleece.

    I just purchased a fleeceworks therawool that is the same idea. I've yet to try it though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wool pads are durable and much easier to clean. Since you aren’t even putting the pad directly on the horse (if it is a half pad), I can’t imagine why you’d spend the extra on sheepskin. I have used wool directly on the horse and find it to be pretty comparable in terms of moisture management.
      The big man -- my lost prince

      The little brother, now my main man

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      • #4
        I had a wool pad made by Fleeceworks - and the cushion/padding is reduced quite a bit compared to the full sheepskin. The density of the fleece just doesn't work when it is sewn on. I personally won't buy another. I use the Mattes half pads - you still get cushion even when used over a cotton pad. Sheepskin is one of the best cushions that exists!

        BTW - I just wash mine with Woolite, let it line dry, then fluff it.

        Comment


        • #5
          The LeMieux merino lined pads are made to be easier care than a sheepskin pad. I have one and really like it so far, though I just bought it 2 months ago, so can't comment on the durability. They're just over $100, so you could get a few for the price of one Mattes pad. I really love the LM pads though; I'm in the process of transitioning all my pads to that brand as they have better wither relief and velcro attachments at the D's and wear guards at the billets. Like they were designed by someone who has actually used saddle pads before!

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          • #6
            You get what you pay for... there's a reason Mattes can sell those wool pads so much cheaper than the sheepskin ones. I've tried lots of different versions of fleece half pads, and I always come back to the Mattes sheepskin.
            "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

            Trolls be trollin'! -DH

            Comment


            • #7
              What other "sheepskin" pads are out there? Full, not half pads. I'm searching for one to fit under an endurance saddle, and I find wool pads to be too slick, but a Christ Sheepskin pad was great. I ordered one, but it is on back-order so fearing I might be told they eventually can't get it and need to explore other options!
              RIP Traveler & Tesla <3

              Comment


              • #8
                The ones with the skin have to be washed right or eventually the hide dries out and becomes hard. I was looking at a local resale shop that had both kinds and the ones with the skin had dried out edges that might irritate a sensitive horse (like mine.) So I didn't buy one.

                I am interested in a shaped pad lined with wool fleece rather than just a half pad. I am trying to find one that does not have a double thickness of wool.

                Still looking.

                Comment


                • #9
                  painted and lookma...
                  Fleeceworks makes contoured and endurance pads in both sheepskin and therawool (wool attached to a non-skin backing). www.fleeceworks.com

                  Toklat is another company that offers those items.
                  www.toklat.com
                  Patience pays.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Melissa.Van Doren View Post
                    painted and lookma...
                    Fleeceworks makes contoured and endurance pads in both sheepskin and therawool (wool attached to a non-skin backing). www.fleeceworks.com

                    Toklat is another company that offers those items.
                    www.toklat.com
                    Yes, I've had a Toklat Matrix Woolback, did not do well for him... Have to check out the Fleeceworks further. At this point trying to stay "real" sheepskin even if more a pain to care for because it works!
                    And fortunately I got notice my Christ pad shipped yesterday!
                    FYI - these are much easier to care for than standard Sheepskin it appears:
                    "Thanks to Christ's exclusive tanning process, all of their sheepskin products can be washed in a standard washing machine. Remove any foam accessories and close all Velcro strips. Products with any metal parts should be washed in a cloth bag. Wash with the wool wash or other delicates program, set at 30°C (86°F). Use a special sheepskin detergent or a mild liquid household detergent. Do not use soap or washing powders containing enzymes or bleach, or which are alkaline.

                    When the wash cycle has finished you can spin-dry your product and then put it into a dryer, set at max. 40°C (104° F).

                    The movement and warmth in the dryer is very advantageous, keeping your product soft and supple. If you don’t have a dryer you should dry your sheepskin product in the fresh air, but only in a shady place. Do not dry your product in the sun or on the heater! While your sheepskin is drying, keep pulling it into its correct form – when the leather fibers are damp, they are far more elastic than when they are dry. "
                    RIP Traveler & Tesla <3

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Am I the only one who has NOT had an issue with the Sheepskin - I wash in cold water with Woolite and line dry - my sheepskin pads are at least 6 and 8 years old, and I have no issues! The only one I had problems with is a Thin Line pad - over the years, it is loosing its wool - the quality was nowhere near that of the Mattes. I don't find the care and maintenance to be that difficult or special - just don't use HOT water and don't dry them. I use the ultra gentle cycle so they aren't spun hard.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ditto what MysticOak said. I have two Mattes pads about the same age - one is at least 10 years old and the other around 7 and I've never washed them in anything but Woolite - in cold water - on the gentle cycle - and then hung them to dry on the clothesline. No problems. Ever.
                        I also have the Dover Circuit sheepskin pads - one white, one black and though they're not quite as thick - they have served me quite well - in fact my husband once threw the white one in the dryer. I thought it was ruined but it survived -
                        though the cotton pad did shrink. It's not the same of course. But I can still use it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                          Am I the only one who has NOT had an issue with the Sheepskin

                          The only one I had problems with is a Thin Line pad - over the years, it is loosing its wool - the quality was nowhere near that of the Mattes..
                          Same here. I toss my pads in the machine on a delicate cycle with Melp, then put them in the dryer on an "air fluff" cycle with NO HEAT to fluff them back up, then hang them to dry. Basically the same way I wash my regular square pads, minus the air fluff. Easy peasey.

                          I had an ultra thin line pad with sheepskin that I absolutely loved, but when I tried to wash it, the sheepskin disintegrated!!! The company claimed that you should only ever have to wash the pad 1-2 times throughout its lifetime and should hand wash with no detergent at all blah blah blah... but it was a white pad! Those things are going to get filthy from time to time, no matter how hard you try. So even though I slightly preferred how it helped my saddle fit on a particular horse over the Mattes, it wasn't worth it to buy another one when the Mattes has never let me down.

                          For me the Mattes pads have been so reliable for so long that I'm quite loyal to the brand.
                          "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

                          Trolls be trollin'! -DH

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CatPS View Post

                            Same here. I toss my pads in the machine on a delicate cycle with Melp, then put them in the dryer on an "air fluff" cycle with NO HEAT to fluff them back up, then hang them to dry. Basically the same way I wash my regular square pads, minus the air fluff. Easy peasey.

                            I had an ultra thin line pad with sheepskin that I absolutely loved, but when I tried to wash it, the sheepskin disintegrated!!! The company claimed that you should only ever have to wash the pad 1-2 times throughout its lifetime and should hand wash with no detergent at all blah blah blah... but it was a white pad! Those things are going to get filthy from time to time, no matter how hard you try. So even though I slightly preferred how it helped my saddle fit on a particular horse over the Mattes, it wasn't worth it to buy another one when the Mattes has never let me down.

                            For me the Mattes pads have been so reliable for so long that I'm quite loyal to the brand.
                            OMG - so I'm not the only one having an issue with the Thin Line pad - I have only washed it a handful of times - seriously, I wash my sheepskin pads about twice a year - and the Thin Line starting losing its fleece after the first wash. I'm with you, Mattes is the only thing I'll buy now!

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