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What is the purpose of a baby pad?

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  • What is the purpose of a baby pad?

    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?

  • #2
    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

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    • #3
      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.
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      • #4
        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?

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #6
            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.
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            • #7
              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.
              Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by norcalammie View Post
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NeedsAdvil View Post
                      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.
                      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                        No, but I don't enjoy a good roll in the mud, either.
                        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!"

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                        • #13
                          I'm not a huge fan

                          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?
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                          • #14
                            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.
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                            • #15
                              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.
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                              • #16
                                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.

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                                • #17
                                  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?

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                                  • #18
                                    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.
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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      What about these? I get 10% off Smartpak products because I have my supplements' on autoship:

                                      Baby Pad

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                                      • #20
                                        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.
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