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Do no-slip saddle pads hurt your horse?

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  • Do no-slip saddle pads hurt your horse?

    I have always wondered if the rubber or material hurts their back with rubbing?

  • #2
    As a general across the board thing, no. Most horses I have used them on seem fine. As an individual thing, yes they can cause irritation, whether from the materials or extra friction. Gel type ones can be a bacterial breeding ground, so they should be kept well cleaned. And finally, they are an aid in keeping a saddle where you want it, but if the they are being used to hold an ill fitting somewhere it shouldnt be, it could add to a whole host of problems (maybe I shouldn't have to mention that, but cover all the bases)


    • #3
      I know lots of horses that are fine with them, but my thin skinned jumper cannot wear them
      They make his hair fall out.
      Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


      • #4
        My TB mare can wear them, my Arab cannot. They rub his hair out. She doesn't seem to notice them and they don't mark up her coat. He doesn't seem to notice or care though.


        • #5
          both my horses use them and are fine. I school in a gel one, but use a small neoprene square under the show pads. Other than the fact they sweat more under them, no issues at all. Much better than the sore backs and cranky horses from having the saddle slide around.
          A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...



          • #6
            Mine gets back sore really fast. Perfect saddle fit, no pain, but if you stick a no slip under your saddle he is stiff/sore the next day....
            No irritation to the skin/hair though, go figure!


            • #7
              Originally posted by roamingnome View Post
              Mine gets back sore really fast. Perfect saddle fit, no pain, but if you stick a no slip under your saddle he is stiff/sore the next day....
              No irritation to the skin/hair though, go figure!
              With the no slip pad, it's been making his hair fall out AND he is sore. Guess it's not just me experiencing this problem! My problem is that he's basically bald on top of his withers because of it.


              • #8
                My horse does not do well with anything "non-slip". It makes his back scurfy for lack of a better word, and makes him break out. My other horse tolerates it fine though.


                • #9
                  Think about it this way. If you have on a pair of shoes that don't fit and are pinching your feet, what do you do? You move your toes/foot around as much in the shoe as you can, to alleviate the pressure/pain. Right? Now, apply that to your horse. You have a saddle placed wrong or a saddle that doesn't fit and you have one of those "non-slip" pads under said saddle. No way for said saddle to move around and find a better spot, so it just pinches the withers/back during the whole ride with no relief. When I see a horse with super sore withers, the first thing I find out is whether or not they are using one of those non-slip pads. In most cases, they are. Once they lose the non-slip pad, the wither pain is significantly lessened or goes away.

                  Years ago, I had a BNT bring a BNT horse to me that I'd worked on previously. Said horse was very sore in her withers. Asked if they used a no slip on her. Found out they'd started using one fairly recently. Told them to quit using it. They did. Less than a week later, mare was pain free in her withers, with nothing else changed. See similar situations so often. I recommend all my clients stop using those unless they are absolutely necessary (which they normally aren't).

                  Friends don't let friends ride junk!


                  • #10
                    The non-slip works great for my horse. His saddles fits him very well (fitted by a very well known saddle fitter). However, I'd been having problems with his jump saddle. The saddle itself wouldn't move at all, even with no breastplate. But, the saddle pad and mattes were shooting out the back. I put the non slip between his back and the pad, and now everything stays were it should. He's a sensitive boy, so I have no doubt he'd make it clear if it hurt. He's conformation makes him VERY prone to back soreness, but his monthly chiropractor sessions show his back is better than ever.


                    • #11
                      Some horses don't mind them, but some won't tolerate them. If your saddle's slipping, it's better to have a fitter check things out and adjust as/if necessary rather than relying on a pad.
                      Kitt Hazelton
                      Saddle Fitter


                      • #12
                        Have a custom saddle and one of my horses has a HUGE wither. Every saddle on this horse slips back. I will either use a elastic breast collar or a no-slip black square pad. He has never had a problem with the pad. I prefer the no-slip pad over the breast collar.

                        I asked about what can be done about saddle slipping back and they said a wither reduction surgery... So some horses just have large withers that cause the saddle to slip back.

                        My other horse has big withers too and I have to use a no-slip on him. He is doing just fine in it. And this saddle was fitted to him as well. Even my trainers saddle slips so we always use the no slip pad.

                        So I like them.
                        Live in the sunshine.
                        Swim in the sea.
                        Drink the wild air.


                        • #13
                          I use Success brand pads for both my dressage and jumping saddle. They are non-slip on both sides. I have not noted any soreness in my mare. I'm wondering if the incidence of soreness is increased because people use non-slip pads to keep a poorly fitting saddle in place and it is actually the saddle, not the pad, causing the soreness.
                          "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


                          • #14
                            A lot of non slip type materials do not breathe as well as leather or fabric. I think that most of the skin issues related to non slip pads and girths is related to excess heat and moisture secondary to this. Personally, when I use non slip girths or pads, I keep them a little extra clean and I make sure to be a little more meticulous about skin and coat care in those areas both before and after riding. Using a liniment rinse seems to keep scruffiness in check. If a horse didn't seem to be tolerating a particular pad or girth, I just wouldn't use it.


                            • #15
                              Big withers often need a deeper rear gusset to keep the saddle from slipping back. In some cases, though, esp, when you're jumping, hunting, or doing xc, you have to use a breastplate to help stabilize the saddle.
                              Kitt Hazelton
                              Saddle Fitter


                              • #16
                                There are many types of no slip pads or "grippy" pads. While I'm not a big fan of the ones like the Nunn Finer, I use a Dixie Midnight, Grandeur or Supracor grip pad almost daily. I spend many, many more hours in the saddle than the average H/J rider (I do endurance) and have never had an issue with any of these soring any of my horses.
                                "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                So you might as well have a good time"


                                • #17
                                  This website offers three interesting articles on the topic; take it with a grain of salt, as the articles support using their wool pads, but thought-provoking at the least:



                                  "Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
                                  soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."

                                  Member, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous