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Saddle pads – using a half pad beneath a saddle can be beneficial for improving saddle fit

December 15th, 2020

Saddle pads – using a half pad beneath a saddle can be beneficial for improving saddle fit, according to a new study in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.

Gel Hi-Tec Impression PadThe aim of the study was to quantify the effect that different half pads have on pressure distribution beneath a saddle fitted following industry guidelines.

Saddle fit was evaluated by five qualified saddle fitters. In the caudal (rear) region in sitting trot, mean pressures were lowest when using the wool half pad. In canter, with a foam half pad, reduced mean pressure in the caudal region was found.

It is essential that the use and type of a half pad, to be used beneath a well-fitted saddle, is discussed with a qualified saddle fitter, the researchers found.

We have a wide selection of wonderful half pads here at Equine Management. A popular pad is the Gel-Eze Hi-tec Saddle Impression Pad – it’s a superb, non slip saddle pad, cushioned for extra comfort with either Sympa or Wool lining underneath, and the Gel-Eze Impression pad on top. (One size – top left).

Sheepskin Saddle PadAnother popular half pad is the Stephen’s Sheepskin Saddle half pad (left) – it’s fully lined with rolled edges and combines the therapeutic properties of treated, pure sheepskin fleece with a cotton quilt backing.

This one is actually our most popular sheepskin pad! Use it between your saddle and even a thin saddle cloth for maximum benefit and minimum washing. It can be used directly on the back to keep muscles warm and efficient.

Natural sheepskin fleece wicks away sweat, avoiding possible rubs.

Furthermore, this half pad design keeps you close to your horse – preserving feel, whilst helping you both perform. As a result, this is a very popular pad within the equine industry. In various colours. Guide to sizes: Small = 14″-15″ saddle, Medium = 16″-17″ saddle, Large 17.5″-18.5″ saddle.

Choosing a saddle pad for your horse

*Find the right style; here you will find shaped, square, showing, dressage, GP, jumping and half pads for saddles.  Dressage riders will typically use square pads, while shaped pads are most popular for hunting and showing. Eventers and showjumpers are commonly seen with shaped jumping or GP shaped saddle pads.

*Check out the size guides on offer – some pads come in a single size while others are sized relating to saddle sizes.

*Remember that saddle pads should not be used as a means to rectify an ill-fitting saddle, but can help improve saddle fit. Owners should use their favoured saddle pad at the time of the saddle fitting.

*Saddle pads come in a variety of material choices. We have a wide selection utilising gel, wool and sheepskin – check out the range of saddle pads at World Wide Tack.

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*England, Wales and Scottish Lowlands