July 7, 2006, Newsletter Issue #183: Saddle Up

Tip of the Week

Your horse’s new saddle isn’t fitting quite right. The best solution is to pick up or order a saddle pad from a horse riding supply store, right? WRONG! Contrary to popular belief, saddle pads are not designed to make a saddle fit better. The true function of a saddle pad is to protect both the saddle and the horse, not to alter either one. So what exactly does the saddle pad do? Here’s a quick guide on its roles:

• It will dissipate heat and absorb moisture.

• It will help you maintain a dry, clean saddle while riding.

• It prevents the saddle from becoming soaked with sweat and sliding around on your horse’s back.

• If the pad is of even thickness and is smooth to the touch, it will help the saddle to disperse pressure.

• A pad made by natural material like cotton or wool will serve as a moisture barrier without concentrating heat or pressure in one area.

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