A sore back may have a significant impact on your horse’s capacity to perform. Fortunately, there is a broad choice of cushioning solutions available to you that may assist you in reducing the stress placed on your horse’s back. While riding, we’ve joined up with the experts at Draper Therapies to put up a list of our top five favorite saddle pads that may help prevent and heal back troubles.
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Types & purposes of use
There are a variety of “corrective” pad alternatives available these days, and there are a few unique varieties that are quite efficient at serving specific goals. Some of the pads are mostly concerned with protecting a horse’s back and enhancing saddle fit, which helps to restrict the field of possibilities even more. Shim pads, sheepskin pads, and foam topped pads (also known as Thinline pads) are the three most helpful types of pad to have. Among the solutions they may provide include balancing the saddle along the topline, balancing the saddle laterally, avoiding acute pressure on the horse’s back, eliminating bridging/rocking, and lifting the saddle off the horse’s back.
Remember: Only one saddle pad must be used
It is preferable to use just one pad, and it is preferable to use the thinnest pad possible. Stacked pads will cause the saddle to be raised excessively. Later, when the pads compress, they will cause painful pressure points on your horse’s back by the time you reach your destination. It is possible that throughout your ride, the pads may slip and slide, reducing stability and causing uncomfortable rubbing on the skin of your horse. ? It is essential to use just one saddle pad on horses in order to avoid back pain.
Make sure the contours are matching
When a pad is properly fitted and comfortable, it will have curves that match the contours of your horse’s back and the bottom of your saddle, preventing pressure from being put to your horse’s withers or spine. It’ll go all the way around the saddle, beyond the border of the saddle. However, it will not extend beyond your horse’s final rib, just as a decent saddle would not. You should make sure it isn’t too lengthy since it will most likely rub and push on your horse’s hips. Furthermore, if your horse’s saddle pad is thick or stiff, the horse’s hind legs will force the pad and saddle forward.
Modify the Saddle Pad
Because your horse’s back is always changing, it’s possible that your saddle pad may need to adjust as well. If your saddle fits well, you may find that you need a variety of different kinds and thicknesses of padding at different seasons of the year. Examples include your horse is soft and fat after a winter without activity, when he is shedding fat and commencing spring exercises, and when he is gaining larger, stronger muscles after a few months of hard training, to name a few.
Your pad must be the proper size, shape, and thickness for your requirements. A pad that is either too short or too long, too thick or too thin, or that is designed to lie along a straight fence rail rather than the horse’s back will not prevent back pain in horses, according to the American Horse Society.
If your horse’s withers are distinct, a pad that is cut straight down the spine can cause uncomfortable wither pressure. Once again, it is essential that the saddle is the correct size, otherwise the horse would have a sore back.
Quality is key
A very well suited saddle pad made of high-quality materials will not be able to fix a poorly fitted saddle, but it will be able to help absorb pressure and ease discomfort caused by pressure. If you’re searching for a saddle pad, starting with 100 percent pure wool is a fantastic place to start. Wool’s special properties enable it to absorb pressure and spread it across a larger region, hence eliminating discomfort associated with pressure spots on the body. Using a properly fitted saddle pad helps alleviate pressure in the wither zone and allow for more shoulder mobility, which results in a more pleasant ride for both you and your equine companion.
Reduce the amount of pressure
Pulling the front of the pad straight up and away from your horse’s withers and into the front of the saddle is the most important step in placing your saddle on a saddle pad. If the pad is laid flat, saddle pressure may produce rubbing, which will interfere with your horse’s ability to move freely around the field.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to preserving the health of your horse’s back is that there is no one solution to all saddle fit difficulties. Each horse and each saddle represents a specific condition. Whether it’s shock absorption or a saddle that used to fit but no longer does, seek for firms who understand the value of a perfect fit as well as equipment that allow you to adjust to changing conditions as needed.