If you are in the market looking for the perfect saddle pad, you’ll be spoilt for choices because there are so many options available. While this can be advantageous, it can make you make certain mistakes. That’s why you must be very careful when choosing a saddle pad.
Here are mistakes you should avoid when buying your ideal saddle pads.
1. Don’t buy because other people are buying.
When it comes to purchasing a saddle, avoid falling for marketing tricks. The well-known rider you admire may like a particular brand, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you and your horse would benefit from it.
You could have heard about a maker from your riding instructor or knowledgeable team-roping friend. That’s fantastic, but be sure to consider the advice. Never buy a saddle before seeing it just because somebody said so. Purchasing a saddle ought to be a unique, personalized experience. Do not hurry.
2. Buying saddles that don’t match the horse’s shape
Is your horse’s back straight or curved when you stand back and observe him from the side? Horses can range from being ramrod straight to being slightly curved to having swaybacks. Therefore, in a perfect world, your saddle would curve from front to rear to match your horse’s topline.
Using a straight saddle on a horse with a curved back might lead to pressure points on the front and back of the saddle. Because the midsection of the saddle makes little to no touch with the horse’s back, saddle fitters refer to this as bridging.
The problem with a curved saddle on a straight horse is that it may only touch the middle of the horse’s back. That puts the rider’s weight on a single, intense pressure point.
Start by setting the saddle on the horse’s bare back to see if the panels are the proper size for your horse. Check that the saddle is evenly in contact with your horse’s back by running your hands under it. Next, put your horse’s customary saddle pads on him and run your hands beneath the saddle. Padding can occasionally cause the panel contact to alter.
3. Going for the cheapest option
When purchasing a saddle or horse fleece rug, avoid putting the utmost importance on price alone. Certain saddles are extremely inexpensively priced that will serve you and your horse well and endure the test of time, but you must do your research to ensure it’s a quality item. You cannot simply choose the cheapest option.
4. Buying a one-size-fits-all saddle
Do you use different horses for different types of rides? The temptation is to try to finda single saddle that serves all of their needs.
This is not really advisable. There isn’t a dressage saddle that a one-size-fits-all. You’ll need to spend money on specialized solutions for each horse and sport or activity. Ask experts about choices for particular activities that will work for you.