The Importance of half pads for your horse’s comfort.
In this blog, we will delve deeper into the world of half pads, their benefits, and the various options available.
The science behind half pads:
Our Saddlery has conducted extensive research on the effects of half pads on a horse’s back. Remarkably, out of the one hundred horses studied, a staggering ninety-five showed a significant reduction in pressure on their backs when using saddle pads. These compelling results prove that saddle pads are indeed effective in reducing pressure on a horse’s back.
A common misconception is that saddle pads make the saddle smaller. Nothing could be further from the truth; they actually lift the entire saddle, which does not alter the fit.
Percentage of Pressure Reduction:
There are different types of half pads with varying percentages of pressure reduction:
- Gel Pad: Provides a 20% pressure reduction.
- Mattes Pads: On average, Mattes pads offer a 30% pressure reduction.
- Ogilvy (42%) and Evolve (38%): These specific pads achieve impressive results in pressure reduction.
Our Saddlery offers half pads from various brands:
Mattes half Pads:
Mattes saddle pads are known for their breathability and even pressure distribution. The Poly-flex layer helps the Mattes half pad maintain its shape and distribute pressure more effectively. The half pad features sheepskin on the underside, making it extra shock-absorbent. The half pad works best when the sheepskin is as fluffy as possible. To keep these pads in top condition, Our Saddlery offers some useful maintenance tips:
– Wash them regularly with 5 liters of extra water in the washing machine.
– Use Melp detergent.
– Dry them in the dryer (or in a shaded area away from direct sunlight and heating). Using a dryer softens the pad, enhancing shock absorption.
Ogilvy and Evolve:
Both Ogilvy and Evolve half pads stand out due to their “friction-free” properties. This means that the fleece fabric beneath the pad moves smoothly with your horse’s movements, minimizing friction. These pads typically consist of four layers: fleece, mesh, foam, and the outer layer. It’s important to note that you can wash the cover, but not the foam.
Choosing the right half pad:
A common misconception is that using a half pad changes the way the saddle sits on a horse’s back. With a standard half pad, this is not the case. However, it is possible, and for this, there are different options:
– Back Riser: A back riser is used when the saddle tilts backward, which often occurs with horses that have a higher wither. A back riser is thicker at the back than a regular half pad.
– Middle Riser: A middle riser has thicker sections in the middle on both sides of the half pad, making it suitable for horses with a hollow back or those lacking muscle development on their back.
– Front Riser: Suitable for filling in the front of the saddle, such as for growing horses or those that have been inactive for a long time. Adding filling isn’t practical if you anticipate that they will likely become broader, and a front riser provides the solution.