Saddle Pads

All pads used under the saddle should be of a good, firm, quality textile, and very importantly also shaped to fit the horses' back, particularly in the wither area. Pads that are completely straight cut will be pushed down by the saddle and cause pressure, which can lead to sore sports either side of the sensitive wither. Hard edges from the attachment straps can also cause soreness if they press against the horse. All pads should also be long enough so that the pad does not end underneath the saddle as this will cause pressure points.
Saddle pads should not be used to correct poor saddle fit but they can be used very constructively when seen as being part of the saddle solution. Jumping horses in particular benefit from the use of sheepskin pads under the saddles to protect the area under the stirrup bar by absorbing the kinetic energy generated by the landings. During the landing phase, the horse has a short moment when the forelegs are on the ground, the head is raised, and the hind legs still in the air. At this moment the rider's weight is completely supported by the stirrup bar, and therefore also the area of the horse directly underneath it. The use of a sheepskin pad with a well fitting saddle helps to absorb the impact of this part of the landing. Horses that are not wary of the landing impact jump rounder and more relaxed. We also recommend the use of a sheepskin pad in cases of 'hollow' or pronounced withers, as well as during recovery phases where muscle condition has been lost due to rest after injury or illness. By compensating the horse with the use of the pad the saddle can be made slightly wider and allow the horse room for muscle development underneath the saddle in the shoulder area without it being pinched or being made sore.