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Saddle pads for the working cowboy!

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Stav Ranch

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Hi all,

I know that there are some great folks on here that will understand what I am after.

I need to talk to folks who spend their days in the saddle. We have had a summer full of saddle pad issues and are at our wits end looking for something that won't cause scalding on our horses.

My hubby rode pasture this summer but it was in the forestry here so a lot of up and down and hard work...horses were sweaty most of the day.

We ranch on our horses and are used to long days in the saddle but the only thing we can see was different was that the horses were hot for most of the day. We have never had issues like this until this job.

If any of you can give us some advice as to what type of pads you use we (and our horses) would greatly appreciate your wise words of wisdom.

Thanks
Stav Ranch
 

Faster horses

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Wool is always best.
What are you using now?
Can you take the saddles and blankets off your horses
when you are done to let their backs cool off? Or when
you eat lunch?

We always used a wool navajo blanket next to the horse
and a good pad over the top. The wool allows the horses
back to breathe. We have an Professionals Choice Air Ride Pad
that works well without a wool blanket underneath.
They aren't cheap by any means, but a good pad never is.

http://www.rods.com/Professionals-Choice-Air-Ride-Pad,745.html
You might shop around and find one for less. This one is really
pretty spendy, but it gives you an idea.

Your saddles could be part of the problem. Are you seeing
white hair growing in on their backs now? Also, too much padding
can cause problems because that allows the saddle to roll
more, causing soreness.

Good for you for being concerned. I had a man who bought
canner horses tell me once that when they skin the horses,
it's TERRIBLE what they find under the hide on their backs.
I can't imagine the misery they have endured with someone riding them
when their backs are sore.

Good luck!
 

RSL

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Not sure of the brand but we have a good thick one with wool on the backside. I think it was around $150. We try to make sure we never transfer pads or blankets between horses.
The best is if you can find an old wool hudson's bay blanket and put under the pad.
 
A

Anonymous

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I agree with both pads that FH recommended... I've always liked the wool blankets- and have one of the Professionals Choice pads and really like it...

The only other thing I can think of is more horses-switching more often...The big country ranchs around here that do a lot of riding usually try to work it where they can switch horses at noon- and have enough horses in each guys string where each horse only needs to be rode about every third day when working steady....
 

Justin

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my wife likes the Pro-Choice air ride pads. i use a navajo blanket on the bottom and a ultra pad on top. not saying either is right, but that what we use :wink:
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I get along good with a Cool back or Wool back fleece pad under a felt top pad. My son has a neoprene pad that sure seems to work good. Got it from Tip's in Winnemucca Neveda.
My daughter uses Pro Choice air ride pads.
 

Northern Rancher

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We use wool mostly-these guys are right have seen more horses hurt from over padding and a poor fitting saddle than the other. My stirrup adjuster was rubbing the odd horse bad-my legs don't get vry far down a horse so i wrapped it in fleece and solved it.
 

Nicky

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Coolback or Woolback, either alone or with a light blanket on top. Like NR said, most problems are from over padding...then you have to cinch them up too tight.
 

R A

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I personally like Diamond wool pads now! I'm going to stick with them unless I try and like a 5 Star wool pad someday. I'm no expert though. Maybe you're using Diamond pads now and don't like them????
 

aspen

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Wool felt is best. We like the 5 Star pads and how they work. Keeping pads clean is also important. I"m sure you all know that, but it is surprising how many caked and filthy pads you see being ridden by people you think would know better.
 

LazyWP

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We use a wool blanket under a felt pad. Have an old wringer washer, and try to wash blankets anytime they show dirt. We also have a couple Diamond Wool pads that are built like the the Cutter Collection, which is probably my favorite sand alone pad.
 

Soapweed

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My favorite combination is a double Navajo blanket on top of a good pad. I know that conventional wisdom would put the woven blanket next to the horse, but to me the pretty part should be where people can see it. :wink: Most any pad is satisfactory as long as it is kept clean. As for the Navajo, it sure pays to have wear leathers sewn on to make the blanket last much longer. Another reason for this preference is that if you are ever caught a long way from home some night, you have the pad to lay on and the double Navajo to cover up with. The night could be spent in relative comfort despite the circumstances. I've used this combination all my life and have never sored a horse's back by doing it. Once in a while a horse gets a bit cinch sore, but by using a 7/8 or 3/4 rigging on the saddle instead of a "full double," this problem is minimized. Usually liberal applications of bacon grease on the sore heals them right up. Having plenty of horses to change often is another excellent means of keeping them from getting sore, and it's good for the horses.
 

leanin' H

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I was riding a horse of my cousin's this summer and he developed a sore on his back. Sure felt bad but he has since healed nicely. I like a wool blanket with a pad over the top. I think the reason this horse's back got sore was because we were in some real rough, steep country pushing a mob of cows and the back cinch was a tad loose. The saddle musta shifted enough to sore him. I checked the saddle and pads and all was well. I agree with Soap about swapping horses everyday too.
 

katrina

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Soapweed said:
My favorite combination is a double Navajo blanket on top of a good pad. I know that conventional wisdom would put the woven blanket next to the horse, but to me the pretty part should be where people can see it. :wink: Most any pad is satisfactory as long as it is kept clean. As for the Navajo, it sure pays to have wear leathers sewn on to make the blanket last much longer. Another reason for this preference is that if you are ever caught a long way from home some night, you have the pad to lay on and the double Navajo to cover up with. The night could be spent in relative comfort despite the circumstances. I've used this combination all my life and have never sored a horse's back by doing it. Once in a while a horse gets a bit cinch sore, but by using a 7/8 or 3/4 rigging on the saddle instead of a "full double," this problem is minimized. Usually liberal applications of bacon grease on the sore heals them right up. Having plenty of horses to change often is another excellent means of keeping them from getting sore, and it's good for the horses.


:agree: That's what I have and do too...
 

cure

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I ride with a neoprene blanket on the the bottom and a doulbe wool on the top since I have switched to this combo I have not sore any backs. I also would agree with H on the saddle all of our saddles are the full quarter rig. it really makes a difference how your saddle saddle is sitting on a horse.
 

jillaroo

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We used to ride feedlot-nine hour days of riding. Lots of twisting in the saddle (due to opening gates) and fast moves sorting cattle. Up and down on bedding mounds and bogging through mud.

Now we ride in the jackpine-jungle range on 225 000 acres. Lots of swamps, rock, blown-downs and clearcuts.

Best pads we have found are 5 Star brand. 1" thick felt. They make up the difference when your saddle doesn't quite fit your pony.

As other members have suggested, you need to stop every so often and let the horse's back "cool" by lifting your rig and pad up. Get off and adjust your saddle often as well.

Good luck!
 

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