Poll Recap: Therapeutic Saddle Pads

Poll Recap: Therapeutic Saddle Pads

Photo: Photos.com

Saddle pads come in all shapes and sizes, with varying designs and purposes. Last week, we asked our readers if they use a therapeutic saddle pad or one that helps their saddle fit better. More than 450 people responded and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 456 respondents, 269 (59%) said yes, they do use a therapeutic saddle pad or one that helps their saddle fit better. The remaining 187 respondents (41%) said they did not use a therapeutic saddle pad.

Additionally, more than 100 people commented about the saddle pads they use:

Many people commented on the type of saddle pad they use:

  • “Tacky Two pads are amazing, they promote sweat and will not slip out of place.”
  • “Bio-Fit by Classic Equine with gel inserts over withers & contoured spine; works well on older horse.”
  • “Lambswool for fit”
  • “I use a sheepskin half-pad to aid in pressure distribution. No back problems so far!”
  • “Western pad with front shims”
  • “Back on Track square pad - not sure if it works, but it definitely doesn't hurt!”
  • “Equipedic contoured pad; Toklat Woolback contoured pad with UltraCell”
  • “I use the Parelli pads.”
  • “ThinLine Pro-Tech Western saddle pads - both my horses and I love them! Best saddle pad ever!”
  • “Good thick wool is our choice.”
  • “Parelli pad with air pockets and pockets for shims”
  • “I use a built up cut back saddle pad for my gaited paint cross, and it works wonders!”
  • “Use ThinLine pads/shims to cushion or level saddle as his condition changes over the year.”
  • “Yes, I just bought a type with shims and I do think it helps customize fit for a swayback horse.”
  • “I use a CSI pad to protect my horse's back (he is 19).”
  • “I use the same 1-inch thick wool felt pad with all my horses and most western type saddles.”
  • “I use a Thinline, not to make my saddle fit better just to help with shock absorption.”
  • “Wyngz saddle pad or also cut back western pad, depending on saddle.”
  • “I use the Parelli air pad --good for my unbalanced horse.”
  • “I have a Western pad with 3 shims on each side that can be removed as needed.”
  • “I love The Diamond Wool Contour Relief pad. Wool shims can be added/removed as topline changes.”
  • “I use one for better saddle fit and my horse's overall comfort.”
  • “I use different ones for different horses--rise pad for one, wither relief for another.”
  • “Impact Gel pads. They made a huge difference in my horses' comfort level.”
  • “Fleeceworks with a small rear riser for my TB”
  • “I use Prolite saddle fit pads, they relieve the pressure and support the saddle for my horse.”
  • “No, but I use a baby pad under regular pad for extra cushion and warmth. I make good use of my Wintec gullet system.”
  • “Diamond Wool Contour Insert Pad. You can create your own pads if the originals are not perfect.”

Several respondents shared reasons why their horse needs a special saddle pad:

  • “My horse is half draft horse, and he is a little sway backed. My pad is designed to fix that.”
  • “I started using it when the horse had intermittent back issues.”
  • “A must on my fabulous swaybacked mare.”
  • “I have an OTTB with high withers. If his back hurts, so does my ride.”
  • “My horse is 21 years old and his back is starting to dip. I use inserts and stuff towels in to fill in gap.”
  • “My horse has congenital lordosis. I have to pad space between where his back is and where it should be.”
  • “I have a particularly razor blade-withered TB. I've tried everything under the sun, nothing great yet.”

Some people commented on saddle fit:

  • “My saddle fits my horse. If it didn't I don't know how much a pad could help.”
  • “My saddle was custom made for my horse and me.”
  • “I have a specialized saddle that has foam shims to adjust to my horse's back. The pad is for sweat.”
  • “I have a nice saddle pad but my saddle fits well and I do not use a pad to make it fit better.”
  • “I use a correctly fitted saddle; fixing poor saddle fit with a pad is not a best alternative.”
  • “I have the saddle refitted when needed.”
  • “I had my second hand saddle fitted and reflocked by a saddle maker.”
  • “A correctly fitted saddle should not require any sort of pad.”
  • “Good saddle fit eliminates the need for most pad.”
  • “No substitute for a properly fitted saddle.”

And others left general comments:

  • “No, but I would use one if I could afford it.”
  • “My saddle pad is one my horse has had for many years and he loves it (comfort).”
  • “I use a back pad under the harness back pad (do not ride but drive in harness).”
  • “I use a dressage pad and my saddle has an adjustable gullet.”
  • “I would like to find more options for western wedge pads for downhill horses.”
  • “I have miniature horses now.”
  • “We are very particular about the pads!”
  • “I believe the horse feels better and the saddles grips the back of the horse perfectly.”
  • “My Minis have a good back don't need one.”
  • “No need for one. My English saddle fits my horse perfectly and we use a thick sheepskin pad.”
  • “None of the 3 riding horses I've owned needed it.”

Want to learn more about saddle pads and saddle fit? You can find more information on how saddle pads work, how pads can help relieve some saddle pressure, what the saddle marks under your saddle mean, and the basics of saddle fit at TheHorse.com!

This week, we want to know: When do you use a stall freshener/deodorizer? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls!

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About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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