A comfortable horse is a happy horse! You should acquire many accessories for your lovely animal to enhance its comfort when riding or training. Horse blankets and saddle pads are two essential equipment to consider when shopping. But they serve distinct purposes, and understanding them helps make wise shopping decisions.
Horse blankets also referred to as horse rugs or turnout blankets, are handy in providing warmth and protection to your horse. They feature durable and waterproof materials and come in various weights and styles. Their main functions are;
- Warmth– Blankets and horse sheetswill warm your horse during cold temperatures.
- Protection-Horse blankets provide a barrier against rain, wind, snow, and other weather elements, keeping the horse dry and comfortable.
- Comfort-Horse blankets can help regulate body temperature and prevent muscle stiffness. They also keep your horse’s coat clean and prevent rubbing resulting. A horse turnout sheet is a common type of horse blanket you can use indoors or outdoors.
Saddle pads are also known as numnahs or saddle blankets. They are designed pads or cushions placed underneath the dressage saddle to provide additional comfort and support. A common type is dressage saddle pads, used during dressage training. It’s often made of superior quality materials with specific features to cater to the unique needs of dressage riders. Some key characteristics of dressage saddles are;
- Shape-Dressage pads feature a contoured shape that compliments the dressage saddle’s outline. The design ensures a proper fit and prevents pressure points or excessive bulk under the rider’s leg.
- Thickness-Dressage saddle pads are thinner compared to other pads. This minimal thickness allows for close contact and better communication between the rider’s seat and the horse’s back.
- Material- Dressage pads are usually made of high-quality materials such as cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers. These are breathable with moisture-wicking properties and cushioning to keep the horse comfortable during intense movements.
- Non-slip qualities-Most dressage pads feature non-slip properties on the underside. This helps prevent shifting or sliding of the pad during training. The non-slip property also helps maintain the right saddle position and ensures riding stability.
- Contoured spine-Some dressage pads have a contoured or raised spine area. The design allows extra clearance for the horse’s withers, reducing pressure and potential discomfort.
- Billet straps-Dressage pads often include billet straps or loops to secure the pad to the saddle’s billets. This keeps the pad in place and prevents sliding when riding.
When to use dressage saddle pads
Dressage saddle pads are used during dressage competitions. They provide a clean and professional appearance in the dressage arena. You can also use dressage pads during training sessions to enhance comfort and support to the horse’s back. The pads feature high-quality materials that offer cushioning and shock absorption.
Moreover, they help distribute the rider’s weight evenly and reduce pressure points. Saddle pads will also help in achieving proper saddle fit. You can use them to gaps between the saddle and the horse’s back, ensuring a safe ride.
You will get high-quality saddle pads, blankets, and other horse accessories in the market. Know the best qualities to consider when shopping and only acquire the items from accredited brands. Also, speak to the team and have them help choose what best suits your needs.