Saddle cloths and pads

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Saddle cloths

- To protect the saddle from the horse's sweat
- To protect the horse's back from friction from the saddle and the movements of the rider.

There are three sizes of cloths: Shetland, pony and horse.

Depending on their uses, cloths may have different shapes and be made of different materials.
All-purpose saddle cloths are often made of cotton with a simple shape or a saddle pad shape.
For trail riding, cloths are often equipped with pockets for transporting small items. The underside of the cloth is often made of a very absorbent material to absorb sweat, which is essential for long rides. For outdoor use, there are also western saddle cloths or woven cotton cloths, useful under English saddles.
Dressage saddle cloths are deep and straight, suited to the long flaps of dressage saddles.


Saddle pads

They are used to protect the horse's back by reducing the pressure from the saddle. They are mostly placed between the saddle cloth and the saddle.
They are usually used under the following circumstances:  
- preventatively (for horses who are young or have sensitive backs)
- following an injury (after back problems)

There are therefore different kinds:
- sheepskin: improves the contact between the saddle and the horse's back by absorbing pressure.
- foam: good cushioning to weight ratio, absorbs pressure, tear resistant, sits firmly under the saddle thanks to its texture.
- thermoformed polyurethane foam: lightweight and flexible, its anatomical shape allows good wither clearance.
- silicone gel: highly shock absorbent. Usually vinyl covered which means it can be washed with water.

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