Choosing a Saddle Pad that Works – 5 Star Saddle Pads
- June 8, 2017
- Savanna Simmons
I spoke with Jodie Mesko of 5 Star Saddle Pads about how to choose the appropriate saddle pad to fit the horse, saddle, and job being accomplished. We personally use 5 Star Pads and have found them to be long-lasting and of great quality. We have used other brands and ended up with thin areas, pilling of materials, and just wearing out quicker than we would have anticipated. We have been more than pleased with 5 Star and have been using them for 5 or 6 years now.
Here is what Jodie had to share in regard to saddle pad thickness:
What thickness should the saddle pad be?
Thickness will depend on length of time in the saddle, weight of rider, and the length of time spent riding. However, a general guideline to determine your pad thickness is listed below:
- 1/2″ under pad – best for showing reining, cutting or pleasure horses when you still need protection, yet want to put a colorful blanket over the under pad for show purposes
- 3/4″ – best for daily training sessions of 1 hour or less. Can be used under a VERY thin blanket to show
- 7/8″ – best all-around thickness for regular use. Recommended for trail riding, team penning, cutting, reining, and barrel racing. Minimum recommended thickness for gear/rider weight combinations of 200 lbs. or more, or for rides of more than 4 hours at a time or over rough terrain.
- 1″ – best for heavier riders or for especially long or hard use. Designed with ranch work in mind, for roping, performance, colt starting or heading to the mountains with lots of gear.
- 1 1/8″ “Supreme Roper” thickness – Specially engineered for team roping, calf roping, steer stopping and performance.
Other factors to consider when determining your saddle pad thickness:
How long will you be riding?
If you ride more than four hours at one time on a regular basis, you need a pad that is at least 7/8″ thick.
How much do you weigh?
If you and your gear together weigh more than 200 lbs., you should get at least a 7/8″ pad, but a 1″ would be better.
What kind of terrain will you be riding on?
If you regularly ride over mountainous or hilly areas, again, you want at least a 7/8″ thick pad, but 1″ would be better.
Why does my saddle pad slide?
Most often we find that when your 5 Star Saddle Pad slides, it is due to poor saddle fit or from using a horse contoured pad on a flat or low withered back. If your pad is too thick, it can sometimes cause sliding as well.
My horse has pockets or a sway back, what should I do?
If your horse has a sway back, you should choose a pad of at least 1″ thick.
My horse’s back is sore, will a 5 Star Pad help?
5 Star’s industrial grade 100% all-natural pure virgin wool has a compression ratio of 6.0 PSI and a Tensile Strength of 200 PSI which allows the weight to be dispersed away from pressure points on your horse’s back. The qualities of wool allow it to wick moisture, up to 20 times our weight, and remove heat away from your horse. 5 Star pads are contoured and do not slip. They will continue to conform to the shape of your horses back with repeated use. 5 Star Equine’s 100% All Natural Pure Virgin Wool Pads offer the BEST PROTECTION for your horse’s back! Although 5 Star provides the best protection for your horse’s back, it will not completely resolve a saddle fit issue.
5 Star offers a Frequently Asked Questions section on their websites as well as articles and other resources. I implore you to check them out if you are tired of pads wearing out much too quickly or your horse soring more than you think they should.
About Savanna Simmons
I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...