Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Post About Pads

Allie over at Rocking E Cowgirl is on the hunt for a new pad, and on my last show post, she asked about what pad I'm using.

When I was pad shopping in the fall of 2014  I read a few research articles and I decided that wool was the way to go.  Note, it's pretty tough to find research that isn't presented by a manufacturer of pads, but I do recall reading one University study that pointed towards wool. Honestly I can't remember all the reasons why, though wool didn't appear to hold as much heat, and being a natural product seemed the right choice.  Formerly I had used a felt/neoprene pad (a cheapie from Rod's) for years with Junior, and I had been using a well-used second-hand Impact Gel pad with Kevin.

My equine chiropractor recommended Diamond Wool as they are very economically priced and are high quality.  Sometimes I don't mind buying things online without seeing them first, but I wanted to feel the pad so it needed to be a local purchase. Rod's didn't have a great selection of Diamond Wool pads, but I found a Mayatex pad there that I liked well enough. I was riding Kevin at the time so I knew I didn't want a black pad.

Two years later and I'm still pretty happy with it.  I use it to school and when I show I throw a blanket over it.  I really like the convenience of just using the pad when I'm schooling and saving wear/tear on a blanket only for showing or maybe clinics.  The pad feels the same to the horse and I've never had an issue with the blanket slipping out of place.  I can even keep my show number on my blanket between shows.

I admit it's dirty, but I've been using it for almost 2 years, and well, yours probably looks like this, too, right? I always like knowing how things hold up to use, so I'm showing you my dirty laundry, so to speak.

I've never washed it, but I've brushed hair off of it with my rubber curry.  It does wick sweat from the horse, so while it's been SOOOO humid here I've been turning it upside down in the sun to dry whenever possible.

My most-used show blanket is one I purchased around the same time as the pad, but I got this one down at QH Congress.... yet also from Rod's.   Rod's store at Congress is actually BIGGER than their Columbus location!   I have a friend who makes chaps and for $20 she added chap-leather wear leathers to the blanket to make it look nice longer. This is the blanket you've seen in oh ALL my show photos for two years.

I also have a solid black show blanket and a multi-pink blanket (both Mayatex).  I'll use the pink one at my September show because it's a cancer fundraiser show and we are all encouraged to wear pink.  I haven't used the black since I had Junior, but it might make an appearance if I decide to do a freestyle reining class at the next show.... don't hold your breath.

My friend/BO Brenda has a lovely 5-Star pad with fancy wear-leathers.  It is a much higher quality wool than the Mayatex, but it is also a much higher price.  She sometimes shows at our ranch shows in just the pad, and sometimes adds a blanket like I do. She picked it up at Congress last fall, but I can't remember which vendor.   5-Star pads have come highly recommended to me by several people and I can see why, they just aren't in my budget at the moment.

Now for MY "window shopping" for pads!

If I had a few hundred extra dollars to spend (lol) I would add a custom Mayatex blanket/pad to my collection.  You can go online and pick your weave and colors and actually see a preview of your blanket.  You can purchase just the blanket, or have it made into a blanket/pad combo.  I think I would like to have a blanket/pad combo for things like clinics, or when I want to look a little nicer without having to deal with the blanket and pad separately.  I would get all neutral colors to match Huck's coat, so no matter what I was wearing it would look good.   I've also played around with adding some teal or turquoise in, you know, if I had another few hundred extra dollars to spend.

Lastly, I'd add a fleece-bottom pad to my arsenal.  When I had Huck body-clipped in the spring, I had some issues with skin sensitivity.  I kludged it with a western baby-pad because I didn't think I could find a fleece pad with the combination of affordability and support I wanted.  Budgets are real. 

What's your favorite pad?  


  1. Saddle pads are SO important, and really make an impact, I think. They don't have western pads, but I love Ogilvy products.

  2. I LOVE THIS!! Thank you!!
    Diamond Wool... I'll have to look that up! I'm definitely going with wool as well. That's what I currently use, and all the reading I've done points toward more natural materials.

    I've looked into the 5 Star pads and I really like them. They would probably be my top choice if money were no object. Their company seems to have great customer service as well. I love the custom options, but I think I'm in the same boat as you... I just don't have the extra cash on all the custom stuff.

    I had NO IDEA you could do a custom Mayatex! They're usually a little more affordable! I think I'd go crazy with the colors,though, and then get it home only to realize that it did NOT match my horses! lol It's hard to get good color combos with roany-type horses.

    I always look at the Hobby Horse color wheel. Ever looked at that?

    1. There might be a minimum order for the custom pads and you might need a resale license. I'm actually talking to a show friend with a tack shop to see if she'd be willing to go in on an order.

      I've seen the Hobby Horse wheel, I actually placed in two of their designer competitions, and I've been following them since I was a little kid. I have 16+ year old catalogs in my stash! I personally think redheads look most elegant in warm neutrals (brown, rust, tan, red-maybe) though I like the teal accent I use, too.

    2. Soooo...basically you're famous?!

      I think that's what I remember the color wheel saying for Hot Rod... Turquoise is my personal favorite color, so I love to incorporate that when I can. Kona is NOT red, and he's an odd greyish color.

  3. I have the Toklat coolback barrel is easy to wash and seems pretty breathable. I have been lusting over a 5 star pad forever but it just hasn't been in the budget lol!

    1. THERE IS A WASHABLE WESTERN PAD?!?!?!? You just changed my life. THANK YOU.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. One of my horses has really sensitive skin (especially during summer) so I purchased a reindeer-skin to use under the saddle pad. I must say that so far it is the best option for my horse. For the winter I have a Classic Equine pad with fleece, really good but also really, really expensive. But I was desperate, I even hauled it home all the way from Germany because there wasn't anyone selling exactly that pad in Sweden :-)

    Otherwise I like Diamond Wool, the quality is really good. Mine is probably around 10-12 years old and still in use.

    Please excuse my not so good english.

    I like your blog!

  6. I bought one! Check out my latest post :)