Investing in a Quality Saddle Pad:
Investing in a quality saddle pad can be a difficult decision. While price is often the first concern, there are some other important things to take into consideration. The picture I have shared in this post is of a quality saddle pad that at the time the picture was taken was more than 12 years old. It is also a pad that was in use almost daily for around 10 months of the year. This is pretty conclusive evidence that 5 Star saddle pads are made of the best quality virgin wool felt available and will serve the owner for many, many years.
Don't be confused by ads or misleading prices on 5 Star pads you might see online. All 5 Star dealers are required to only sell 5 Star pads at the manufacture's suggested retail price. That being said, basic pads in natural colors and less than 1 inch thickness can sell for less than $200. Depending on you, your horse and how long and how hard you ride, that might be all the pad you need.
For many, this is more than any of you may have ever invested in a pad but here are some things to take into consideration.
1. Using the pad I have shared the picture of in this post, consider this.......How many $50 pads would have been purchased and discarded over this 12 year period of time? Then consider this pad is still in daily use 3 years after this picture was taken!
2. Keeping your horse comfortable, keeping the horse's back cool by absorbing sweat 3 to 4 times better than cheaper pads and providing compression relief 4 times greater than less expensive pads all contributes to less sore backs and greater service from your horse. I had a customer a few years ago call me about an older horse, his favorite, that he was placing on semi-retirement because he could only use him a couple hours every other day. We talked about saddle fit and other factors and then we talked about what pad he was using. Like many others he was using a Tacky Tack Pad, maybe a half inch in thickness. I suggested a basic 5 Star 1 inch pad which he reluctantly purchased. Three weeks later this customer called ecstatic. His favorite horse was back in full use, riding him everyday for half a day. He even felt the horse's back was coming up and for sure his attitude was changing. This customer ordered a second pad because he had one complaint. After half a day this pad had absorbed so much sweat he hated to put in on a fresh horse without letting it dry out.
3. How can you justifying spending very much money for something you only put under your saddle? One question to ask yourself here.....how many of you have one or more spare saddles sitting around your barn or in your trailer? How many of you have invested $300 or more in that old saddle you never use? Why would investing $250 in a quality saddle pad that you use everyday, won't wear out, can be easily cleaned and provides your horse with the best comfort and protection possible be a bad investment? ~ Brad Harter (Hocking College, Pleasant Hill Productions)
We are here for your horse!
I don't have a 5 star pad, but I've always wanted one! I've heard only great things about them. My 4 year old gelding is my barrel, rope, trail, and ranch horse.
The 5 star pad conforms great to my horses back and gives much needed relief on his withers. I love how soft but very durable they are and they are so easy to clean. I had tried other types of felt pads but he was very unhappy and as soon as I put this one on he's very comfortable and relaxed.
I love my 5 star pad because it literally makes my horse smile! It is the only pad I have used that truly fits my horse's back. Elvis would rear up and become upset when I used my other pad.
I struggled with saddle fit with my mare for almost a year. After spending thousands of dollars trying to find a right saddle/saddle pad combo, I finally tried a 5 star and was immediately hooked. My mare is running harder, clocking better, and is overall happier and more relaxed.
I chose 5 Star pads for my horses because wool felt is tried and true, the pads fit a variety of body, and i have never seen a dry spot on any of my horses since switching to 5 Star pads years ago. The pads can be cleaned, and they are made to last! Great product that I highly recommend!