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Brad Harter (Hocking College) The Life of a 5 Star Pad

Brad Harter (Hocking College) The Life of a 5 Star Pad

The great 5 Star pad saga:
While this 5 Star saddle Pad never had a tracking device attached to it, we have managed to track it's journey over the last 13 years. It was originally owned by a well known bird dog field trialer in South Georgia who recognized its quality and value early on. Sometime around 2001 the pad was presented as a gift to a young and talented dog trainer. In this man's possession the pad was used almost every day for at least 10 months out of the year. About three years ago the pad was borrowed one day by a close friend, also another young, hard working dog trainer. Once more the pad traveled all over the country and once again it was in use almost every day. Seeing the great benefits and value in this pad, this third user purchased 5 Star pads of his own. Once more this black 5 Star pad found its way home to Georgia where it is still in use today. How many thousands of miles has this pad been ridden? How many more thousands of miles will it be in service? How many horses has this pad provided a comfortable back for? The plan is to continue to track this pad and let you all know if it ever is retired or if it is just passed on to the next generation! ~ Brad Harter (Hocking College, Pleasant Hill Productions)
Pleasant Hill Productions
Testing Equipment - Hocking College:
Testing equipment at Hocking College has been something that has been going on for nearly 30 years. We put saddles, bridles, bits and pads through some of the toughest daily use imaginable. This includes our annual pack trips to the western Rockies. Pads are one of the most important pieces of equipment we take with us. Saddle horses are often under saddle for 10 hours or more each day. Pack horses and mules for the same time frame and they are often carrying heavy loads of "dead" weight. Pads that absorb sweat, keeping backs cool and at the same time provide compression relief if pressure points exist are extremely important. 5 Star saddle and pack pads are the very best we have found on the market today. ~ Brad Harter (Hocking College, Pleasant Hill Productions)
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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 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)



The pad that set the standard!

5 Star Experiences

Mandee Fetzer

I had my saddle taken in to check fit and they recommended your company. This contoured his back so well it improved how my saddle fit his back. We haven't had problems since! I love that I got to customize my pad making it unique to me. Thanks for making such a quality product!

Larry A Garner

Oak Point, TX

I bought my first 5 Star pad over 15 years ago. I have had several over the years. When I started looking to replace it and become a dealer I inquired to everyone I could about what was the finest saddle pad made. I always heard about this little outfit in Arkansas called 5 Star.

Tink Thran

I love the 5 star pads. They are the only pads I use now. I have had some of the more so called popular pads but they do not compare to the 5star.. I will not use any different pad. I actually keep an extra in my trailer. Easy to clean and always looks nice.

Hella Nelson


My Trusty Rusty and I tend to go on long trail rides. His back used to get sore. But sense we started using Five Star he doesn't anymore. He's tried all of the other brands, and nothing compares!

Ashley & Haley Janssen

Janssen Barrel Horses

I recommend your products to everyone I meet. I honesty will NEVER go back to using impact gel, because they made my horses sore and hindered their performance. Thanks for providing the horse industry with a pad they can trust for the next years to come.

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