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Care and Cleaning of your 5 Star Pad

Care and Cleaning of your 5 Star Pad

When to Wash your 5 Star pad: There are several factors that will affect how long you can ride a 5 Star 100% Wool Pad before you should wash the pad.

  1. Time of year – Hot, Cold, Shedding of hair, etc.
  2. How long you ride each time saddled
  3. How often you brush out hair and dirt from your pad
  4. The condition you keep your horse’s hair coat (how well they are groomed)
  5. If your horse is stalled or runs out side
  6. How often your horse is washed in order to keep dirt from its back

These factors will determine when the wool fibers in a 5 Star Pad will begin to get hard in the following pressure points – wither/shoulder areas, cinch area, loin area, and along the bottom edges of the pad where the sweat and dirt flows down.

The best rule of thumb is to wash your pad when these areas begin to get hard and crusted over. When brushing will not bring surface to a soft flexible condition, it’s time to wash your pad.  It doesn’t matter if you have ridden it 50 hours or 150 hours; if the pad gets hard to the touch, wash your pad.

Water: Use Luke warm water 30°C / 86° F

Do not use water hotter than this because it will damage the wool’s natural elasticity.

Soap: Only use soap like Woolite™ that is PH7 – neutral or an alkaline based shampoo. Do not use soap that is acidic based, because it will damage the wool’s natural elasticity.

Procedure: Wash from the center of your 5 Star pad to the edges.  Wash your pad at an angle. Never spray directly into the pad body. Soak with warm (86° F) water up to the salt line then apply Woolite™ Soap. Let your pad soak 15-20 minutes then rinse the soap out of your pad. Make sure that you rinse the soap completely out of your 5 Star Pad, because leaving any soap residue could irritate your horse’s skin. Always rotate the pad during rinsing to ensure dirty, soapy water flows outward to the edges of the pad rather than soaking into it.

Another option to protect the bottom of your 5 Star Pad is to use a 5 Star Pad Liner underneath your pad. 5 Star Liner Pads dry much faster, however the same washing technique is required and recommended. The liner is very good at keeping horse hair and dirt from embedding into your 5 Star Pad. Sweat will still be absorbed through the liner into your 5 Star pad, however a 5 Star Liner Pad will extend the number of hours that you can ride before your pad will need to be washed. 5 Star Liner Pads are available in 30” x 30” or 32” x 32”.

Recommended care for 5 Star 100% pure wool saddle pads:

  1. Brush out hair and dirt from your 5 Star Pad weekly using a 5 Star Dry Cleaning Sponge or rubber curry comb. In the springtime (during shedding) brush your pad after every ride.
  2. Air dry your 100% Pure Virgin Wool Pad after every ride. Hang your pad in the correct position to dry and store – never lay a 5 Star pad on its back.
  3. Never store a 5 Star with a saddle or other pad on top of it. Wool pads need air to dry and breathe.
  4. Store your 5 Star Pad on a rail or hang it by the gullet hole in a dry, well ventilated area, so your pad will be able to air dry completely.
  5. When the pressure point areas – wither/shoulder area, loin area, and the bottom edge of the pad begin to get hard - it is time to wash out the salt and dirt from your pad.
  6. Use a 5 Star sponge or rubber curry comb to brush out hair and dirt from your pad. Follow up with a vacuum to remove excess grime and loose material. A brush or a swift slap with your hand can also be used to sweep away dirt and hair.

Never lay your 5 Star pad on its back to wash, dry, or store as the special hand lacing that is used to create the true French curve contour can come undone.

These 5 Star recommendations on cleaning, care and washing instructions are aimed at educating our customers on how to care for 5 Star Pads so that the pad can perform at its optimal condition to wick sweat, remain flexible and comfortable, absorb pressure, and obtain 2,000+ hours of riding with the BEST PROTECTION available on the market.

It is very important to follow 5 Star Equine and our felt manufacturer’s recommendations in order to bring back to life the 100% Pure Virgin Wool fibers after they have become full of sweat, salt, dirt and hair. By following the cleaning and washing instructions you can bring the fibers back to their original elasticity, so that your 5 Star Pad can wick sweat, absorb pressure, and remove heat like it did when it was brand new, because it will be able to breathe again.

If you follow these simple maintenance procedures on a 5 Star 100% Virgin Wool Saddle pad you will get the performance from this material that you need to keep your horses back comfortable, protected and cooled with the best material available on the market. If your horses back doesn’t hurt, he will perform better and will be much happier when you saddle him up.


We guarantee and stand behind all of 5 Star’s workmanship. We also stand behind the 100% Virgin Wool felt. We will replace unsatisfactory workmanship or defects in felt due to the manufacturing process or the assembly of the 5 Star pads. We will not stand behind the felt or workmanship if it has not been cleaned or cared for as we have recommended. 




The pad that set the standard!

5 Star Experiences

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.

Mendy Williams

I searched for years to find a pad that would fit my mare. She has no withers. After getting my 5 star pad my mare stopped getting sore in her shoulders. I would recommend 5 star pads for any discipline of horse riding.

Brittany Nice


My mare is running harder, clocking better, and is overall happier and more relaxed. I refuse to use any other pad because without 5 star, my mare wouldn't be as near comfortable as she is today." ~Brittany Nice

Cathy Coleman

United States

In 2009, Shoii shattered the knee joint of his right hind leg, rendering unable to flex the joint once it healed. Although his body was a little beat-up, his heart certainly was not and I could tell that it was still very important to him to "take me out for a ride."

Jessica Rockett

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.

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