When you lay down big bucks for a saddle pad, the temptation to keep it clean is very strong. I started using a SaddleRight pad under my treeless saddle some time ago as it provides spinal clearance, it distributes pressure and doesn’t compress over time. These nifty pads run about $350 new (although you can find them used for less) and, at least the one I own, is suede on top and pressed wool underneath. The wool bottom is great for wicking away moisture, but do you really want it to get all wet and sweaty?
For a long time I used either a SupraCor pad or a Dixie-Midnight style pad (which wicks moisture) under my SaddleRight pad. Until I mentioned it on a Facebook page, where I was told by a SaddleRight employee to only use only a wool liner or think Navajo blanket under the pad because the core material, which responds to the horse’s back muscles, works best when it’s close to your horse’s back.
I’m still not sold on using my pad without a liner, so I found Zelda snazzy Navajo blanket that adds some complementary colors to her outfit. She says it goes well with her coloring and her turquoise pad.
If you choose to use the SaddleRight pad without a liner, the company recommends the following cleaning steps.
- At least once per/month, brush suede cover and felt underside with a good stiff brush (preferably not a wire brush) and vacuum surface well.
- Use saddle soap and water after brushing and vacuuming for a deeper clean.
- For very dirty pads or significant amounts of tougher dried sweat stains a conventional power washing nozzle may be used followed by saddle soap and water.
- Line dry with the pad upside down until thoroughly dry before reuse. Depending on your climate, this may take between 1-3 days.
Have you ever used a SaddleRight pad, or another therapeutic pad? What has worked for your horse?