Our saddle pads get plenty of use when we’re riding horses every day. If you want to make your saddle pad last, then it’s important to care for it properly. These five tips can help you to get the most out of your saddle pads.
Let Your Saddle Pads Dry
After every ride, you’ll need to let your saddle pad completely dry out. Folding up a wet pad and storing it in your tack room or tack trunk is only inviting it to get moldy and smelly. Instead, lay your pad flat open so that it can totally dry. If your pad isn’t too wet, you may lay it over your saddle. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to invest in a hanging system for your tack room or to let the pad dry on your tack box.
Rotate Your Saddle Pads
Want to make your saddle pads last longer? Rotate their use. Invest in a few pads that you like, and use one each day in a rotation. This allows the pads to fully dry out in between uses, and it also makes it much easier to wash everything while you still have one available for use.
Use a Brush to Remove Debris
You’ll need to regularly remove debris, like dead hair and bits of hay, from your pads. This is particularly important if you’re dealing with Western pads which are more difficult to clean. Use a stiff brush and remove debris regularly so that it doesn’t get deeply worked into the pad.
Follow Washing Instructions
One error that many riders make is not following the instructions when washing their saddle pads. Most come with specific instructions including the type of soap to use, whether to wash the pad by hand, and how to handle the pad when it’s wet. Some pads may be ruined by using the wrong type of soap or by putting them in a washing machine. Hand washing is a gentler method, and if you’re not sure the right way to do it, check with the manufacturer.
Always Air Dry
Never put your pad in the dryer. Intense heat can shrink the fabric of your pad, and it can also melt or damage other materials in the pad, like gel or foam. Always let your pad air dry.