|Some styles of dressage pad offer swallowtail detailing, such as on the Warendorf Swallowtail Dressage Pad, or contrasting piping, as can be seen on the Rider's International Velvet Dressage Pad. A contoured shape in the wither area can be more comfortable for horses with high withers, and also may help the pad stay in place on any horse.
For competition, event riders in the cross county phase have free range of color choices in square pads. In fact, the saddle pad is an opportunity to display stable, team or club colors. Jumpers in competition who choose to use a square pad usually select one in white, although colored pads are allowed.
Dressage riders in competition are required to compete using a white or conservatively-colored saddle pad such as cream or black. White is the safest and most traditional color choice, and judges who've been interviewed on the subject tend to prefer to see white pads. Monograms and breed logos are permitted to appear on both sides of the saddle pad as long as they do not exceed 200 centimeter square. When sponsorship is permitted, the name or logo of a sponsor may appear instead of a monogram but with the same size restraint.
Note: If you use a short girth with your dressage saddle, be sure that you have at least three to four fingers' width between the top of the girth and the bottom of the saddle pad and saddle flap on both sides. If the girth comes to close to the edge of the saddle pad or flap, your horse's skin can be pinched. Some people will use longer dressage girths to stretch up so that the top rests on the saddle pad to avoid pinching, but this may defeat the purpose of using a short girth to reduce bulk under the leg.
Pillow pads are similar to square pads for schooling, but they're filled with polyester batting and quilted for cushiony comfort. If you choose to use a pillow saddle pad, be sure that your saddle fit can accommodate the extra thickness. If your saddle fits perfectly to your horse, you may not have room to use this thicker type of pad without changing the way the saddle sits on your horse.
Baby pads are ultra-thin sheets typically used under heavier saddle pads to keep them clean. The purpose of baby saddle pads is to cut down on having to launder the larger, more cumbersome pads.
Specialty pads are designed to solve many problems ranging from saddle fitting issues to reducing equine back pain, heat, trauma and friction. Depending on the function, they may be intended for use under, over or in place of conventional saddle pads.
Some specialty pads offer a combination of benefits. For example, sheepskin pads are available in correction models with shims. Some gel pads are available with cutback withers, and several types of foam pads offer a lift back feature.
For more assistance or to request a catalog call 1-800-989-1500. Or, stop by any of our retail stores to speak with a Dover Saddlery product adviser. Visit www.DoverSaddlery.com for a complete store listing and the full product offering.
Saddle Fitting Guidelines
Caring for Genuine Fleece