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How To Chose The Right Saddle Pad

My name's Robert Lemieux. These are my pads the I have designed. They're Australian Merino lambskin. The great features of Merino lambskin are, the old Horseman used to say, they wick away the sweat and there's nothing better for a horse’s back than good old lambskin.

The fibres hold 40 times their own weight in moisture. So of course, they keep the back very dry and clear of any bacteria and sweat. This particular pad has a clear Spine down the centre, very good point, keeps the whole pad off the horses back, goes up into the gullet of the saddle, the front comes up under the pommel. So you get a good snug fit so you don't get too much slippage which movement of these pads obviously is very important to stop.

The main feature of the shock absorption is it's not too bulky. This is about 22 ml of lambskin so keeps it nice cushioning without changing the fit of the saddle. Very important not to overdo that.

As far as their washing is one of the big no-nos everybody always worries about lambskin. I can't wash it. What are we going to do with it? What you do with these pads is you put a little bit of human hair conditioner on the underside of this and I'm not talking Pantene of Tressume, Tesco's own will do, for dry hair, that's the best. So smear over here generously before you put it in the machine on a wall cycle at 30 degrees and when it comes out make sure it's air dried and not tumble dried. You'll shrink a pad in no time if you tumble dry them and obviously change their shape and that's a death wish for any lambskin pad.

How do you use them? They're best used not on their own they are best used, in fact, with plane cotton squares - either a jumping square or a dressage square - because one of the great flexible points of our pads is that they can be used with any types of saddle whether it be a dressage saddle, jumping, forward cart jumping saddle or a GP saddle.

These pads work very nicely in combination with those squares, stops and minimizes the amount of washing you need for each of them as well.

So where can you get these? Horse health. Horse Health carries five different sizes of these pads, from extra small to large and are available in five different colourways. We've introduced a grey colour this year. A steel grey colour, which is very popular, a troupe, a natural and black and obviously black and black. Amongst the showing people, the dark brown and brown is also very popular.

They are available in a number of different styles so you can get a square, a numnah as well as these half pads. There's a lot of flexibility in addition, we also do showing numnah’s which are pure Merino skins with no backing on them at all. So the thinnest and most discreet pads you can get for showing. These are available online and at the trade stands and a number of the leading shops in the UK also carry our range of merino lambskin, but if you go online to horse, you can get all the information on the colourways and the technical spec. We are also available on the end of the phone for any information and advice you might need.