I have a bit of a fetish when it comes to saddle pads, I collect them like many people collect dishes or movie paraphernalia. When it comes to western show saddle pads I am addicted to Golden West Saddle Pads, they are expertly made and tightly woven, not to mention beyond gorgeous.
However, when I am riding at home or warming up before a class I always use a Professional Choice SMx Air Ride saddle pad. These pads have a 100% merino wool lining to wick away moisture and the standard SMx core is shock absorbent and highly breathable. It allows even circulation in every direction, resulting in accelerated heat dispersion and moisture evaporation. The horse feels less heat and cools off faster, increasing overall performance. It also evenly distributes weight from the saddle and rider thus preventing pressure points from forming allowing a more comfortable ride. This pad, while providing so much “cushy” support, is still very lightweight and flexible.
I knew this pad was amazing after riding in it, but it was truly affirmed when I went up to the barn one day and saw my dad using it on one of his cutting horses even though it has purple stripes. Normally if anything has girly colors he flat out refuses to use it, so I guess he decided it was worth willing to overlook the feminine color. Needless to say, I bought him his own pad so I could have mine back.
Professional Choice SMx Air Ride Western Saddle Pad available at www.profchoice.com.
From The Saddle Ranking: 4 out of 4 horseshoes