Much like Christmas my Valentine’s Day present from my husband had a horse theme. He bought me a Fleeceworks english saddle pad from Charlotte’s Saddlery that I first drooled over at their booth at The AQHA World Championship Show. After riding in this pad a few times I can honestly say I am hooked and if my horse could talk he would say he loves it!
Fleeceworks only makes saddle pads and so they put all their energies into creating the perfect saddle pads to maximize your contact while also maximizing your horse’s comfort. All fleeceworks pads are made from super soft, extra dense Australian Merino sheepskin. Sheepskin is known to prevent pressure points as well as maintain thermal balance. Studies have shown that in order for muscles to perform at their peak condition they must constantly cool themselves and sheepskin can hold up to 30% of its weight in water before it feels wet thus being able to remove excess heat away from the muscles.
I got the Field Hunter/Eventer pad with Perfect Balance Inserts. It has a front roll that prevents saddle slipping and it also features the Perfect Balance System’s internal pockets that can hold Visco-Elastic foam inserts to address fit or conformation issues. It is super soft and decadent! Available online at www.charlottes-saddlery.com and www.fleeceworks.com.
Woody wearing his new Fleeceworks saddle pad.
According to Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog who saw his shadow) we have six more weeks of winter and according to the current weather reports I think he may be right! If your horse blankets are looking a little rough for the wear and you are not sure they will make it through the winter or you want to stock up for next year, now is the time! Schneiders, www. sstack.com, is having a huge winter blanket sale.
All their turnout and stable blankets are marked down to great prices. I own a few of their blankets and they are very nice quality, making them truly a steal at these prices. Check them out at www.sstack.com and keep your horse warm and cozy!
How to measure your horse to find the perfect size horse blanket:
Make sure your horse is standing squarely. Take a cloth tape measure and start at the center point of your horse’s chest and run the tape measure along the side of it’s body to the center of the horse’s tail. That measurement will correspond to a blanket size. Remember that the blanket should fit snugly to avoid rubbing. FYI This is much easier to do if your horse is tied and you have someone help you hold the tape measure, one at the chest and one at the tail.
We have had a much colder (and wetter) than normal winter this year. Which means my horse has spent a fair amount of time bundled up in his blanket. When the temperature dropped into the single digits I bought Woody a fleece blanket to wear under his extra thick winter blanket to keep him warm as well as to keep him from growing hair.
I bought the SmartPak Fleece Dress Sheet from www.smartpakequine.com in a size XL, Woody wears a size 84 blanket. It is made from very soft, polar fleece with traditional nylon webbing trim. It has a buckle front and a belly strap but it does not have back leg straps, it instead has d-rings on either side of his butt and a string that is supposed tie the back end shut over his tail.
I opted out of tying the back closed, afraid it would rub his tail and cause hair breakage and for this reason the blanket does not really stay put, it slides around quite a bit even though it is the correct size and the belly strap is adjusted properly. Since he mainly wears it as a blanket liner it works pretty well because his blanket does a good job of holding it in place. Although there are times it hangs crooked on him, hanging way out of his blanket on one side which prompts my mom to say he looks like a rapper who wears really baggy pants and lets his drawers hang out!
The SmartPak Fleece Dress Sheet washes and wears well and seems to be of very good quality. Overall I like the sheet but get annoyed at all the sliding around it does and wish it had legs straps. It also builds up a lot of static so you have to make sure to use fabric softener when you wash it. I am planning on ordering another fleece blanket from Norman Equine Design that looks like it might have a better fit and leg straps, I will keep you posted and let you know which I like better.
Woody wearing his SmartPak Fleece Dress Sheet
From The Saddle Ranking: 3 out of 4 Horseshoes:
Filed under Horses, Life, Tack
Happy November! The holidays are just around the corner and I am loving these super cute, a bit kitschy holiday themed halters from www.redhautehorse.com. I know it is a little early to start outfitting your horse in red and green but most of these halters have a lead time of 7-14 days for shipping so now is the time to order yours. Having horses is about having fun and so allow your horse to share in your holiday spirit. Available at www.redhautehorse.com.
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