Given the quantity of money and time all of us spend to insure our saddles suits our horses, it’s surprisingly straightforward to miss the significance of storing your saddle correctly to keep up that wonderful match. English saddles are made with panels which might be both flocked with wool or constituted of foam. Storing your saddle on an uneven floor — or a rack that places strain on the panels — can negatively impression the panels. And bear in mind, how a lot cash did you simply spend to have a saddle with panels that distribute your weight evenly over your horse’s again?
The normal metallic saddle rack — you recognize, the one present in most tackrooms — is likely one of the worst culprits. The way in which the saddle sits on the metallic racks can imprint the form of the tubes on the panels and dent the flocking. The end result? Uneven strain on the horse’s again which might be tough to reshape. When you have this sort of rack, flip your saddle over and examine to ensure there no indentations and take into account one of many fixes detailed under.
What are one of the best kind of racks? A straight pole rack works surprisingly effectively. With these, the pole sits contained in the gullet channel and doesn’t have an effect on the panels. Some individuals desire to place padding over the pole to guard their saddle.
In my tackroom, I’ve received a free standing barrel-style saddle stand, proven within the prime picture I additionally usually put a Saddleright pad below my saddle to additional defend it (though it isn’t proven within the photograph). This ensures there are not any strain factors on the panels. I’ve additionally used a quilt stand, which has the best form, particularly when protected by a thick wool western pad.
So, how are you going to defend your saddle?
When you’re at a boarding facility, you may’t ask the barn proprietor to switch the saddle racks however there are some issues you are able to do to guard your saddle. The least costly manner is utilizing a pool noodle. Watch the video under to see how one can use the noodle to offer your saddle a greater platform. Take into account including a thick saddle pad or two to offer further cushioning. I had considered promoting my thick wool western pads till I noticed they might be used to guard my saddles . . . with the additional benefit that I already personal them.
An alternative choice is to make use of a product that’s been designed to guard your saddle from the pressures of a rack. I’d by no means heard of the SaddleMattress till I used to be at a barn final winter the place a number of individuals used them. (Notice: this isn’t a sponsored publish and I don’t have a SaddleMattress, however the individuals I do know who use them are very proud of them.
In response to the producer, their product provides safety in 3 ways.
- Reduces strain – Our base layer is designed with a particular coating to offer a protecting shock-absorbing barrier that considerably reduces damaging strain.
- Redistributes weight and steadiness – Our distinctive contoured weight bearing layer lifts and correctly redistributes the burden and steadiness of the saddle.
- Cushions – Our heart ridge helps the saddle by way of the gullet permitting the panels to relaxation cushioned on two beveled fins.
The SaddleMattress firm used a gel-filled 3/4 inch thick Port Lewis impression pad to check how a lot safety the SaddleMattress provides to the saddle panels. You’ll be able to see from the photographs on their web site that with the SaddleMattress, no damaging strain factors had been noticed.
There are totally different SaddleMattress fashions for the most typical kinds of saddle racks and the corporate will work with clients who’ve a unique arrange. Every mannequin has a zippered cowl for simple elimination and laundering. The underside of the duvet encompasses a pocket that slides over the again of the saddle rack and secures with 2 Velcro seals – as soon as secured, SaddleMattress hugs the rack and stays in place when eradicating and changing a saddle.
The SaddleMattress might be personalized along with your title, which is one other good characteristic in a busy boarding facility. Provided that I share my tackroom with only one different particular person, it’s fairly apparent which saddles are mine — most of them!
No matter method you utilize to care for your saddle, remember that sustaining the integrity of the panels is simply as necessary as holding the leather-based clear and conditioned. Your horse will thanks for it!