It’s shocking how many riders don’t follow saddle pad storage guidelines! When you make saddle pad storage and care a priority, you can trust your equipment will last. Don’t make the mistake of treating your pad as an afterthought — follow guidelines for enhanced durability and performance.
Don’t Put it on Your Saddle!
One of the most common mistakes horse owners make is to come in from a sweaty ride and immediately drape the soggy saddle pad upside down on top of the saddle to dry. Horse sweat isn’t good for your saddle!
A saddle is durable to a degree, but just because it’s conveniently hanging on a stand nearby doesn’t mean it’s a good spot for your saddle pad. The saddle’s “skin” needs to air-dry, and just like you shouldn’t over-oil or over-condition a saddle, you definitely shouldn’t over-expose it to sweat and moisture if you can help it.
Don’t Flip it Upside Down!
The bottom of the pad is the wettest area, but whatever you do, don’t turn it upside down! You are working against its purpose if you do this. The pad is supposed to conform to the shape of the horse’s back, and every time you use it, it becomes more form-fitted.
But if you take it off and let it dry upside-down, you have to break it in all over again the next ride. This is less comfortable for your horse.
Get a Storage Rack
The best place to put your damp saddle pad is on a storage rack. You can rig one up using a portable coat rack, or you can buy a pre-made device designed to hold an array of saddle pads so they can dry quickly.
Don’t Take it to the Laundromat
Always refer to the saddle pad manufacturer’s guidelines when it comes to washing it, but as a general rule, don’t put them in the washing machine or dryer. Manufacturers typically recommend brushing the pad vigorously, then spraying it with pressurized water from a hose. You might also be instructed to soak it in cold water. Then let it air dry. You don’t have to use soap, unless the manufacturer specifically recommends doing so.
Have a Question?
At Frontier Trailers & Roping Supply, we know plenty of tricks and tips to help with safe saddle pad storage. If you have questions about how to keep your tack in good condition, give us a call or stop in at our store in Spanish Fork!