Grit Blogs > Journeys of Cactus Jack Splash

Saddle Pads

Cactus Jack Splash the Appaloosa HorseWell, my DOR has been trying to find just the right saddle pad. I am perfectly happy with the 1 inch contour wool pad that she has been using. It is comfy, but she thinks I need something a bit fancier ... if that is the case she could solve that problem by letting Angelina Jolie be the only person who rides me.

Last week she tried a shimmed pad that she uses for Hank the Tank (a shark-withered, moose of an appy). It seems I have a dry spot on each side of my withers, and she thinks a different pad will help the saddle sit a bit better. I saw the pad coming and danced around (level one), she put it on me and I danced more (level two), she set the saddle on me and I groaned (level three – she should be getting a clue by now that she isn't doing the right thing), darn if she didn't walk around to cinch up the whole thing! I had to resort to LEVEL FOUR and I dumped the saddle and the pad in the dirt ... I turned and gave her the fish eye, she dropped her head and said, "Hmmm, I guess you didn't like that pad, sorry."

Boy she could have saved us both a lot of work if she just listened in the first place.

The DOR decided to try out her impact gel pad again.

Impact gel pad 

This pad and I have a history ... A month ago the DOR used this pad when we went for a ride. It was on a day that I was teaching her about checking her cinch. I puffed to my heart's content when she did the initial cinching. She walked me around a bit and tightened up the cinch a bit. She sent me out at a trot for a couple of circles and the checked the cinch one more time. What she missed was me sucking in air each time before I got up to her (I can puff enough to take up 6-12 inches of cinch). Well the DOR mounted just fine, I was still a bit puffed up, and off we went to work. She commented that the saddle felt a bit loose and had some roll from side to side. She stopped and dismounted, yep you guessed it – she rolled the saddle under me! That action required an immediate level four response! So, I hopped up and down in place, snorted, and made bug eyes for about 30 seconds and then stood still so the saddle could be taken off. My DOR learned the cinching lesson and has never made that mistake again. So now you know the history of the impact gel pad.

So the DOR puts on the gel pad and cinches up the saddle. She goes through the proper procedure to make sure the cinch is properly tightened, and she mounts. The saddle shifted a bit, but she thought it was because she was messing around getting on. She is taking her lesson and fussing about the saddle feeling loose. The instructor checked the cinch and it wasn't loose-good job on cinching. She completes her lesson and goes to get off. She remembers that the last time she dismounted with this pad the saddle rolled (good, she is learning from those level four responses!) and has the instructor hold the stirrup on the off side-just in case. Well it is a good thing because the saddle would have rolled! The impact gel pad, the saddle, and my muscular physique do not work together – the saddle is always going to roll.

So now the DOR is back to using my favorite wool pad. I guess if we ever need a flashy pad because we are in a show she can throw a thin Navajo blanket over it.

Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!