The world is full of options, especially when it comes to horse products. As a former tack store employee, I assumed I had a pretty good idea of everything available in the world of tack and gear. But I have found that the horse industry is constantly adapting to advancing technologies, and I am excited to see these new products and adaptations hitting the market.
Take saddle pads, for example. I have never put much thought into which saddle pad to use, apart from choosing the pad that is slightly less filthy than another one. But I recently had the chance to test a new saddle pad designed by EquineLUX. This Canadian company, launched in 2012, has taken saddle pad design to a whole new level. EquineLUX has employed the newest fabrics and materials to produce an innovative and advanced saddle pad that’s also very attractive.
The top of the pad has a non-slip section where the saddle rests, and the bottom (horse) side is made of cotton to reduce irritation. The pad itself is composed of layers of polyester 3-D spacer fabric, air-trough non-slip mesh textile, and an open-cell high resilience polyfoam. The layers are spaced to allow air to circulate so the horse doesn’t sweat up as much underneath, and to keep the pad from sliding around. This layering system also protects the horse’s back by providing shock absorption. Optional foam inserts provide additional cushioning, and can help improve the contact between saddle and horse.
The EquineLUX saddle pad is available in black or white, in a choice of jumper, hunter, dressage, and eventing styles. Riders can also choose the thickness that best fits their saddle, and for the high withered horse there is a bit of extra room provided if the pad is pulled up high during tacking up.
I tried the EquineLUX pad in both the dressage and eventing styles, and both were great. Being a slighter 16 hand Thoroughbred, Chase has a smaller barrel, and so the dressage pad was a bit big on him, but not to the point where it was bunching up. What really impressed me was the lack of sweat buildup on Chase’s back after the ride. Instead of the usual sweaty patches, the sweat was more evenly distributed over his back, and the amount of sweat was noticeably reduced.
Best of all was Chase’s response to the pad. He has a sensitive back and before testing the pad I had been trying to figure out if the problem was saddle related. But after riding in both of the EquineLUX pads continuously for a couple of weeks, Chase was less sensitive when I ran my hand down his spine and he seemed more comfortable in general when under saddle. This isn’t to say that a saddle pad should be used as a “fix” for an ill-fitting saddle, but it would be interesting to try this pad on another, less sensitive horse, to see if there is again an improvement in performance.
While today’s technological developments do not always deliver the benefits they promise, the EquineLUX pad stands out as a positive example of technology improving the lives of our horses. We might just be looking at the saddle pad of the future.
For further information please see www.equinelux.com.