One of the things on my horsey goal list for the year was to buy a new saddle pad for Kona. First off, it bothers me to use the same pad for both horses. Hello, fungus?! I also feel like they have different needs when it comes to saddle pads; Hot Rod and Kona’s bodies are shaped very differently. I’ve been on the lookout for months and I just haven’t bit the bullet, because I don’t know exactly what I need, and I’m afraid to waste that much money on one that might not work.
Wednesday after my ride, I pulled the saddle off and noticed this. Hmmph. The dreaded dry spot.
To be honest, I didn’t know much about assessing dry spots. What I do know is, people either read dry spots like a cup of foreboding tea leaves or they don’t care at all. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. Since I’m a researcher, I decided to do some reading on the subject. Research is my happy place. I found some interesting points on assessing dry spots:
- A dry spot is caused by pinching, or pressure, ultimately preventing the horse from sweating in that area.
- Dry spots can also be caused by non-pressure points. Tricky, eh?
- The larger the dry spot, the better. If the area is large, it means the “pounds per square inch” is low. Small, asymmetrical dry spots suggest a more significant amount of pressure is being applied, possibly causing damage.
- Small, asymmetrical dry spots that often produce sores or hair whitening, are usually found on the horse’s weaker side. Bada-bing, Bada-boom! That explains Hot Rod’s white circle! Maybe we are reading tea leaves after-all…
- TRUE dry spots only show-up after a long ride.
- It’s possible to have dry spots one ride, and zero dry spots the next ride IF your horse was not rounded in his back. True collection will cause your horse to make more even contact with your saddle.
- Dry spots should be noted, addressed, and monitored. But don’t go crazy.
I love researching. Not only do I know more now, than I did on Wednesday morning, I’m not going to run out and buy a new saddle because my horse has dry spots. With that in mind, I’ve been searching for a new saddle pad. So far, I haven’t seen any pad that provides specific relief to that area of the back. However, since I’ve never noticed those dry spots before, I’m betting we a.) didn’t work long enough to show true dry spots and b.) he wasn’t rounding in his back.
Decision time! Here are my contenders for a new saddle pad:
1. The 5 Star Full Skirt Saddle Pad for Low Withers $218.00
2. Mayatex Woven Contour Pad $135.00
3. Professional Choice Air-Ride SMx Saddle Pad $169.00
4. Impact Gel Standard 3/4″ Contour Pad $194.00