I recently purchased a 5 Star saddle pad, mainly due to a constant search for the “right” pad. My most recent pad was the Full Monty Saddle pad by Cavallo. However sweat and heat have been an issue.
I did my research on the 5 Star Pads, for many months, spoke to various users, and read all the blurb. They do various sizes and thicknesses, designs, and also have a Custom Order process.
Wool has been used for such a long time, as a saddle pad, with good reason, it wicks away sweat, keeps the horses back dry and has a good compression rate. But back to my purchase.
The felt used has a very high percentage of Virgin Marino Wool, the felt has a compression ratio of 6 psi, giving good protection for the horse.
I have done 11 rides on this pad, various routes and plenty of arena work. All the while Gracie has been casting like mad! Initially, I thought the pads thickness would be an issue, when cinching up, I need`nt have worried, by the 7/8th ride the pad had begun to shape to the horses back, this was made easier by the built in French curve. The pad is in two halves, attached by internal stitches and leather wearers. It has a large gullet hole, and after a particularly long 4 hour ride, the pad was damp with sweat, but the horses back was dry! And more important, the imprint of the horses back and saddle tree were one! My pad is a 32x32 regular pad. The pad did not slip after the first two rides, but I put the slippage down to the horse casting. The pad took a few hours to dry off, but the horse hair was another issue. There is a cleaning pad that comes with the saddle pad, and although useful, it did not do as well as expected. However, I wet my hand, and gently rubbed the hair away, that was far easier. There is a lot about this pad, and all good, I cannot find anything wrong so far. I cannot vouch for any other pad, but this one has a very good vibe about it. Now comes the real thing about this pad. The horse. I have never had such flexion, free movement, and feeling from my horse as this. Considering the 1 inch thickness, its fantastic. You may think Im not a good rider, perhaps, but I have always tried to be, and my horses are important to me. I value there health. Gracie has lightened up, become more “athletic”, I am happy with this pad, very happy, and I believe my horse is too.