From: "Sisu West Ranch" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: May 2, 2007 5:32:01 PM PDT
There are several things to consider with pads vs blankets.
1. Pads do not make a poor saddle fit better, sort of like having a human boot to tight and putting on an extra pair of socks.
2. What design is the saddle? If there is room, some saddle pads will spread the rider's weight over a larger area which is a good thing.
3. When you ride hard, are there dry spots on the back? If so you have a saddle fit issue, a pad might help.
4. If you have a flexible panel saddle, a wool blanket is all you need. It does help keep the saddle cleaner.
5. Wool is great next to a horse. I have always used wool next to the horse. You can wash it every 4 rides.
6. I'd be more worried about changing things (that is putting on a pad) than riding the horse farther in his usual tack. Things changed at a ride tend to bite.
Ed & Wendy Hauser
2994 Mittower Road
Victor, MT 59875