Saddle covers are less complex than saddle carriers. All we want is that the cover that will keep our saddles safe in the tack room, where dust and cats can wreak havoc with leather.
A cover needs to keep the saddle’s surface protected and out of the way of dropped supplies, bumps and bruises. A tough exterior and a smooth interior will keep the leather smooth while sheltering it from the rigors of tack room life.
It’s nice if you can ride in your saddle cover as well, which means it needs stirrup slots, as the FabriTech cover, the Norman Equine Saddle Jacket and the Cashel Saddle Shield do. Most saddle covers have elastic to fit the saddle closely, and others, like KR’s Customs cover, function as a true “cover,” laying over the saddle more as a blanket would. An elastic cover requires more attention to the type of saddle you have — a cover designed for a jumping saddle might be too tight for a dressage saddle — and will take a little more effort to put in place each day.
Although a saddle cover can’t always do much about mold, we did notice that zipping a saddle into a saddle carrier and using it as a cover helped keep mold at bay while uncovered saddles got moldy.
For us, the Cashel Saddle Shield does it all. You can ride in it — even in the rain — and use it as a saddle cover in the tack room. It costs $48.95.
If you’re looking for simplicity, KR’s Customs’ Dust Cover was the easiest to use. It’s definitely pretty and tough. If you only want a cover, this is a durable and attractive choice at $48.
Best Buy goes to the brightly colored $19.75 Toklat covers, which zip into a hand pocket.
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