Description: The Limpet Anti-Slip Saddle Pad is available in models to fit any type of saddle.The Limpet Anti-Slip Saddle Pad made from a lightweight, anti-slip, concussion-absorbing, open-cell synthetic material. Using the horse's body heat, the pad bonds to saddle and conforms to the horse's back, reducing saddle slip and eliminating friction. The 20mm-thick pad also wicks away sweat from the horse's coat. Use it alone or place a folded saddle blanket on top. Available in two sizes - 30-by-30 inches or 32-by-32 inches - in black, brown, and chestnut.
The test: The 32-by-32-inch Arizona Limpet Western Pad was tested by The Trail Rider's Saddlebag Savvy editor, Heidi Nyland, a therapeutic riding instructor and long-time horsewoman based in Longmont, Colorado.
"I'd previously experienced saddle-slip with a horse used by the therapeutic center," says Nyland. "One flat-withered, slightly sway-backed gelding often holds his breath when cinched. I have to check his cinch often and make sure the saddle doesn't slip when a physically challenged rider is on his back. My saddle also slips on my own round-backed mare, to the point of having to have a friend hold the opposite stirrup to keep the saddle in place when I mount up.
"I first used the Limpet Pad on the therapeutic gelding during a trail ride," Nyland continues. "The saddle stayed in place well. I still had to check the cinch often, but noticed a big difference in the rider's ability to stay in the middle of his horse. The pad conformed both to the horse's back and to the saddle, and didn't move much, even when I tightened the cinch.
"After the ride, the horse's back was fairly dry with no sign of saddle rub. After I removed the saddle, the pad's squishy material immediately bounced back into shape.
"I then used the pad on my own mare, placing a folded saddle blanket on top," says Nyland. "The pad kept my saddle in place as I mounted from a block and during our trail ride. After our ride, my mare's back showed no saddle marks. Sweat had collected and run down away from the pad. Even after a ride in Colorado's summer heat, my mare's back was fairly dry, and the pad wasn't soaked."
Cost: $175-$185, depending on size.
Contact: Limpet Saddle Pad, (866) 860-1818; www.limpetsaddlepad.com.