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Favourite saddlepads/accessories?

itsokboah

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1 October 2019
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48
When I learned to ride all we had was a natty old polypad and bandages/boots were nowhere to be seen!
So now I have entered ownership of my own, I see all these younger riders decked out in amazing matching gear, it really does look smart. I would like to get some nice things for my chestnut.
I have had a look at Le Mieux, but I was wondering if anyone has any other suggestions of good brands for saddlepads, etc.
And recommendations of colours for a bright chestnut :)
 

CanteringCarrot

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1 April 2018
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85
My brand of choice is LeMieux. I far prefer them for fit and quality.

I do have a few Eskadron things that aren't bad. They always have matchy-matchy items such as pads, polos, boots, halters, fly bonnets, etc. Plus, if you wait a bit or for their next collection to come out, items are always reduced in price. I rarely pay "full price" for Eskadron.
 

milliepops

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I like Eskadron ones though I do have some lemieux too. The binding on the Esky ones is super soft so whereas I find LM rub at coat-change time I don't seem to have that problem with the others.

Teal, greens and blues look nice on my chestnuts :)
 

sbloom

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14 September 2011
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IMO as a fitter the best sheepskin pads (and lots of good reasons for using sheepskin but your saddle must be fitted to accommodate a thick pad) are made by Mattes. They make a ton of totally custom colours, you select sheepskin, cotton (two different finishes, plus a velvet), binding, and up to three pipings.
 

milliepops

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I loved the mattes pads I had for a previous horse but the bindings rubbed worse than any others :( I had to sew them all back on themselves.
 

AFB

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28 February 2017
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1,062
Eskadron, Eurostar, PSoS & Equestrian Stockholm

I'm genuinely not a fan of Le Mieux, they feel really stiff to me and I've see so many reports of them rubbing that I avoid - that being said I have been eyeing up the Loire Hunter Green
 
Joined
25 January 2015
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1,400
I actually rate the Weatherbeeta dressage squares, good quality and fit for the price and very soft. Not sure what they’re matchy is like though as I’m too lazy for bandages, and the black school surface ruins them within one wear
 

Dyllymoo

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22 November 2013
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503
I love Eskadron and my saddle fitter has suggested Griffin Numed as well for a good fit.

My old saddler warned me off Lemieux as he said they rubbed so many horses he had seen. I sold all of mine eventually.
 

Sussexbythesea

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2 July 2009
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4,997
I’ve got le mieux lime green, peacock green and hunter green for my chestnut with colour matching brushing boots from Woof, Shires and Le mieux. I’ve never found they rub particularly but my Griffin Nuumeds half lined wool ones always did at the back in winter.
 
Joined
12 September 2019
Messages
19
I really like the le mieux ones for my boy, as they have a nice high wither area which suits him and don’t find that they rub him. (However I haven’t used the others mentioned for comparison!)
 

criso

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18 September 2008
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London but horse is in Herts
The Mattes sheepskin are nice but I got a Christ/Horsedreams one in a sale and it's so soft, it's spoilt me for all other makes. I also have their sheepskin girths which my saddler approved of as they are flexible and wide.

For a everyday saddlecloth for a sensitive horse the HKM Gently range is good, very soft fleece lining but not too thick so don't alter the saddle fit, generous enough for an 18" and sits nicely without slipping, they've also lasted ages. If I had a criticism is that they don't do a forward cut version just GP and Dressage.
 

Cragrat

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13 August 2013
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676
Sbloom / Criso - how on earth do you wash the Mattes pads? I like to use the pads with wool against the horse (i.e. no cotton square inbetween) and I ruined a Mattes pad - luckily second hand - by washing it on a wool wash with human hair conditioner. The skin just tore in multiple places :(
At least I can wash the Lemieux merino + pads as often as I want!
 
Joined
5 March 2019
Messages
12
Would recommend Le Mieux eurojump saddle pads, lovely and soft for the horse. Woof Wear also make quality saddle pads, don’t seem to attract the dirt as much as other saddle pads which is always a bonus!
 

Northern

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28 February 2013
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551
I really recommend Lemieux pads. Mine are all a few years old and well used, but still come up like brand new after each wash. No colour fading either! They do seem a bit stiff at first, but after a few washes they are nice and pliable :)
 

criso

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18 September 2008
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Sbloom / Criso - how on earth do you wash the Mattes pads? I like to use the pads with wool against the horse (i.e. no cotton square inbetween) and I ruined a Mattes pad - luckily second hand - by washing it on a wool wash with human hair conditioner. The skin just tore in multiple places :(
At least I can wash the Lemieux merino + pads as often as I want!
Can't comment on the Mattes as have the Christ/Horsedreams saddlecloths and girths, the girths are backed onto nylon. They all go in the washing machine on a special wash with specialist sheepskin shampoo or if I've run out Woolite.
 

sbloom

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14 September 2011
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Sbloom / Criso - how on earth do you wash the Mattes pads? I like to use the pads with wool against the horse (i.e. no cotton square inbetween) and I ruined a Mattes pad - luckily second hand - by washing it on a wool wash with human hair conditioner. The skin just tore in multiple places :(
At least I can wash the Lemieux merino + pads as often as I want!
They do come with washing instructions (though obviously you'd not have had this with a used one), never use conditioner on them, they make their own leather wash, Melp, or you can buy other brands of leather washes. Wool wash is not good enough, though as criso says you might get away with it the odd time. Only Le Mieux, to my knowledge, suggest conditioner, Peter Mattes would have a heart attack if you suggested it for their pads!

I have sold into the hundreds over the years I've been stocking them and not had this happen to a single one that I know of (and I'm sure I'd know of it if it did happen!) but I'm strict with washing instructions and have always supplied a sample of the Melp detergent with them. Mattes now supply Melp with all pads.

They can rub occasionally but it's rare, way rarer than with Le Mieux which are notorious for it.
 

CanteringCarrot

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1 April 2018
Messages
85
I like Eskadron ones though I do have some lemieux too. The binding on the Esky ones is super soft so whereas I find LM rub at coat-change time I don't seem to have that problem with the others.

Teal, greens and blues look nice on my chestnuts :)
Which Eskadron ones? Just the Eskadron Cotton collection, Big Square, or...

I don't find the binding particularly softer, but maybe I know different ones. It is starting to be that time of year when my guy gets rubbed from anything that touches him, otherwise my LeMieux pads are fine. I've also used a sheepskin pad underneath.

For those curious about washing a Mattes pad, I have a Mattes half pad and girth, but wash up well with Melp. Only melp, and air dry. I also brush it out as it is drying and when dry. Turns out like new. I don't know the type of brush I use, it is actually for my dog.
 

Nicnac

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9 May 2007
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5,858
I personally don't like Le Mieux pads as they are so stiff and rub mine. I like Premiere Equine and have some which are really old but wash brilliantly. All time favourite however is Cal Rei - expensive and difficult to get hold of but worth the effort and money.
 

criso

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18 September 2008
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5,480
Location
London but horse is in Herts
I don't know if it makes a difference but my washing machine has a wool programme that doesn't agitate the drum as much and brings the water temperature up gradually that is supposed to be OK even for hand wash items and I turn the spin speed down to the gentlest setting.
 

Orangehorse

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25 November 2005
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10,436
How long is a sheepskin saddlepad meant to last for? Despite brushing, mine get "felted" with loose hair, although it doesn't seem to cause any problems with the saddle.
 

Fiona

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14 July 2001
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N. Ireland
Oops, I've about 4 le mieux sheepskin pads that I've washed many times with non bio liquid and conditioner rubbed into the fur :( :( Dearie me.....

Fiona
 

Cragrat

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13 August 2013
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676
Thank you sbloom /criso.

it was the wool cycle on my washing machine that I used - 30 degrees and low agitation, and i'd been told to use human hair conditioner - obviously wrongly :/

I've been using Lemieux for years and years and never had a rub (all on TB's) so I think I'll stick to them!
 

criso

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18 September 2008
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Location
London but horse is in Herts
Thank you sbloom /criso.

it was the wool cycle on my washing machine that I used - 30 degrees and low agitation, and i'd been told to use human hair conditioner - obviously wrongly :/

I've been using Lemieux for years and years and never had a rub (all on TB's) so I think I'll stick to them!
If it was secondhand, could something have happened before you got it and washing was the final straw?
 

milliepops

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26 July 2008
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17,162
Which Eskadron ones? Just the Eskadron Cotton collection, Big Square, or...

I don't find the binding particularly softer, but maybe I know different ones. It is starting to be that time of year when my guy gets rubbed from anything that touches him, otherwise my LeMieux pads are fine. I've also used a sheepskin pad underneath.

For those curious about washing a Mattes pad, I have a Mattes half pad and girth, but wash up well with Melp. Only melp, and air dry. I also brush it out as it is drying and when dry. Turns out like new. I don't know the type of brush I use, it is actually for my dog.
I have a mixture of big squares which are best on my welshie as she needs the thicker pads, and glossy ones with the wicking lining, which are good on the TB.
 

sbloom

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Joined
14 September 2011
Messages
4,100
Location
Suffolk
How long is a sheepskin saddlepad meant to last for? Despite brushing, mine get "felted" with loose hair, although it doesn't seem to cause any problems with the saddle.
They need washing more often, you don't want them doing this as you lose half the benefit of the sheepskin and it can even end up making a hard lump.

Oops, I've about 4 le mieux sheepskin pads that I've washed many times with non bio liquid and conditioner rubbed into the fur :(:( Dearie me.....

Fiona
That's what LM recommend, it's just that no other companies do, and people extend the same advise to all sheepskin pads.

Thank you sbloom /criso.

it was the wool cycle on my washing machine that I used - 30 degrees and low agitation, and i'd been told to use human hair conditioner - obviously wrongly :/

I've been using Lemieux for years and years and never had a rub (all on TB's) so I think I'll stick to them!
Unfortunately people on t'interweb like to extend advice to where it's not applicable. And LM don't rub all horses by any means, but they do have one of the worst records of rubbing.
 
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