Here are some helpful hints to consider when you are making the decision to wash your new "Right Fit" Saddle Pad.
TIME OF YEAR – HOT, COLD, SHEDDING OF HAIR, ETC.
HOW SWEATY YOUR HORSE GETS EACH TIME SADDLED.
IF THE ENVIRONMENT YOU RIDE IN IS DUSTY.
HOW OFTEN YOU BRUSH OUT HAIR AND DIRT FROM YOUR PAD
IF YOUR HORSE IS STALLED OR RUNS OUTSIDE
HOW OFTEN YOUR HORSE IS DIRTY
HOW LONG IT HAS BEEN SINCE THE PREVIOUS WASHING
I RECOMMEND WASHING A MINIMUM OF 2X PER YEAR
IF THAT SEEMS EXCESSIVE TO YOU THEN PLEASE AT LEAST WASH YOUR PAD EVERY FALL
These factors will determine when your "RIGHT FIT" Pad will begin to get hard in the pressure points – wither/shoulder areas, cinch area, loin area, and along the bottom edge. I suggest you wash your pad when these areas begin to get hard and crusted over. Also consider brushing your pad afrer each use.
When brushing will not restore the bottom surface to a soft flexible condition or if the pad gets hard to the touch it is time to wash your pad.
Sound Advice: Leave the hair on the bottom of the pad next to your horse. Clean Horse hair is the most natural substance to have next to their bodies. Just get the dirt and sweat washed out.
Soak first~ Use warm water the same temperature you would bathe your child in. Do not use water hotter than this because it will damage the wool’s natural elasticity. Let warm water soak for 15 minutes. You might want to reapply warm water once more if the weather is cold.
I prefer a Betadine antibacterial soap because it has low sudsing therefore less risk that any soap residue remains in the fibers to irritate your horses skin. I have also used a Tea Tree soap because Tea Tree is a natural disinfectant. You may also use a neutral or an alkaline based shampoo such as Wool-ite or Kirks Castile Soap. Do not use Dawn Dish soap or the like, as the high sudsing is frustrating and time consuming to rinse out and can be extremely irritating to the horses skin if not rinsed completely out. You will know your horse is having a reaction to the soap residue if he developes hivey bumps, swelling, redness, or begins to roll excessively or bite at his back or girth area following a ride. If this occurs, rinse your horse with cool water and use a rubber brush to gently massage the skin.
Do Not machine wash! Do not hang the pad from a clip. Place your pad top side down on a clean matt or concrete or wood floor or hand it over a rail to wash the top first.
Since it is a contour pad you must be careful when washing the underneath side so that you don't damage the spine leather and contouring. Wash one side, then the other. Don't try to lay it flat to wash both sides at once.
Wash from the spine of your "Right Fit" pad to the edges. Spray your pad at an angle so the water can lift the dirt and carry it away. Let your pad soak 15 minutes so the water can loosen the grime and dissolve the salts. Begin with spraying from an angle again to carry away the loosened grime before adding your choice of soaping agent. Use a soft face brush in a push and pull motion or a soft rubber curry with the rounded rubber tips to work the soap into the deep layers of the pad. A Circular motion may cause knots and balls on the pad surface which you will have to pull off later. Make sure that you rinse the soap completely out of your pad, because leaving any soap residue could irritate your horse’s skin. Always rotate the pad during rinsing to ensure dirty, soapy water flows outward to the edges of the pad rather than soaking into it. Pick the pad up and spray the area it was resting on to rinse away soap. Then lay the pad back down with the top up and rinse to see if soap remains. If so, then turn it back over and continue to rinse. You may need to repeat this rotation several times before you have confidense no soap remains.
Another option to protect the bottom of your "Right Fit"Saddle pad is to use a "Right Fit" Pad Liner underneath your pad. The same washing technique is required and recommended, with the exception that you can lay it flat and wash both sides at once since it is thin and a single layer (as opposed to the complex construction of your Right Fit Saddle pad) The liner is very good at keeping horse hair and dirt from embedding into your "Right Fit" Pad. Sweat may still be absorbed through the liner into your main saddle pad, however.
The use of a Liner Pad will extend the number of hours that you can ride before your pad will need to be washed. The liners wash easier and rinse much more efficiently, and dry much quicker.
"Right Fit" Liner Pads are available in all sizes. I recommend you purchase the liner in the same size as your pad.
Basic liner $35.00
Premium Wool Liner: $55.00
RECOMMENDED CARE FOR "RIGHT FIT" SADDLE PADS
Brush out hair and dirt from your pad weekly using a rubber curry comb or medium body brush with a push and pull method. You may want to brush your pad out after each ride in the spring when horses shed or when riding in a dusty environment.
Air dry your pad after every ride. Lay the pad on its back so the air can dry the bottom or hang it on a blanket rack so air can circulate all sides.
Store your pad on a rail in a well ventilated area, so your pad will be able to air dry completely after each use.
Do not store your pad under a saddle on a saddle rack. The hard edges of the rack will leave imprints in your orthodic and cause irregularities that may affect your horse.
Do not lay your damp pad on top of your saddle. Damage to your saddle leather will occurr.
If you follow these simple maintenance procedures on your new "Right Fit" Saddle pad you will get the performance that you need to keep your horses back comfortable, protected and cooled.
If your horses back doesn’t hurt, he will perform better and will be much happier when you saddle him up.