Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
There is almost nothing worse than having your saddle and your saddle pad not get along, closely followed by struggling daily to keep your saddle pad where it is supposed to be. If you have a horse that even remotely has an uphill build, you’ve already bought stock in breast plates, and you’re constantly in search of the best no-slip pad to compliment your gear.
Cross country is one of the most important times to have everything in order, as it’s such a demanding portion of the sport, you really can’t afford to have wardrobe malfunctions giving you grief on course. You want a saddle pad that stays in place, provides a little cushion and preferably some good breathability.
Thanks to some new developments from Success Equestrian, we now have an excellent saddle pad that is designed specifically for cross country in mind and works exceptionally well with the new monoflap designs for saddles with forward flaps. That pad is the Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap No Slip Pad.
I personally have two horses with pretty serious rap sheets on the saddle slippage front, with one in particular who has been almost impossible to fit for a saddle because of his weird construction. Yep, old Leo is shaped like a tube, and with no real slot right behind the shoulder for his saddle to nestle in, it constantly just slides right back. It’s positively awful for me because his neck is already long enough, and I don’t need to be further back on his body!
So I took this pad for a spin first on a cross country schooling day to check it out, and I have to say that Leo literally will jump in nothing else any more. Not only did the saddle stay more in the correct location than ever before, but he was very pleased with the cushion effect. He’s a particular animal, and when he doesn’t like what’s going on with his back and his saddle, you know almost immediately.
I’m a big fan of the fact that while the pad kept my saddle in place, it has yet to rub any of my horses in an uncomfortable way. I’ve found that some no-slip pads can have a grip that is a little too powerful, and it will catch hairs in the wrong way or even cause skin rubs, which is just awful. This pad even has a soft satin fabric on the wither area is used to ensure comfort.
Success pads have a unique open cell foam seat insert that adds the extra shock absorption under the saddle, and I really loved it. So did Leo! Since that time, I’ve taken him to two shows and used the pad both times on cross country, and it held up perfectly in that environment as well.
While we’re talking about shows, a great thing about this pad is that it has the bells and whistles while still maintaining the traditional competition quality. I feel completely comfortable taking it to a show and using it, but also want a few to keep as schooling pads. It feels silly to use something this nice only when you’re competing, because shouldn’t your horse enjoy the benefits on an everyday basis?
If you’re like me, you have to take very good care of what you have in order to preserve it as long as you can. My show pads are separate, but I still get really bummed out when I buy a fancy and expensive pad and it gets irreparably stained in the first use. What’s the point? I’m pleased to report that the Success Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap No Slip pad has a great wash-ability factor, and even with a new saddle that was still bleeding a little color, I was able to have it looking like new with just one wash.
I have a pretty long hip-to-knee length, and therefore my jump saddles, and cross country saddles in particular, tend to have a pretty forward flap. This can cause troubles when it comes to saddle pads, because most of them aren’t designed for that, or really even designed for monoflaps.
The Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap pad worked impeccably with the contours of my saddle, as you can see in the photos above. There was no weird saddle overlap, and I felt awesome that it looked basically custom made to my saddle. Style points!
Everyone who has a monoflap knows the struggle of realizing that the billet strap is just in completely the wrong location, and then you have to choose to attempt to use it and face dissatisfaction, or forget it and deal with the pad slipping back. However, this pad will solve your problems, because it is literally designed with the monoflap in mind and fits the billets perfectly.
The final aspect of this pad that is great for cross country is the breathability, and the air flow that it offers to your horse’s back while you’re riding. As we are galloping on cross country, we are always trying to come up with ways to minimize the stress that we put on their bodies, so keeping the heat from building up under the saddle is very important. The air flow grip bottom layer is completely breathable and wicks perspiration due to the quilted cotton blend top layer.
The Success Equestrian Deluxe Cross Country Monoflap No Slip Pad retails at $99.
Go Success Equestrian. Go Eventing!