Gear of the Month — March

Sponsored by 5 Star Equine

Whether you ranch, rope, perform or trail ride on your horse, you want what is best for your horse’s back.

Swelling, pain and sore spots can hinder even the best horse’s performance. Determining the cause of the sore area and then treating it, is important to your horse’s overall health and well-being.

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Most every horse person knows that a poor fitting saddle can cause pressure points, but a less commonly known fact is that your saddle pad, if made from synthetic materials, can trap heat against your horse causing sores and swelling.

Synthetic materials do not wick sweat and can increase the chances of heat related pressure sores. Synthetic materials also have limited compression protection.

Unlike synthetic materials, wool fiber contains hundreds of tiny waves, called crimp, creating the millions of air pockets that give the fabric its insulating properties and ability to breath. It is this same component that allows wool to stretch up to 50 percent when wet, 30 percent when dry and still bounce back to its original shape. It is this natural physical property that makes wool such a beneficial compression protector. Despite the influx of new fibers and foams being introduced into the equine world, WOOL continues to hold its own and be a main stay for top saddle makers and equine professionals that care about animal well-being.

Wool's unique ability to deal with perspiration is one of the important components of limiting sores or the severity of a sore from a pressure point of an improperly fitted saddle or piece of tack. Wool's ability to wick sweat away from the body leaves the skin dryer and cooler than other materials. Under a saddle, the primary problem is one of constant pressure in areas where the saddle fits poorly. Pads of a variety of materials are often used to try and alleviate these pressure points with no thought given to heat removal. The problem with most materials is that pressure is transferred through the pad to the horse's back and is often made worse after adding the pad.

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5 Star Equine Products has developed a 100% pure wool pad with no synthetic materials. The Rancher 5 Star Saddle Pad is specially engineered for Ropers and Ranchers as well as Long Trail Rides. Designed to be used alone, the SUPER THICK 1-1/8" 100% pure wool eliminates double padding and reduces cinching. The natural properties of 5 Star’s 100% pure wool allow the fibers to wick sweat and remove heat from your horse’s back.

The Rancher is available in natural and black which is dyed with an all-natural vegetable-based dye that is safe for you and your horse. Available in 30” x 28”, 30” x 30”, 32” x 30” and 32” x 32”, there is a size that will fit your needs. And, like all 5 Star Equine Products, The Rancher Pad is handcrafted in the USA!

Visit www.5starequineproducts.com to view their full line of products.

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Tags: horse tacksaddle padGear of the Month5 Star Equine