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How to choose saddle pads, headphones and blankets

How to choose saddle pads, headphones and blankets

Knowing how to choose the sports equipment for our horse is an element of fundamental importance for starting off on the right foot in the stable .

Saddle pad, bonnet and blankets are the must have par excellence, with which to give vent to the imagination, highlighting our personality.

Whether you are a fashion victim or you like DIY, the market today offers any kind of item for any clutch bag. The discriminating element becomes knowing how to orient yourself in the jungle of fabrics, wadding, rhinestones and embroidery, which are inevitably linked to the logic of ok the price is right .

Therefore, aesthetics yes, but of quality and above all with extremely technical elements, which embellish the garment, but make it classic at the same time.

I'll explain. The fundamental thing is, always and in any case, to remain aware of the fact that the choice and consequently the purchase of accessories, despite everything, will be made for your horse, so it is he who you must think about when you buy. It comes as a natural consequence that the article must have the highest quality and present all the comforts in any of its most critical and non-critical aspects. It must be an article designed for your horse, that is, it must be made as if he were requesting it himself. You understood correctly, every time you buy for him you have to put yourself in his shoes. Reverse the roles and think about what his doubts could be, ask yourself a question and give yourself an answer (Cit.)

The point of view

Being a great animal lover and having dealt with horses for a long time, I did this exercise for you and tried to jot down some ideas. I imagined that Lanimo, my mare, an elegant light bay KWPN female, with thick black hair and a long white stripe on her muzzle dividing two large, well-separated hazel eyes, came shopping with me, for herself ( in saddlery or on the web).

Regarding saddle pads , without any doubt the questions would have been:

Does it perspire?
Is it made with natural materials?
Is it cotton underneath?
Fit well?
Is it soft enough?
Is ergonomic right?

For the headset :

If my ears sweat, will the fabric breathe?
Does the rest perspire? My brain isn't cooking, is it?
Does it work against midges?
Doesn't it bother my eyes?

For the blanket :

Is wool light and warm?
Are the fabrics soft?
Does it also hug me well in length?
Does it wrinkle my shoulders and withers?
Are the hooks coated?

Materials to know

So, let's put some order in order to have clear ideas across the board.

Let's start by giving an overview of the materials that are the basis for understanding the usefulness of one piece rather than another, also with respect to the questions posed by our four-legged athlete friend.

For saddle pad

In the case of the saddle pad it is very important to start from the inside. The fabric that covers the internal part is fundamental because it is in contact with the horse's back and is crushed by the weight of the saddle on the dorsal part. So it absolutely must not: slip and ooze. On the contrary, it must absorb sweat, have a soft hand, but at the same time be resistant, fresh and natural. It is advisable that the fabric also has an inelastic, hypoallergenic, air-permeable, hygroscopic behavior and is easy to wash in the washing machine or by hand. All typical characteristics of cotton . Whether it is natural or honeycomb cotton, the difference is up to your taste and liking.

Another fundamental aspect is the padding , ideally in wadding. The thickness must be calibrated to the type of quilt that binds the materials or to the layers of the different elements that make up the saddle pad.

Decisive in terms of choice: the cover . Microfibre is the ideal fabric for the creation of the most disparate layouts , but ATTENTION: the performance of this yarn is strictly connected with the physical properties deriving from their fineness. The characteristics that microfibres give to textile products can be summarized as softness, flexibility, smoothness, brilliance, high covering power, high density of filaments per unit of surface. The term "microfibre" does not indicate a particular textile fibre. Always check the labelling, the term cannot be used individually, but only accompany the name of the polymer that constitutes it (e.g. 100% nylon microfibre and not 100% microfibre).

For the headset

As for the headphones, here too, regardless of the use you want to use them, the mantra always remains that of the material used and its quality. The ideal, for the part that covers the nape of the neck and reaches up to the forehead, so to speak, is crocheted cotton with large but robust meshes, or perforated polycotton to offer breathability and protection from UV rays. All that is needed for the ears is a coupled microfibre fabric covering which, as always, guarantees breathability and maximum efficiency.

Let's not forget that the cap was created to ensure that flies and gnats eliminate the disturbance...

For the blanket

The blankets chapter opens with a great classic, an evergreen of the equestrian wardrobe, the coolest item to have in your trunk: the wool blanket.

The properties of wool, a natural textile fibre, are many and we will see them below.

First of all, wool has a very high thermal coefficient: thanks to its ability to trap a lot of air, so-called insulating capacity, wool adapts to room temperature and can be used both in summer, because it prevents external heat from coming into contact with the body, both in winter, because it prevents body heat from dispersing into the environment; It has a high hygroscopic power, that is, it easily absorbs water and sweat; It has a fair amount of water repellency guaranteed by a waxy and waterproof substance which covers the fibres; It has excellent wear resistance, has good elastic properties and protects from UVA rays; It is resilient, that is, it resumes its original shape after being subjected to bending and tension, consequently it wrinkles little and has a good fit.

The quality of the wool is instead evaluated through the breed from which it is taken. Among all of them, some goat wools are particularly well-known and valuable, such as Cashmere wool obtained from the fleece of goats originating from the Tibetan plateau.

In this regard, an excellent compromise for a blanket that reflects all the characteristics that the horse and owner are looking for is wool and cashmere blend . All the properties of wool, amplified by the lightness of an even softer hand and a very elegant, modern look with an ancient flavour.

Another element whose presence is essential in our horse's trunk is the fleece blanket . This synthetic fiber obtained from polyester is obtained with a particular knitting process that makes the fabric voluminous, soft and velvety to the touch. Among the many properties are resistance, particular lightness and high breathability. It keeps you warm and dries faster than any other fabric. It does not shrink, does not crease, does not iron and can be machine washed. Fleece is typically suitable for technical clothing and, depending on its weight, adapts to deal with different seasonal temperatures.

Cotton blankets which have all the characteristics listed above in terms of properties and advantages of the fabric, especially in spring and summer weather, are also very popular. An elegant alternative is natural fiber velvet , an eclectic fabric that adds a touch of class to any activity.

Very useful, however, especially in the summer season is the perforated polycotton mesh blanket , which is a combination of the qualities provided by cotton and the resistance provided by the synthetic fibre: cotton mixed with polyester . This practical and essential blanket has the sole function of acting as a shield from gnats, flies and so on, ensuring maximum breathability and providing good protection from UV rays.

Therefore, in general, we are talking about any accessory, the first and fundamental aspect to take into consideration is the composition of the fabrics, the second, but only in order not in importance, is determined by the finishes . Obviously the sine qua non in both cases is quality . In this regard, please don't be fooled by the price.

All things considered, the style is naturally at your discretion, so…

…good fun!