Cushion Quilt, Saddle-Shaped Pad to go directly against the horse's back.
Pro-Complete Base Pad in ¼ inch thickness
Pro-Complete Large ¼ inch JB Pad.
Pro-Complete standard ¼ inch JB Pad.
BALANCE Discounted Combination Pad Set 2
The image above shows the 4 pads contained in the Combination Pad Set 2 in different colours, to make it easier to see their shapes. However, when you order, all of the pads will be supplied in the same colour and they do not all need to be used at the same time! You will use the combination of pads that creates a stable, comfortable and balanced way for the saddle to work.
There are so many influences in the lives of domesticated horses that can change the amount of muscle they carry in the saddle area and also change their posture, even within a few days. Any changes in the horses body shape, will change the way the saddle sits on the horse and works for the horse. Who better than the rider who knows the horse so well, to check and adapt the padding under the saddle, to keep it comfortable and in good balance?
This is a very good set of pads for horse owners who want to provide their horses with a Functional & Constructive form of saddling that allows them to monitor and fine tune the way their saddle works for the horse from one day/week or month to the next.
Being restricted to having to arrange for a saddle fitter to visit, is out-dated and can mean that the horse cannot be ridden while you wait, or gets ridden in a saddle that the rider knows is not as comfortable as it should be! The foundation of Functional Saddling is to provide the tools needed by the horse owner/rider to take care of their own horse on a day to day basis, and to make use of the skills and knowledge of a Saddling professional to work with the owner/rider when needed.
The combination of pads in Combination Pad Set 2 is also great for anyone who is helping their horse to recover from some muscle loss in the saddle area, as long as they have access to a make of saddle that has good design features and is wide enough to use the extra layers of padding without unbalancing it. In other words the saddle must not fit the horse conventionally. It needs to be wider than the horse's current, static shape and have a tendency to tip down at the front when pressure is applied to the pommel area. However, it must not be so wide that it touches the withers before you put the pads in place.
The Extra Thick Wool Fleece Saddle Shaped Pad provides comfort and some cushioning for the horse along the whole length of the saddle, then the inclusion of the Pro-Complete 1/4" Base Pad in this set, provides a 1/4" of lift under the front of the saddle plus the protection of a full, 1/4 inch of gel-foam all along the length of the saddle panels.
Horses who have a lot of muscle wastage along the back from previously fitted, tight saddles and/or from because of ill health seem to need the extra, generous thickness and protection of the 1/2" Pro-Complete Gel-Foam under the saddle because it temporarily replaces the lost/missing muscle while providing the opportunity for the muscle to recover.
Base Pads are also very much appreciated by horses when the panels in their saddles are firmer than the should be to allow muscles to move and blood flow to be good!
The two JB pads included in all of the Combination Pad sets create adjustablilty and allow for the time when a horse could be recovered and strong enough to remove the Base Pad entirely, or can be used in conjunction with the BASE Pad as needed. However, it is important to remember that some horses always seem to want/prefer the feel of the Base Pad, even when their backs look strong enough to do without. This is down to the individual horse.
TREE-LESS SADDLE SUPPORT.
The Combination 2 set of pads also seems to be very helpful for riders who insist on using a tree-less saddle. Tree-less saddles are not recommended for long term use by BALANCE, but we understand the popularity and a tree-less saddle can initially feel like a blessed relief to a horse who has only known the discomfort of a conventionally fitted saddle with a tree that is too narrow for its body!
The BALANCE Pro-Complete Pads seem to make a big difference to the level of comfort experienced in the horses in tree-less saddles and bare-back pads, where the lack of structure can make them sit too firm against the back of the shoulders for the horse to confidently stride out. The Gel-foam in the pads helps to lift the tree-less saddle up and off the back of the shoulder blades and helps to cushion the horse from a rider who is not perfectly aligned and in sync with the horse's movement.
Without the structures of the tree to distribute weight and pressure, the horse will also feel considerable pressure under the stirrup bar (when the rider has their weight in the stirrups e.g. posting trot, forward seat riding or if the rider has their leg permanently braced against the stirrup) and under the attachments of the girth straps/billets to the saddle. This pad combination gives the horse more cushioning and protection, where there is most pressure, however, horse with a heavy rider is likely to get even more benefit from Combi Set # 3.
Don't get too close to the horse!!!
There is a lot of talk about the need for the rider to be close to the horse and to this end, there are many saddles on the market that have been made with hard, thin panels and there is also a tendency for riders to only use saddle pads that are thin. In fact, conventional saddle fitters still insist on believing that horses do not need any form of padding under the saddle if the saddle fits their static body shape! Unfortunately, these outdated beliefs force many horses to experience discomfort every time they are ridden, which the opposite of what is needed for good performance. It is possible to use the 1/4" Pro-Complete JB pads on top of the thinner, 'regular thickness' Wool-Fleece pads, but in reality, we have rarely found a horse who prefers this (if given the choice) to the thicker Wool Fleece pad, which is why we do not offer the Regular Thickness, Wool-Fleece Saddle Pads in our Combination Pad sets.
Being able to move in a powerful, balanced and engaged way, without restriction or discomfort, is every horse’s birth-right and essential in order for him to be able to carry the unnatural weight of a rider, without doing harm to himself.