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Author Topic: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths  (Read 683 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« on: January 27, 2022, 11:50:42 am »
Just popping this here for those of you with sheep you send off to slaughter yourselves...

I ride now in a TCS Total Contact Saddle, and the community on Facebook spends most of its time and bandwidth comparing padding setups. 

Almost everyone who has tried one recommends reindeer hide, but there are several folks who use sheepskins as more readily available and somewhat cheaper.

For a saddle cloth, the skin doesn't need to be perfect and certainly doesn't need to be symmetrical, so for those of you who get the odd imperfect or misshaped one back from the tannery, you might want to consider offering them to the FB TCS group (or indeed to other horsey groups, I suppose.)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2022, 12:41:46 pm »
Not just horse saddles.  When we were touring Eire years ago on motorbikes, me with my youngest son as pillion, the saddle really began to hurt my backside.  Suddenly, there beside a small rural road, was a selection of sheepskins draped over a drystane dyke for sale. They were guarded by a JRT - very cute.  I bought one of those sheepskins, nearly took the dog too, and the rest of our trip was so comfy.  Shame about the rain  :o
Real sheepskins are also excellent for poorly and bedridden people, and wheelchair users.
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landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2022, 01:34:45 pm »
I bought a misshapen sheep skin to use as a saddle cloth under my donkey saddle but have not yet used it.
 I know how effective sheepskin is for protection against bed sores, but don't know anyone that uses it as a saddle cloth.


So - Sally - do you find it effective as the only padding without a conventional saddle cloth as well?


Also - does it matter which way up it is used?
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2022, 05:20:12 pm »
I used to always have a real sheepskin under my saddle.  I suspect that you are meaning as a seat saver Sally, on top of the saddle not under?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2022, 05:24:13 pm »
I haven't actually tried a sheepskin myself, between my chunky Fell and my chunky self, we don't need a lot of extra padding, lol.  Certainly not while we are doing very little ridden work anyway, that may change if I get fit enough to start doing long rides.   

Yes, as I understand it, for horse comfort, the pad should be wool (or fur, for reindeer hide) side down, with the fibres running in the same direction as the horse's coat.  Those who want the warm, fluffy side for themselves I guess put a gel pad or other numnah or something else under the leather, or use a large skin / hide doubled over, best for both!  One woman cut a large reindeer hide into a numnah and a large saddle cloth.  In the cloth she cut and reinforced slits for the D rings to poke through at the front, and she folds the cloth back over the saddle, which is enough for her to sit on most of the time, she says.  When it's really cold (or on her skinny high-withered TB type), puts the smaller numnah fur side up on top of the larger piece fur side down.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 05:31:03 pm by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2022, 05:29:46 pm »
I suspect that you are meaning as a seat saver Sally, on top of the saddle not under?

The TCS isn't a full saddle, so no.  Or yes, or a bit of both - folks do everything!  :D  Some put the skin under everything else, may fold the front of the skin back over the front of the saddle to help it all stay in place.  Some make a numnah and put that on top of other padding as a seat for themselves.  Some do both. 

Padding solutions seem to vary according to horse shape and level of skinniness or otherwise, ditto rider!, how good the rider's balance is and how challenging the terrain and riding - some riders need a bit of a grippy seat to help, some need a bit of a gel grippy thing next to the horse, others are happy with no grippy things anywhere and say nothing ever slips. 

Some riders like the feeling of a saddle seat, and have adapted treeless pads or bareback saddles to be used with the TCS.  Many, like myself, love the "almost bareback but more secure" feel of being very close to the horse and being able to feel in touch with each other so much more, and expressly don't want any kind of pad seat between themselves and the horse.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 05:34:11 pm by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2022, 07:10:06 pm »
I used to always have a real sheepskin under my saddle.  I suspect that you are meaning as a seat saver Sally, on top of the saddle not under?


So did you just use the sheepskin without another saddle pad? And which side did you have uppermost?


I've got one of those big old cavalry type donkey saddles with padded  wooden sides underneath. Don't know what those bits are called. When I bought it (and the donkey) from Blackpool beach it was used with just an  ordinary saddle cloth underneath but wood seemed a bit unforgiving,so was wondering if a sheepskin would be enough?
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2022, 01:08:55 pm »
The fleece side goes against the horse and the skin side against the saddle.  No other cloth used.  The fleece gets a good brushing to clean it.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Sheepskins for saddle pads/cloths
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2022, 07:51:07 pm »
Thanks for that Buttermilk. I was hoping it would be the other way round as I fancied the brilliant pink fleece being uppermost!
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

 

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