In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

Latch Weave for Her Highness

Sometimes, I just stand and stare at her.  If I’m lucky, I have a camera.  This was taken on Wednesday, just after I hosed Consolation down following that speedy ride.  So yes, she’s wet.

I didn’t mention before that we tried some new tack on that ride.  Stonewall sent up a luxurious, latch-weave wool pad for us to test ride.  The pads are made by suppliers who raise their own sheep for the wool, and the latch weave results in a thick, springy product designed to absorb dynamic loads.  If “road tests” go well, similar pads will appear shortly in Stonewall’s line.

Consolation and I have been having some trouble with saddle fit (you’ll recall that my saddle was custom-fit for Aaruba, not Consolation, before we knew he was in for early retirement), and Jackie with Stonewall suggested we give this a try.  Obviously, padding can only help with minor issues and shouldn’t be relied upon to correct major fitting problems, but we figured this might do the trick in our case. 

Consolation is a little narrower than Aaruba, so the saddle was sitting a bit low in front and interfering with her withers, particularly on downgrades.  The latch weave pad is thick enough to fill that extra space.

It’s also huge!  Where’d my horse go?

…but once I got the saddle on, it looked much better.  The pad is still bigger than necessary, which isn’t the best for keeping the horse cool, so Stonewall will likely order the next batch of pads with smaller dimensions.

I wondered if that pad was so thick that it would be unstable, resulting in danger for the rider and more work for the horse, but that turned out not to be the case.  Instead, the loft seemed just right, rebalancing the saddle a hair, and Consolation responded with a freer gait and apparent comfort.

Today, we’ll put that pad through its paces on some hills!

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11 responses

  1. My, what a beautil, fit girl :-).

    June 11, 2011 at 6:42 am

  2. Debby

    Very pretty girl! She doesn’t look wet! She looks like she is enjoying this!

    June 11, 2011 at 8:10 am

    • 🙂 Thanks — and thanks for commenting, too! Comments make my day. (Yes, I’m a dork.)

      June 12, 2011 at 6:47 am

  3. I like that pad…… a lot..
    Griffin’s saddle fits him very well (it was also designed for him), but I am always on the lookout for that “better” pad that would impove his comfort during our rides.

    I use a wool blanket with a small, saddle shaped, wool pad with inserts right now and that seems to work well — but if there’s any way I could “upgrade” his comfort —well, what I wouldn’t do for my boy 🙂

    It almost looks like they created that pad for use with a western saddle 🙂 Having one shaped to your saddle will most certainly look better and be far less hot for Consolation! I will be curious to hear how your rides proceed with it!

    June 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    • Stay tuned — Griffin may be able to have his very own latch weave pad soon! 🙂

      June 12, 2011 at 6:45 am

  4. That is one great looking pad…the saddle looks good on it too. Enjoy. I’ll bet Consolation loved it.

    June 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm

  5. Rosanne

    That pad looks really nice! Almost like a thick comfy sweater. 🙂 I think it does look a bit large for your mare though. If they could make it a bit shorter front to back and contour it to fit your saddle-it would look perfect.

    June 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    • Yup, it’s super-cushy, but definitely oversized for our needs. It performed beautifully on the steep hills yesterday, though. Hooray! 😀

      June 12, 2011 at 6:45 am

  6. funder

    I’d really love to hear a followup on this pad later on! My stupid woolback failed utterly on the hills at NASTR – slid 6″ down her back, no matter how many times I readjusted it. Worse, it rolled up on itself. Obviously I need a different pad… but at least I’m not in a rush. Sigh.

    June 13, 2011 at 8:42 am

  7. Pingback: Take Two « The Barb Wire

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