Western saddle blankets are usually long rectangles of very thick woven cloth. They come in many attractive colors and patterns. Western saddle blankets need to be folded in half so they fit neatly beneath the saddle without covering up the horse. It only takes a minute to fold a western saddle blanket.
A thick squarish western saddle pad won't need to be folded--it's already the size and shape to fit comfortably under your horse's saddle. Many English saddle pads are shaped to the contours of the saddle. They're already shaped, so no folding is required.
Time Required: 3 minutes
- Hold the blanket by the shortest side. It will hang down like a long towel or mat.
- Match the two short sides so that it is folded exactly in half. The result will be two layers of almost square proportions.
- Place the folded blanket on the horse's back, folded edge to the front. The fold will now be laying over the horse's withers. It's best to put the blanket slightly forward of where you want it to sit, and then pull it back slightly so the hair on the horse's back stays smooth.
- When you saddle up place the saddle gently on the horse's back, settle it comfortably and then pull the front of the saddle pad up slightly, so that when you tighten the girth and sit in the seat, the blanket doesn't bind tightly over the horse's withers.
- Western saddle blankets wash up easily in a large capacity washing machine...something you shouldn't do with a pad.
- Watch the pad doesn't become crinkled when you lay it on the horse's back. You want it to be smooth as possible.
- Have fun color co-coordinating your horse's gear with pads, brow bands and other equipment.
- Don't use a saddle blanket when riding bareback. It will make it harder to balance and grip.
What You Need:
- Your horse
- A western saddle blanket - not a pad.
- A western saddle.