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I was given the Cal Rei Dressage Saddle Pad to review recently and I am so impressed with this pad I cannot wait any longer to share it with you (I even made a video…and I don’t do this often)!
This pad is different than any other pad you’ve ever seen. From first glance it just looks like a mesh pad. Well it is…but it isn’t. You really need to feel this pad to truly appreciate it (and hopefully the video demonstration gives you an idea of how exactly different this fabric is). It’s constructed with this very cool mesh style 3D fabric that connects a tough and durable top layer to a soft bottom layer to make a slightly thicker and significantly more useful pad than you would expect without further inspection.
The way the Cal Rei fabric is created, it pushes back against large areas of weight pressure (so in the video my hand…but while riding, the weight of you in the saddle). Unlike almost all other fabrics and materials saddle pads are made from, this pad fabric really keeps your weight evenly distributed over a large area and protects your horse’s back by reducing compression and jostling produced by the rider. It’s a seriously cool fabric. The pad design is contoured and it fits my high withered Thoroughbred with no problems (and that usually is a problem)!
Because of the mesh design, the pad gives great ventilation letting your horse’s back breathe while working and all but eliminating sweat build up under the saddle. I was impressed with how much less sweaty Spice was after each ride in this pad and how much quicker he cooled out.
The trim is made of a tough synthetic leather and that same fabric is used on the billet holders, so I expect this pad to hold up much longer than even an above average saddle pad. It also is quite flexible and no matter how much you twist, fold, compress or throw it around, it rebounds to its original shape perfectly. It’s just incredibly durable.
The material also makes it easy to wash and dry. From ride to ride I hose it down and air dry. For a deep clean before a show you can toss it in the washing machine (30 degrees Celsius or cooler water). It can also be tumble dried on cool or hang to dry (which is what I do). It happens to also not hold stains and it is the only white pad I’ve managed to keep white for longer than 1 rider. This pad looks brand spanking new still after a dozen or so rides, a show, and three washes in the laundry. While pricey, this pad is absolutely a value. If I imagine how many white show pads I buy over the course of a couple of years and how white this pad had come out after washing…I’m going to be saving myself some serious money in the long run (and adding an extra layer of protection for my horse at the same time).
Cal Rei has a pad for you no matter your discipline: dressage, hunters, show jumpers, three day eventing, endurance, a corrective half pad and even western saddle blankets. There is also a color for everyone including white, black, grey, orange, navy, red, beige, green and light blue with various trim colors. I had a terrible time picking between the Orange and the White…but went more practical but I will for certain be wanting at least two more colors (time to save up!).