There are several thoughts about using pads on harness. Many trainers say if your harness is a high quality harness then pads are not necessary. That is absolutely fine and very true for the Comfy Fit harness. And true for some types of driving.
However, if you are driving your equine over rough terrain, for long distances, at high speeds, or even moderately high speeds, then I see no harm in padding certain areas to ensure your equine’s comfort. Even high quality harnesses can rub over time! And if adding a little more padding to the saddle keeps my pony from getting sore on our 15 mile drives then I am happy to give him that.
So which back pad is best for my horse, pony, mule or donkey?
We have a few to choose from on our website and that can be confusing for people!
- First up is the Permasoft pad. This pad has a memory foam center so it is nice and soft and squishy but will bounce back once the pressure is released and holds it shape forever. The top of this pad has vinyl on it for added color or to match your harness if you so choose. There is a channel of carefree material down the middle of the top for the saddle to sit on. This material keeps the saddle from slipping on the pad. The underside of this pad is also the carefree material. There is a waffle weave type pattern that allows for air flow. So this pad will allow sweating, but the sweat will not just sit under the pad causing scalding. This is why we have switched other pads over to the carefree material such as the collar pads, breast collar pads and breeching pads. They are also slim and look very nice under the harness.
- We also have the fur/vinyl pads. These pads are quite thick with fur on both sides and vinyl running down the middle for the saddle or breast collar to lay on. They don’t have the nice neat look that the Permasoft Pads do, but some like that fluffiness! Sometimes people like to use these in the show ring. Do be aware that the fur pads don’t last as long as the permasoft pads. They get very dirty and don’t clean up as nicely or as easily. The fur also attracts burrs and sticky weeds if you drive out on trails.
- Then we have a neoprene style pad. If you have ever had a broken bone and had to wear a neoprene brace you will understand just how horrible neoprene is against the skin. But some people like this option as they don’t slip, at all. When the horse sweats this style pad will literally stick to their skin. Be aware that this can cause galling and heat sores however. I don’t recommend this style pad for long days in the harness.
If you have any questions about which pad may be best for your harness don’t hesitate to contact us! In most cases, both Janie and I will steer you to the Permasoft Pad. They are just so great for all phases of work!