Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Limpet Saddle Pad..

When I first started on my journey of learning to ride sidesaddle, I gathered as much information from some Internet friends as I could about what to buy and what not to buy. One thing that was highly recommended was something called the Impakt Saddle Pad. This is what one of the ladies said about it:

The Impakt saddle pad is made out of some kind of foam. It feels weird, almost sticky. When it heats up from the horse's back it adheres to the back and also the saddle. I should say it adheres to a leather saddle, it wouldn't do the same with linen. After a ride I would carefully peel the saddle off the pad, then the pad off of the horse. The pad was always wet, but Marcel's back was always dry. It held the saddle where I put it without having to tighten the girth as much as you normally would with a sidesaddle. It did well with his wedges too. The felt has a bit of grip to it to hold the saddle and they never budged off the pad.

She also warned me that these saddle pads were quite pricey.. but worth every penny. I found the web sight that sold them and promptly placed my order. About 3 days later I received an e-mail back from the company advising me that they no longer made the pad in this sidesaddle 'form'. I was very disheartened. Even more so when several of my very first lessons were cut short because... you guessed it - my saddle was slipping! After many trial and errors my instructor and I did find a solution.. but I still longed for an Impakt saddle pad.

About 2 months ago, Cheryl, one of my readers sent me an e-mail telling about this saddle pad that she ordered ... called the Impakt pad. My heart sunk. I wrote her back and told her what had happened to me, but asked her to please tell me if they had indeed started selling the sidesaddle pad again.

I was right, Cheryl wrote me again and told me that she had the same experience I did but - the representative she spoke to told her that there was another company making a very similar pad AND that it was even recommended by the American Sidesaddle Assoc. .... but she could not remember the name of it. Poor Cheryl - she must have felt like she was on a roller coaster! Thankfully - the woman contacted Cheryl again because she did remember it and gave her this web address:

Although not specifically cut for a sidesaddle - the Limpet saddle pad has the same non-slip qualities and cushioning the Impakt pad has. Sadly though - it also comes with an even higher price tag.. but if it really is worth its weight in gold... maybe it is a deal after all!

Here are 2 versions of the Limpet pad - one for all purpose english riding and the other is for saddle seat. My sidesaddle is cut more like a saddle seat astride saddle, so that is the one I thing would fit best. If any of you already have one of these pads, please send me a note and review it for us!


sidesaddlegirl said...

Julie, I would save your money as I bought a Limpet pad and it didn't make a blind bit of difference. I'm just glad that I bought mine for £30 from a tack shop that has boxes of them to clear instead of buying one for £75 on the Limpet website.

Hattie is the WORSE horse for having saddles slide forward on her due to her conformation and after having the same experience as you with not being able to get a Impakt, I opted for the Limpet.

I followed the instructions to a T with letting it warm up first and doing up the girth slowly, etc but my saddle still slide forward- quite badly infact, even worse than without the Limpet! I found it created too much bulk underneath my side saddle too.

It did not stick to Hattie either, infact, it curled at the edges. Totally useless.

I used it once and then sold it on Ebay.

If your saddle slips that much, I suggest getting a point strap added on the off-side and maybe even finding a saddle with more forward placed girth straps. It was this in the end that worked for Hattie (point strap and getting a saddle made with forward placed billets for maximum set) and I don't need to use any kind of saddle pad with my side saddle now except a thin quilted one to keep the serge clean!

sidesaddlegirl said...

I forgot to say that if your saddle already fits and there are no issues with it sliding or moving, but you just want a bit of cushioning for your horse (like if it's an oldie, etc) then the Limpets are good for shock absorption.

For stopping a saddle from moving, forget it- in my experience, it just makes it worse.

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