I did a quick trip to Kamloops, BC a couple of months ago and during my stay I made it a priority to stop by The Horse Barn. This store is by far, the best tack store I have ever been in. I found myself with armfuls of product within minutes.
I went straight for the English saddle pads. They have a great selection in dressage, jump, half pads and all purpose. This store carries a lot of the brand BR Equestrian Equipment. Prior to shopping at The Horse Barn I was not very familiar with this brand. Once I got a BR saddle pad in my hands, I was immediately impressed. It was a must have. Plus, I never owned a grey saddle pad before, and it only makes sense to have one of every colour. Right? Once introduced to the brand, I took some time to read about BR as a company. They state that they strive for great quality at an affordable price, which is what I am all about! It was meant to be.
First off, BR has some really nice designs in their pads. They have unique colours and patterns that is so refreshing from generic styles you see elsewhere. The Passion Austin Saddle Pad even comes with a matching fly bonnet, how cute.
This pad is in the size All Purpose, but you can get it in Dressage as well. In these photos, this almost looks kind of purple, but I promise you it is grey. The tag refers to the colour as ‘silver’. The pad has a really unique design with luxurious features: Thick quilting, padding along the back, a reinforced suede patch underneath the girth keeper and the keepers for the girth and saddle are made of velcro.
Immediately I was intrigued by the thick synthetic sheep skin padding the withers and along the back. I always ride in a half pad, as my mare is getting a bit arthritic in her old age I feel any extra padding is of benefit. If I could ride without the extra step of hauling out another piece of gear, or minimize the layers on a hot day, I am all for it.
The product details state that it is made with: “Outer: poly cotton twill – Lining: 220 g moisture regulating Cool Plus, synthetic sheepskin (half lined) – Filling: 700 g felt, 8 mm foam”
When looking on the BR website, the pad is described as being “Anatomically shaped back seam, cut-away for the vertebral canal”. I think this is an amazing bonus. I don’t just buy saddle pads for the sake of style, I buy them because I want my horse to be as comfortable as she can be.
Just from my first impression of this pad, I was really confident it would be good purchase, and it was at a great price. This product was listed at $71.99, but and in-store sale made it an additional 20% off. I feel it was worth every penny.
Fit and Feel
This pad fits great! I think it has a really attractive cut against the body. My absolute favorite feature, that should be dearly noted, is how long the keepers are. I encounter this problem all the time on saddle pads; the keepers are often too short on the pad and the velcro can’t even back onto itself once wrapped around the leathers, especially when paired with a half pad. These keepers are so long, there is absolutely no struggle.
I would never need to pair this with a half pad, but if I did, I know that it would not be an issue. This gives me an idea that the next BR pad I buy, I know I can layer them without any issues assuming that they are all made to the same standards.
I am used to riding with a half pad, so obviously it was noticeable that there was a difference in the thickness. Despite this, it was not enough that made me think my mare was uncomfortable, or hollowing out.
When I was un-tacking, I noticed how the product held up against dirt and sweat. I feel like it did a really good job of wicking away any moisture, but also not becoming sticky and dirty, especially on the synthetic sheep skin.
A benefit of synthetic sheep skin over real, is that it is so much easier to clean. It does not hold onto hair the way real sheep skin does. The half pad I use is made of real sheep skin and it doesn’t ever seem to truly comes clean despite my best efforts.
This saddle pad is awesome. It is great quality, a great deal and it looks beautiful. The stitching is great, nice details in the cord trim, it is well padded and it has amazing extra Velcro features.
BR has proven to me to be a good brand that I will go back to again and again. They have unique colours and designs that I just can’t get enough of. I am so happy knowing I spent money on something that is genuinely a good product and will last me forever. I am sure that when you buy yours, you will be just as happy with the result.
Always get back on,
*The opinions shared in this blog are of my own, and not a reflection of the company or its current and future products