From Endurance to Dressage
Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like, a mattress for your saddle. I saw this on Facebook, and was quite intrigued.
I use a pretty standard saddle rack, the kind that you can carry easily to shows. I keep it padded with two old saddle pads.
After reading about the Saddle Mattress, I decided to look at my saddle closely to see if there were any pressure points.
Both sides of my saddle have an indentation where it rests against the saddle stand.
Fortunately, the pressure points hit my saddle just below the saddle's panels, but still, the pressure points can't be healthy. I have my saddle's flocking adjusted at least once a year, and so far, the fitter has never mentioned the "indentations." Over the weekend, I asked her about the Saddle Mattress, and she loved the idea. She also suggested padding the rack with fleece or pool noodles, which I had already planned to try.
The Saddle mattress is a great idea, and using one can only be a healthy option for your saddle. As soon as I saw the product, I knew I wanted one, but at $100, it's kind of pricey for what is basically a piece of foam covered nicely in cloth. In the meantime, here's what it looks like with a pool noodle instead.
I sent my saddle fitter the above photo. I asked her to evaluate the width and overall efficacy of my cheaper solution. Her response was very positive. She thought it all looked great.
I use pool noodles a lot for P.E. with my students, so I have had some experience in cutting them to size. I simply measured the length of the saddle rack to determine how much noodle I needed and then sawed off the desired length with a hacksaw. I took a pocket knife and sliced down through the pool noodle so I could slide it onto the saddle rack. I thought I might need duct tape to secure the noodles, but so far, they fit snuggly without sliding around or falling off.
While I really like the idea of the Saddle Mattress, and I may eventually just get one, I thought I'd try this out for a while to see how it holds up.
We have a pool, so I buy new pool noodles every year anyway. Now I have a use for last year's pool noodles. Out of curiosity, has anyone tried a Saddle Mattress, and if so, do you like it?
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read