From Endurance to Dressage
Dressage Pads and Ponies
If you ride a large warmblood, feel fee to head back over to Facebook or the next blog on your list. This post is for the riders of the smaller dressage horses out there; horses like Speedy G. At 15'1, he's on the larger size for an Arabian, and he's also well-boned. While he's well-proportioned for his breed, he's not sized like most of his competitors. I know we owners of petite dressage horses are few, but we face the same problem: tack that doesn't fit.
I've finally sorted out the bridle issue. My last bridle from SmartPak fit well, but the Micklem fits even better. I have a well fitting saddle and my halter, the Tekna, also fits well and performs great. A well proportioned saddle pad still eluded me.
A few years ago, I bought a rather pricey pad that fits great, but at $100 it was too expensive for daily schooling so I use it for shows only.
Since I started riding dressage, I've searched high and low for a dressage pad that would fit Speedy's smaller stature; most are simply too large. Like this one.
It covers him withers to hip and almost wraps around his tummy. Sydney gets to use this one.
Not being able to find a pad that fit, I resorted to all purpose pads. They're shorter along the top line and don't have such a long drop. Unfortunately, they aren't shaped quite right though.
I even just decided to give up on a smaller pad and ordered this one. It works well for Sydney, but at 26" by 44", it simply dwarfed Speedy G. I had hoped it might work since Dressage Extensions has a coupon in its latest catalog for a "Buy Two Tuffrider Dressage Pads Get One Free," which is a steal as the pads are only $19.95 each. Alas, no.
I just knew there had to be a pad that would fit my smaller horse so I started combing the catalogs, noting the dimensions of every pad I found. And then I found it; the perfect sized pad: the Rider's International Contoured Box Quilt Dressage Pad! It measures 23 ½" X 40". Most dressage pads are 26" long with a 44" or 46" drop.
My find got better and better though; they were on SALE at Dover! They're normally $33.99, but I was able to get them for $20.99 each. And since the pads were so cheap, I even sprang for monogramming. I am more than pleased with the pads. The monogramming is beautiful, the pads are of excellent quality, and best of all, they FIT! I am tempted to order half a dozen of them and store them until needed.
The black pad has silver thread while the white pad has black thread. The "S" stands for my last name and Speedy's name. I love the monogram!
And even though Speedy isn't sound yet, more on that in the days to come, he still got to try on his new clothes.
1/28/2014 11:37:35 pm
Glad to hear that you finally found a pad that fits. It's hard to find the perfect fit for our smaller guys, isn't it?
1/29/2014 10:22:59 am
It sure is. I have been looking for four years!!!! :0)
1/29/2014 12:18:44 am
I completely approve your obsession with a well-fitted pad. It is so much tidier and just completes the look. Those pads are lovely.
1/29/2014 10:23:49 am
I am taking that as a true compliment, SB. High praise indeed! :0)
1/29/2014 12:43:13 am
I had this problem when I was riding CP in the dressage shows. He was only 13.1hh and the saddle pad seemed to swallow him whole.
1/29/2014 10:25:22 am
I KNOW there are small horses and ponies out there which is why it perplexes me that the makers of dressage pads don't make a "cob sized pad. At 15' 1, Speedy's not THAT small. It must be even harder when you show an actual pony, like CP. What does everyone else do?
1/29/2014 10:26:40 am
I guess that most dressage horses are simply gigantic. When I show, all the horses seem "regular" sized, so I would like to know where they find their pads!
1/29/2014 01:17:21 am
I love how the monogram looks!
1/29/2014 10:29:19 am
(squeal) Me, too! I oohed and ahhed when I opened the package, and I never get like that. I really like these pads! :0)
1/29/2014 02:16:44 am
That's awesome! They look great.
1/29/2014 10:29:43 am
1/29/2014 10:30:27 am
No, I haven't, but I'll Google them and see what they're like. Thanks for the tip!
1/29/2014 05:21:30 am
I have had the same problem. Most dressage pads are too long and some caused rubs along his spine due to poor fit. It really erks me when a $50 pad turns out to be useless. I have some quilted ones from SmartPak that work much better for my 15.1 horse. ;)
1/29/2014 10:32:51 am
Thanks, Val. Speedy is improving daily for which I am grateful. And yes, the pad issue stinks. I've sold, traded, and given away several pads because they've all been too big. I am keeping this particular pad bookmarked! :0)
1/29/2014 07:37:58 am
Hi! I love your blog! I have a 14.1hh black gelding pony (Hawk) and I ride Intro Dressage - and I love dressing him, so this dressage pad issue has perplexed me for years. I will try the ones you recommend. I would also say that I ordered a custom made one (I think it was from Dover) that I love, though it's a little big. It's a Toklat I think.
1/29/2014 10:34:43 am
Hi, KK, and welcome!
1/29/2014 04:51:00 pm
the problem intensifies in germany - my fly mask says "shetland pony" size
1/29/2014 09:23:00 pm
I can totally see that! After all, if you produce lots of warmbloods, your idea of small, medium, and large would be different than if you raise Arabians. :0)
Comments are closed.
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 the lower levels. 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%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: