Saddle pads cover the withers of manes, so what is the best way protect the mane from getting rubbed, irritated, or tangled while riding?
Our 4 Tips:
1. Brush The Mane: Before adding a saddle pad and saddle, brush your horse's mane so it lays flat and is free from tangles and snarls. Smooth flat hair will be less irritated under the saddle.
2. Braid The Mane: Any hair that is exposed in front of the saddle pad that's long enough to get stuck underneath the saddle pad while riding should be braided so that hair doesn't get caught and cause tugging or irritation
3. Check Your Saddle Pad: The best way to protect the withers from irritation while riding is making sure that the mane is cushioned by something soft that doesn't pull on hair and skin. If your saddle pad has a soft wool underside, that should be enough cushion to protect your horse's withers. If your saddle pad has a neoprene or a tacky underside, you are going to want to add some cushion so that neoprene doesn't irritate and tug.
4. Add a soft and thin wool blanket before putting on the saddle pad: If your saddle pad does not have a soft underside or you want to be extra safe, we recommend adding a Navajo blanket under the saddle pad. (Navajo blanket - a thin, soft wool blanket) This soft extra cushion will make all the difference when it comes to protecting the withers of the mane and skin around the mane while riding.
Remember, the blanket doesn't' have to be thick. The goal is to create a thin soft barrier that prevents the saddle pad from pulling and tugging on hair and skin where the saddle pad covers the mane.