Saturday, November 29, 2014

DIY Bareback Pad

Once I figured out that Quest was fine with bareback pads, I started researching everywhere for the perfect one. I tested out T's pad last month with the intentions of purchasing it if it worked well after a test ride. While the pad functioned as intended, jerry-rigging the straps once was incredibly annoying to deal with (I don't want to imagine doing it again) and the pad itself was much too long for short-backed mare Quest. I could foresee a bad rub a coming.

Options on hand exhausted, I decided to go shopping. Good news was I found a ton of options, the bad news was I found too many options. I needed more time to shop but wanted something temporary to use...being the craft-sy person that I am, I decided to make my own. Convinced that I wasn't the first person to think of this idea, I scoured the interwebz for a tutorial and surprisingly I found NOTHING at all. Only thing I read was someone using stirrup leathers to strap a regular AP pad to a horse- it didn't seem comfortable nor safe. Not to be daunted, I came up with my own design!


The materials for this are minimal. All you need is an AP English saddle pad (I picked the thickest one from my pad stash- it's thicker than the normal cotton pads and has a waffle cloth so it breathes better), nylon webbing (I used about 2 yards), needle, and thread (I suggest upholstery/nylon thread- it's the TOUGHEST stuff you can buy). I used chalk for making marks on the pad and webbing to know where to cut and make billet holes- it rubs out easily and doesn't stain materials. The lighter was used to burn the edges of cut webbing so it doesn't fray. I won't bore everyone to death with every minute detail but the construction is pretty simplistic once you have everything planned out and stay neat with your hand stitching. Yes, this was done by hand. I think the entire thing might too thick/cumbersome to fit through a sewing machine! I had some leftover nylon from a previous project that I was able to attach as a grab strap.


Most of the bareback pads sold nowadays use a cinch with latigo straps. I wanted to make billet straps that worked with the girth that I use on my saddle so I used two separate pieces of webbing. The holes in the nylon were punched with a stove-heated nail. I preemptively made some fleece covers to slip over the billet straps and buckles in case of rubbing but they turned out to be unnecessary and the pad was fine just as is.

Test ride...and success!
I've got quite a bit of experience working with nylon webbing and sewing but this project is definitely within range of crafty beginners. Hopefully this inspires others to try and make their own bareback pads!

5 comments:

  1. I'll recommend my bareback pad! It's called My Best Friend and there are two different styles but both are great. It's got a suede like seat and a waffle weave part that contacts the horse. I've been riding in it exclusively since I discovered my saddle was AWFUL for my mare back in October. It's nice and secure too!

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