Review: Top Tips on Acavallo Pads
Of the many brands and products stocked by Chaballo, one in particular that I have come to rely on is the wide range of Acavallo pads. Although I always have a number of horses in work to train and compete, I unfortunately can’t afford the luxury of having multiple saddles to perfectly fit each individual horse. Yet I still need them to feel comfortable in the tack they share in order to perform at their best.
I have found the variety of Acavallo saddle pads available at Chaballo so useful in solving this dilemma. I’ve been able to find a pad that suits each of my horses and ensures my saddles fit them comfortably and correctly, regardless of their unique body shapes. And in every instance, I know all the Acavallo products provide the best shock-absorption and pressure distribution available in saddle pads so as to minimise any stress strain my horses might feel from their work.
As an example of how the different styles of pads suit individual horses, take my two young mares who despite being similar in type and appearance, have vastly different conformation over their backs. While one has quite a flat back, the other is exceptionally dipped behind the whither with what might be termed a “sway back”.
The first flat backed mare needs no real padding to alter the fit of the saddle, but given the intensity of the sport, benefits from the pressure distribution that pads provide. For her the Acavallo Respira Air Release pad is perfect. It lies seamlessly beneath the saddle like a second skin, while the unique weave of the gel material provides air-bag like cushioning. Additionally, this pad has the benefit of being able to be used both on top of the saddle blanket or under it, directly on the horse's skin. I have found this immensely useful where the saddle tends to slip either forwards or backwards thanks to the Acavallo gel's non-slip quality.
Mean while the other “sway-backed” mare does require more substantial padding to ensure the saddle fits her properly. The Acavallo Memory Pad Hexa Withers Free provides the additional thickness to effectively fill out her weak back. The cut-away wither design ensures there is no bunching or restriction, while the combination of memory foam and patterned gel provides the best possible shock-absorption and pressure distribution. This allows her to move freely and happily in her work in the same saddle as her flat-backed stable mate.
To give my jumping saddle a little extra lift behind on this mare, I also use an Acavallo Gel Rear Riser pad in combination with the Memory Pad Hexa Whithers Free. The various “riser” options within the Acavallo range has proven incredibly useful.
Similarly, my top 5* horse needs only the slightest bit of elevation to the withers for the jump saddle to fit him perfectly, and given the serious intensity of his work he benefits from all the shock and pressure-absorption beneath the saddle as he can get. The Acavallo Pocket Gel and Memory Foam Half Pad ticks all the required boxes. The pockets enable me to use the foam inserts to raise the saddle wherever required, whether it’s only minimally in front for this horse or more significantly behind on another, and the memory foam with gel again ensures the impact on his back is limited as much as possible.
Because horses are my lifelong passion as well as my business, I am always going to have numerous uniquely shaped horses in training and competition work. However, I know with the Acavallo range of pads available at Chaballo, I’ll be able to find the perfect pad to ensure each horse is comfortable beneath my saddle and better able to perform at their very best.
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