A comparison of saddle pads made of lambskin and alpaca fleece
Sheepskin saddle pads and pads and alpaca fleece saddle pads and pads are two different ways to improve horse comfort and performance. The following explains the differences between them and their advantages and disadvantages:
Sheepskin saddle pads:
- The Material: Sheepskin saddle pads are made from the natural wool and skin of sheep.
- Padding and Pressure Distribution: Sheepskin provides excellent padding and distributes pressure evenly across the horse's back, reducing the risk of soreness and pressure points.
- Temperature regulation: Sheepskin is thermoregulating and insulates in colder weather, while in warmer temperatures it wicks moisture away and keeps the horse cool.
- Durability: Sheepskin is durable and can withstand regular wear and tear while maintaining its form and functionality over time.
- Breathability: Sheepskin is breathable and allows air to circulate, which promotes ventilation and reduces perspiration.
- Natural absorbency: Sheepskin naturally wicks moisture away from the horse's back, keeping it dry and preventing discomfort from sweat build-up.
- Hypoallergenic Potential: Although sheepskin is generally hypoallergenic, some horses may be sensitive or allergic to lanolin, a substance found in sheep's wool.
- Care: Sheepskin saddle pads require careful maintenance, including regular brushing and washing, to keep them clean and maintain their functionality.
- Cost: Sheepskin saddle pads are typically more expensive than other saddle pad options due to the cost of materials and processing.
Alpaca Fleece Saddle Pads:
- Material: Alpaca fleece saddle pads are made from the soft underfur of alpacas and offer a luxurious feel.
- Softness and comfort: Alpaca fleece is incredibly soft and offers the horse excellent comfort and reduces the risk of irritation or chafing.
- Moisture management: Alpaca fleece has very good moisture-wicking properties that help keep the horse's back dry and reduce sweat build-up.
- Temperature regulation: Alpaca fleece is thermo-regulating, keeping the horse's back cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather.
- Light weight: Alpaca fleece is lightweight, which reduces the weight load on the horse.
- Hypoallergenic: Alpaca fleece is generally hypoallergenic as it does not contain lanolin. It is therefore also suitable for horses and riders with sensitivities or allergies.
- Durability: Alpaca fleece is durable, but it is not as resilient as sheepskin when it comes to maintaining its shape and appearance over time.
- Care: Alpaca fleece saddle pads require regular care, including gentle brushing and washing, to keep them clean and maintain their performance.
- Cost: Alpaca fleece saddle pads can be more expensive compared to other (sheepskin) saddle pads due to the limited availability of alpaca fibers and processing costs.
The choice between lambskin saddle pads and alpaca fleece saddle pads ultimately comes down to individual preference, budget considerations and the specific needs of the horse. Both options offer advantages in terms of padding, pressure distribution, temperature regulation, moisture management and comfort. However, lambskin saddle pads have an advantage in terms of durability, while alpaca fleece saddle pads offer lighter weight and higher softness.
The most important difference and advantage of alpaca fleece is the aspect that such a saddle pad is significantly less high than a lambskin pad. The rider sits closer to the horse and its movement without sacrificing shock-absorbing and thermoregulating properties.