Find out everything about alpaca wool in equestrian sports
FAQ: Alpaca fleece saddle pads and saddle pads
Alpaca fleece saddle cloths and pads - find out here why they offer a highly functional alternative to conventional lambskin saddle pads and are also the ideal solution for extremely sensitive horses!
Our alpaca wool comes directly from Peru. We work exclusively with Fair Trade certified dealers.
The wool fibers arrive in Europe raw and unprocessed. They are cleaned and prepared for further processing into an even fleece. The fleece is made in a partner factory in Switzerland. Here the fine fibers are woven into our fleece. In recent years we have been researching which floor density and height represents the optimal composition for a saddle pad.
The alpacas live in their natural environment in the mountains of Peru. There are many alpaca farms where the raw material alpaca wool is obtained by shearing it 1-2 times a year. The special thing compared to lambskin products: The animals (which have a life expectancy of 15-20 years) are only sheared for the production of our products and can then continue to enjoy their life on the meadows.
The two fibers differ in the origin of the animals, the fiber structure, the diameter, the insulating properties, the moisture management, the allergenic potential, the durability and ultimately the price.
Both alpaca wool and alpaca fleece (used for the saddle pads and saddle pads) offer benefits in terms of comfort, moisture management, temperature regulation, padding and shock absorption, durability and hypoallergenic properties. The main benefits are the natural padding of the alpaca fleece, which helps distribute pressure evenly over the horse's back. This can relieve pressure points as well as the extreme breathability of alpaca wool. It allows air to circulate between the horse's back and the saddle, preventing excessive heat build-up and perspiration. Read the details of each property here.
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. An optimally adapted saddle still fits perfectly despite the use of an alpaca fleece saddle cloth or alpaca fleece pad and does not become too tight.
Particularly suitable for...
The exceptional softness of alpaca fleece ensures greater comfort for the horse and reduces discomfort and irritation.
The moisture-wicking properties ensure that the girth or saddle area stays dry and minimizes perspiration, which can lead to skin problems.
Alpaca fleece ensures improved air circulation, thus reducing heat and moisture build-up, which can be beneficial when preventing or treating skin problems.
It does not contain lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic and reduces the risk of irritation or allergic reactions Reactions in sensitive horses reduced. In addition, it provides additional padding and cushioning, distributing pressure more evenly and reducing the risk of friction, chafing or pressure points that can worsen skin conditions.
Chafing marks are areas of a horse's coat where the hair appears to be chafed, worn or damaged.
It can be caused by friction or pressure from ill-fitting saddlery, blankets or equipment. They can also be caused by rubbing against rough surfaces or by excessive scratching due to itching or skin diseases.
To avoid chafing, make sure that saddlery and equipment are properly seated and adjusted, as well as being skin-friendly and the material which directly affects of the (sweating, open-pored) skin.
Abrasion marks can demonstrably provide padding, softness, moisture management, protection and breathability through the use of alpaca fleece products such as saddle pads, saddle pads or belt protectors. However, proper fit, adjustment and general care are just as crucial to avoid chafing and to keep the horse's coat and skin healthy.
Horses can be allergic or sensitive to lanolin, a waxy substance found in sheep's wool. Lanolin allergies in horses can manifest themselves as skin irritation, itching, a rash or hives if they come into contact with wool products or substances containing lanolin.
If a horse cannot tolerate sheep's wool (=lambskin products), it is important to look out for wool products containing lanolin such as lambskin saddle pads or blankets. Instead, alternative materials that are hypoallergenic or less sensitive should be considered. Examples of this are synthetic materials such as alpaca wool, neoprene, polyester or fleece made from non-wool fibers.
It should be noted that every horse can have different sensitivities and react differently. If you suspect your horse is allergic or sensitive to lanolin or sheep's wool, it is best to consult a veterinarian or equine dermatologist who can assess the situation and make a definite diagnosis
A sensitive saddle area in horses can lead to discomfort, pain, soreness and skin irritation if left untreated. It can also cause behavioral problems and affect performance. Alpaca fleece saddle pads can help in these cases by providing cushioning, pressure distribution and softness that alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of soreness and skin problems. Alpaca fleece's moisture-wicking properties keep the saddle area dry and minimize sweat-related discomfort. The breathability of alpaca fleece promotes air circulation and thus prevents heat and moisture build-up. In addition, alpaca fleece is hypoallergenic and therefore also suitable for horses with sensitivities. The natural properties of alpaca fleece, coupled with proper saddle fit and monitoring, contribute to the horse's comfort, well-being and optimal performance.
Cotton meets alpaca wool
Cotton is highly breathable, allowing air to circulate and heat to dissipate. This helps prevent excessive sweating and heat build-up. Cotton has excellent moisture-wicking properties that efficiently wick sweat away from the horse's skin. Cotton is a soft and comfortable material on the horse's skin. Because it is a natural fiber, cotton saddle pads are considered hypoallergenic. Additionally, cotton is a very durable fiber with the ability to withstand regular use and washing without losing its functionality or shape. This makes cotton saddle pads durable and reliable.
Cotton can be optimally combined or layered with other materials to provide extra padding or support when needed. By combining the moisture-wicking and breathable properties of alpaca fleece with the moisture-wicking and soft properties of cotton, this combination offers optimal comfort, temperature regulation and moisture management for the horse's back during riding or other activities. The synergistic benefits of alpaca fleece and cotton make this combination an ideal choice for saddle pads that promote horse well-being, performance and overall happiness.
care and cleaning
First of all, it is important to emphasize that alpaca fleece is naturally antibacterial and does not need to be washed as frequently as saddle pads made from synthetic materials. The alpaca fleece saddle pad or pad should be folded into the machine with the fleece facing in so that the cotton side is on the outside when the drum rotates. The wool cycle should definitely be selected and set to 20 degrees. A standard heavy-duty detergent can be used. After washing, the wet saddle pad should be pulled into shape a little. The alpaca fleece is usually almost dry when it comes out of the machine and can be fluffed up a bit with your fingers. Under no circumstances should it be combed with a brush with a hook, as the rods can get caught in the woven structure.
The fleece must not be combed under any circumstances, as the rods can get caught in the woven fleece and damage it. Instead, you can use a (clean) brush with, for example, natural fibers to brush the fleece like the horse itself and thus brush out the loose horse hair. Only when the fleece has been freed from the hair should it be washed.
Cotton fabrics can be cleaned effectively in the washing machine from a temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). At this temperature, the detergent and water can effectively loosen and remove dirt, oils and stains from the cotton fabric.
Especially with very sensitive and allergic horses, the saddle pad should be as germ-free as possible. A 100% natural, chemical-free solution helps here: ironing with steam! The pure cotton can easily come into contact with heat. Of course, the hot iron should not touch the alpaca wool.