Natural warmth and comfort: the advantages and disadvantages of lambskin under the saddle
The issue of lambskin under the saddle has attracted a lot of attention in the equestrian world in recent years. There are many opinions as to whether this soft and fluffy surface actually makes sense. In this blog post we will take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of a lambskin pad or a lambskin saddle pad under the saddle.
When is lambskin useful under the saddle?
Lambskin under the saddle can be useful in various situations:
For the horse's comfort: The lambskin pad provides natural padding and can help minimize pressure points and friction, increasing the horse's comfort.
For horses with sensitive skin: Some horses have particularly sensitive skin and react sensitively to the saddle. In such cases, lambskin can help prevent skin irritation.
For longer riding sessions: During longer rides or training sessions, a lambskin pad can help reduce the strain on the horse and protect its back as the pressure is distributed.
Why a lambskin saddle pad?
A lambskin saddle pad is a popular choice because it can be placed directly under the saddle, providing soft padding between the saddle and the horse's back. This allows for more even pressure distribution and can help prevent friction and chafing, as well as absorb sweat.
Why should you put lambskin directly on the horse's back?
The advantage of placing lambskin directly on the horse's back is that it improves the contact between the saddle and the horse's back. This can help distribute pressure more evenly and increase the horse's comfort level. Lambskin can also absorb moisture and help keep the horse's back dry. These properties do not exist if the lambskin pad is placed on a saddle pad and does not have direct contact with the horse's fur.
The negative aspects of lambskin:
Animal ethics: One of the biggest problems when using lambskin is the origin of the material. Lambskin is obtained from the skin of lambs, which are often bred and slaughtered specifically for their skin. This raises ethical concerns about animal welfare and sustainability.
Lanolin: Lambskin naturally contains lanolin, a substance that some horses may be allergic to. This can cause skin irritations such as inflamed sebaceous glands in sensitive horses such as foxes or gray horses and is an important factor to consider when using lambskin products.
Saddle fit: If there is already a saddle that is optimally fitted for the horse, adding lambskin pads may make the saddle too narrow, especially in the front area of the withers. This can restrict the horse's freedom of movement and cause unwanted pressure.
Distance to the horse: Lambskin pads position the rider significantly higher above the horse's back, resulting in a greater distance between rider and horse. This can influence the fine communication between rider and horse through sensitive weight aids. The rider has the feeling of 'swimming' over the horse.
- Breathability : The lambskin is inevitably always processed in conjunction with the leather skin. The horse breathes (sweats) through a saddle pad, through the dense lambskin and through the leather skin - many layers when it comes to smoothly balancing the temperature and preventing heat build-up and excessive moisture.
Overall, the decision to use lambskin under the saddle should be carefully considered, taking into account the horse's needs and ethical considerations. It is important to consider alternative materials that promote the horse's comfort without bringing the negative aspects of lambskin. With a large selection of sustainably produced saddle pads and saddle pads with alpaca fleece, L'Evoine offers wonderful alternatives to the traditional lambskin pad and lambskin saddle pad.