How to Make a Bareback Saddle Pad

Written by nicole greenman
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How to Make a Bareback Saddle Pad
Bond with your horse and improve your skills by riding bareback. (horse image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

Many horses have high withers and bony backs that make it painful to ride without a saddle, and prefabricated bareback pads can be expensive. Making your own bareback saddle pad is simple and possible for both English and Western style riders. Most of the supplies necessary may be found in the tack you already own.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • New or old saddle pad
  • Leather Western saddle latigo
  • Tape measure
  • Girth (either English or Western, but rope with O-ring attachments works best)
  • Large O-ring

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place the new or old saddle pad you plan to use on the horse's back. Use the tape measure to determine how long you want the latigo to be. Measure just behind the withers at the point that a girth would normally sit Check that the girth will not be under your legs or knees.

  2. 2

    Cut the latigo to the appropriate length. Leave at least 4 inches on each side to attach O-rings and make a loop.

  3. 3

    Fold the cut end through one end of the girth and up. Punch holes through the leather and secure with leather ties to make a loop to hold the girth onto the strap.

  4. 4

    Make a similar loop secured with leather ties to hold the O-ring on the opposite side. The latigo should have a girth secured to one end, and an O-ring secured to the other.

  5. 5

    Use a part of the latigo that you cut to make a leather loop with holes punched. Attach this loop to the O-ring. The latigo and girth should make a circle that can be opened up or closed by cinching the girth.

  6. 6

    Place the saddle pad on the horse's back again and cinch down with latigo and girth.

Tips and warnings

  • As an option, secure the latigo to the saddle pad so it does not slip.
  • If you already have a surcingle in your tack collection, that works perfectly to hold down a saddle pad.
  • Riding bareback may be dangerous. Never ride unsupervised or in situations you do not feel comfortable in without a saddle.

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