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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

June 5, 2016

Crest Ridge Saddle Pad: Product Review

I'm just going to lay it out there...I was "hesitant" to try this pad.  Journey has a very finicky top-side and is seriously prone to heat bumps.  We have had some pad disasters and I've been using a wool fleece pad for several years mostly successfully, but a long ride can still produce a few bumps from the heat.  The people at Crest Ridge Saddlery are really nice folks, but a review is not a review unless it is honest, right?   I don't like upsetting people, and I feel that my readers need the truth, and Journey has issues that could make this particular product go all kinds of "wonky."  The other reason I waited was the pad was so darned pretty, and Journey can be like a pig rooting around in the mud.  I in fact had to power hose her in order to lay it on her back, she was filthy.

This is the saddle pad pre-ride.  It had good coverage under the saddle which in fact is a Crest Ridge built on their Ovation tree (saddle has over 3000 miles on it but that is another story).  You can sort of see the vent along the spinal channel.  The picture below here shows it better.
I spread it open a bit to show how big the channel can be.  The purpose of that is to allow heat to vent up out of your saddle.  Heat naturally rises, and if it isn't trapped, cooler back.

Here is the description that Crest Ridge gave for the pad on their website:

"Our saddle pads are made from F11 grade industrial pressed wool - a 100% natural product that will wick moisture and heat away from your horse keeping you horse more comfortable while reducing saddle movement. These custom made pads feature a cut-out to provide additional clearance over the spine and are only available from Crest Ridge Saddlery. The Crest Ridge Saddle Pad is durable, designed to last for 2,000 hours of hard riding. If you are riding 5-hours a week, this pad will last over 7 years. The Crest Ridge Saddle Pad is likely the last pad you will have to purchase for your horse or mule."

The pads come in 1/2 inch thickness, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch, in black as well as a soft gray (very pretty).

So back to my finally using it.

It is rather humid out today, and Journey was over whatever funky thing has befallen her over the weekend.  So I wanted to ride.  She had been idle for almost a week and was full of snort and go.  The creek had flooded so we had no choice but to go out on the hilly part of the trail.  Journey was cranking along pretty darned good and sweating plenty.

Speaking of sweat, the claim is that these pads after a few uses conform to the shape of your horse's back.  It is like how a felt hat is steamed and shaped, the hot sweat from the back rises into the pad, and shapes it as it is vented on out.   I'll update that part at a later date.

So we did a snappy hour and a half ride and came back and with morbid curiosity (and dread) I pulled the saddle, to see what we had.

Here is a picture of the pad post ride.  You can see where the wear leather edging came in handy! Also the pad did begin to shape itself to her back.

So I pulled the pad.
Gotta love those wide flat withers huh?  With all the spots it is a little hard to see, but there was a nice even sweat pattern there, and zero dry spots.  I ran my hand across her back and it had no heat bumps, and was cooler than normal to the touch.   The pad performed as described, and I'm happy to say I'll try a longer ride next time.    So!  The Crest Ridge Wool felted saddle pad surpassed my expectation and fears and was honestly as good as they said it would be.  It was also a perfect fit to my western skirted saddle with "just enough" over hang.  If you are looking for a durable and beautiful wool felt pad, then look no more.  Hop on over to Crest Ridge Saddlery and check them out!


  1. Would love an update on this pad...I'm considering a 3/4" wool for my treeless, as less is more with a wide round horse! Everything rolls on him...

  2. Hi Griffin, I really can't speak for how it would work under a treeless, since I ride a Crestridge saddle. But I will tell you I am very impressed with this pad. It gave Journey nice even sweat pattern. She is extremely prone to heat bumps and heat burns on her back, none with this pad. Overall it is a nicely made, good saddle pad. I never used it for more than a training distance of 10 or 15 miles. Crestridge makes a great saddle and they make a good pad to go with it. I only have two "go to" pads in my trailer and a lot of rejects I don't use. Both my keepers are wool.