I really think that saddle pads are to horse tack as shoes are to a human's outfit. They are necessary and so don't always stand out, but when you have the right one it really makes the look. I love shoes for this reason and so I also love saddle pads. That being said, I am not willing to spend a lot of money on a saddle pad, because it is essentially just two pieces of fabric sewn together with a thin pad inside.
I decided to buy SmartPak's Diamond All-Purpose Saddle Pad mostly because they had a good promotion going on where I would save 15% and get free shipping. The standard price is $35 and I got mine for $30 due to the promotion. As far as saddle pads go, this is a really basic pad. There is nothing novel about its shape, it comes in very basic colors, and it is just a standard saddle pad. SmartPak frames their product in terms of classic-ness, saying that the style and design are classic, which is true, but classic can be a bit boring.
I ended up ordering the Hunter Green color because I thought it would look good on Casey and I am hoping that since it is a darker color it won't get too filthy. It is a really pretty color in person, I would say that the color is the best feature of this saddle pad. It also comes in: Black, White, Jade, Navy, Sky Blue, Pink, & Purple. Although I think that this pad is a bit boring, I will say that SmartPak does try to make up for this by providing a lot of customization options. For more money, you can get either graphic and text (for $15.95), a monogram (for $9.95), or text (for $12.95). There are a bunch of different fonts, styles, and thread colors (17 colors). I personally did not opt for any of this customization because I didn't want to spend more money than necessary on a saddle pad, but I am sure that some people would love this feature.
|Casey isn't too impressed|
The other notable qualities of this saddle pad are that: the saddle pad is supposed to be breathable, there is a decent amount of cushioning, and it made out of a poly/cotton blend. This saddle pad is serving its purpose and I appreciate that, I just am not enthused about this product. The next time I get a saddle pad I want one with an interesting cut or a fun pattern (I have my eyes on a cool fox-patterned saddle pad).
|Saddle pad in action|