How do I care for and clean my 5 Star Saddle Pad?
5 Star Saddle Pads contain 90% virgin wool and 10% reworked wool giving your animal protection that will last 2000 plus hours with reasonable care. Felt is created using heat, steam and pressure, therefore eliminating any concerns you may have about shrinkage or distortion during cleaning.
Occasional brushing with rubber fingered curry or flat rubber curry can prevent dirt and hair build-up on the underside of your saddle pad. This keeps old hair from trapping dirt and sweat and from being pushed further into the felt. To remove embedded hair and dirt, 5 Star provides a cleaning sponge with every saddle pad. For best results, use the sponge when the saddle pad is dry. Rub the dry cleaning sponge in circular motion. Wipe off sponge with your hand to remove hair. Note: this sponge also works really well to remove pet hair from chairs, couches, car seats, etc.!
For 5 Star Saddle Pads with heavy crusted sweat and dirt, break up areas with rubber fingered curry or scrape gently with a dull edged object being careful to not cut the felt. Then vacuum with a shop vacuum if possible. Otherwise simply slap the felt with your hand to remove excess grime and brush away loose material.
Washing is only necessary after 100 plus hours of hard use or when your pad is beginning to feel hard in pressure point zones (shoulder and loin area). Do not use soap, as you will risk leaving soap residue that might irritate the animal.
When washing, wash from the center to outer edges in all directions so the dirt in the water does not get trapped by seams and remain in the saddle pad. Simply hang or hold saddle pad by gullet hole and begin rinsing from the center of each side to the outer edges, rotating it as you go so you keep dirty water flowing to the edges. Never lay a saddle pad of any type flat to rinse because it only drives dirt and sweat salts into saddle pad.
Rinse the pad using only enough water to dissolve sweat salts and dirt residue so they will be carried away in rinse water. Then hang by gullet hole or lay naturally over a rail. Do not lay your 5 Star saddle pad on its back to dry as it will stretch the leather and pull out the inner lacing. After saddle pad is dry, flex saddle pad in the areas that have not softened. This will fluff and loosen the felt, restoring minimal losses in compression protection from hardening.
Proper use: Seat the saddle pad
Many people think that if a saddle pad has a contoured shape and/or a gullet cut out, it is not necessary to seat the pad. This is not true. These saddle pads must still be seated to sit comfortably and correctly on your horse and to prevent wither pressure from the saddle pad itself. Place your 5 Star Saddle Pad and saddle in desired position. Insert your fingers under front of saddle pad and lift saddle slightly so the saddle pad can be raised up into the gullet area of the saddle. Lower the saddle. This will remove any potential wither pressure and prevent discomfort for your horse.
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