Since the launch of the PolyPads brand, countless imitations have flooded the market, appearing in shops and online. But what’s in these imitations, and why do the prices vary so much?
PolyPads are carefully made with the inner fill quilted into the soft, durable outer – this fill comes as a single piece and is matched with a corresponding piece of material. The pieces of material are then carefully sewn together before being bound with our super soft binding for the highest quality finish that will last. This process not only looks smart; it provides a double line of stitching for added durability and prevents movement. Our PlusOne and Doubler inserts are even sewn along the quilt lines to prevent the extra filaments from moving when used.
Imitation brands are able to present lower prices as these stages are often missed, or cheaper, poorer materials are used instead. PolyPads are proudly made in Britain, sewn by our experienced machinists for the best finish. The personal approach we take means that we can accommodate different colours choices and sizes with ease – something that can’t be found in mass-produced factories. With these imitations also comes a certain risk, as the fibres used in the inner are similar to that found in a cushion – they will, after just a few uses, move and clump together. These clumps of inner filament will then create pressure points under saddle – the very thing you were trying to prevent. Riders have also complained of these pads bunching and moving beneath the girth, which indicates that the inner materials are slipping, not compressing, under pressure.
The outer material of these pads is something that is often overlooked – the material should be soft without being slippery. Cotton rich materials are more expensive; however, this type of material is durable, soft and does not encourage slipping. These materials also prevent a build-up of heat, which is common in these cheaper pads that only use a small percentage of cotton and are filled with multiple layers of fabric.
It’s important to select a saddlepad that is suitable for your horse and your saddle. Saddle fitters are often happy to advise on a suitable saddlepad – and your horse will often tell you too!
The Premier PolyPad is the latest addition to our range; check out 5* eventer Flora Harris’ review here