VALVE-CONTROLLED INNER AIR CHAMBERS: Two separate custom designed, patented self-inflating AIRCELLS (of the famous Thermarest technology) are housed inside the AIRPAD’S left and right side jacket pockets. They are shaped to support under the saddle tree bars, and leave the bottom section of the pad appropriately thin so you can have good leg communication with your horse. The easy-access valves that control air flow allow a fit adjustability range from 1/8” to 1-1/4”. They are remarkably durable and last for years.
MAXIMUM CONTINUOUS FIT under the saddle tree is achieved via a trapped air suspension system which allows freedom of motion shock absorption without “ballooning” too much in one area or another due to the unique baffled design of the foam within the aircells. This offers remarkable custom-accommodation of dynamic movement, asymmetry of physique of horse and rider balance variations in real time. The AIRPAD (as in all pads, it is best with at least 1 shim) can greatly improve the fit of a poorly constructed saddle with bar angle or “rock” issues.
OPEN CENTER CHANNEL SPINE RELIEF: AIRPAD’s two distinct side panels are integrally connected by two well located reinforced cross links and offer freedom of movement without pressure in the critical area of the horse’s spinal ligaments.
BREATHABILITY and WICKING POWER: The top layer of this pad is durable lightweight techno-fabric promoting natural ventilation and temperature regulation. Think of it as a durable tri-layer weave “miracle sandwich”. A grip-enhancer strip secures pad to saddle. The bottom layer consists of our TecFleece™ material – anti-microbial non-slip felt, greater wicking & cooling vs. wool. Breathable, easy clean with hose, quick dry. We have grown confident via research that the advantages of engineered fibers are significant: the fibers themselves (unlike wool, for instance) do not absorb moisture (and bacteria) and clog up the space between each other. Therefore, there is more room for air to flow through freely to keep your horse cool and dry.
The AIRPAD is an orthopedic, anti-slip, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, easily washable saddle pad crafted in the USA.
Our unique shimming concept provides a simple way to offer dynamic custom fit. The welcoming “hug” of our saddles’ undersides provides for a physically and mentally un-restricted equine athlete capable of enjoying full physical potential under saddle.
PAD MEASUREMENTS: 23″ // 58 cm along spine
HALFPAD AIR USAGE INSTRUCTIONS:
Use with a decorative saddle blanket underneath
· Open the valves to auto-inflate the air cells
· Place quilted pad on your horse, then Halfpad centered on top
· Place saddle on Halfpad centered front to back
· Pull up on the front strap to position Halfpad sides evenly (nozzles at same level), and make sure to pull up center of quilt into saddle gullet to keep pressure off withers
· Politely tighten cinch a little at a time, alternating sides
· PRIOR to final tightening, close the air valves
· When finished riding, store with valves OPEN
We recommend using VersaFit™ Shims in your pad to create a custom-contoured ideal saddle fit. Even if your current saddle fits well, the addition of our specially shaped shoulder shim behind the furthest backswing point of the scapula will give your horse greater freedom of movement and improve comfort and performance. NOTE– Shims should be installed prior to placing pad on your horse. Click HERE for further information on shimming.
AIRPADs are shipped with air valves CLOSED. On receipt, OPEN both valves and store with them OPEN. They inflate automatically. If necessary, blow in them to accelerate filling.
Before use, make sure both valves are OPEN and the air cells are filled.
CAUTION: Familiarize your horse to the sound of air escaping from the valves so that it is not an unwelcome surprise when saddling or riding.
INSERT appropriate SHIMS (ON TOP OF THE AIRCELLS inside the pad’s chambers) to accommodate your horse’s back shape (Please request your free Saddle Fit Evaluation if help is needed)
Leave the valves open, position pad on horse (be sure the cinch wear strips are on the outside, and that shims are on top of the aircells inside the pad’s chambers).
Place saddle so that it is centered front to back and left to right on top of pad air cell inserts. PULL UP ON THE STRAP so that valves and pad’s “wings” are elevated at the same height with one another up in the gullet area of the saddle fork.
Tighten your cinch in STAGES (NOT TOO TIGHT before walking your horse around a little bit) and feel under front of saddle while horse walks to make certain the horse’s shoulders can move unrestricted by tight pressure. (Reach back under as far as stirrup bar area).
TWIST THE AIR VALVES CLOSED before tightening cinch for the last time and mounting. This should leave just enough air to maintain a lovely customizing, auto-adjusting cushion as your horse travels.
Check your cinch again. These pads do not tend to slip. This gives you the opportunity to give your horse relief from an over-tight cinch.
When mounted, if you feel like you’re riding on too much air (air can be hard, and you can feel underneath the back of your saddle to make sure the pad feels spongy/protective, not hard)…just “fine tune” the cushion by opening both valves SLIGHTLY and releasing some air. We recommend dismounting before making these adjustments if you and/or your horse are not well familiar with this pad. If you notice right/left imbalance, open one valve at a time slightly to release what you need. DON’T LET ALL THE AIR OUT, or the AIRPAD cannot serve your horse well.
AIR PAD WASHING CARE INSTRUCTIONS TO INSURE A LONG LIFE: Remove air cells, then hose clean, drip dry. Use small amount of horse shampoo or baking soda solution if desired. Flush til water runs clear. Excess hair can be easily removed with simple rubber scraper prior to washing. Follow this LINK to access detailed instructions.