Saddle Comfort Goes Tech

For years, saddle pads have all been pretty much the same...add more cushioning in different spots. That's all great and good if the horse stands still, but horses move, their weight fluctuates and they are ridden at different gaits, putting different pressures on their back. The pressure on their back is constantly changing.

Thanks to scientist, industrial designer, and horseman, Alan Brownlie, saddle pad technology has finally come into the modern age.

The Airpad is the only saddle pad design that constantly changes its fit under the saddle tree. Thus giving your horse additional freedom of motion and shock absorption at every gait and with every maneuver. Their fitting capability corrects rafter, rocker and twist, fits variations in the saddle tree, and allows the rider to readily correct for differences in the height and shape of both sides of the horses back as well as variations in the riders physiology.

The base structural material in the Airpad is a special non-absorbing felt that has remarkable strength and crush recovery, excellent breathability and it dries quickly. The base felt is then laminated to a combination of thin Foss felt and ToughTech™ Mesh to create an outer surface with excellent air transfer and anti-slip characteristics.

The “magic” of the Airpad is in its custom designed, self-inflating aircells located in easily accessible pockets on either side of the pad These air cells are located where the saddle tree contacts the horse. Made exclusively by the makers of the famous Thermarest™ products, these aircells inflate automatically when the valves are open and provide an adjustability range from 1/8 to 1-1/4 inches. Once the valves are closed and the saddle is placed and tightened on the horse, a quick release of air from the valves balances high-pressure and low-pressure points, thus providing maximum continuous fit under the saddle tree and even pressure along the horse’s back.

The placement of the aircells and the construction of the pad also eliminate any pad material, or the saddle, from putting pressure on the horse’s spinal ligament. The result is more shock absorption and freedom of movement for your horse.



Compare these images of  saddle pressure with a traditional pad (left) and the Airpad (right), using the same English saddle. High pressure points show in red and vary on either side of the horse. Once the Airpad is used, the high pressure points are eliminated and a more even pressure is applied across the horse's back.

No matter your horses's seasonal weight, age, physiology, or what saddle you are using, the Airpad custom-adjusts every time, to any horse you put it on; even while you are riding.

The NWNHC Store now makes this amazing technology and craftsmanship available to all equestrians who wish to provide more comfort to their horse and closer contact in their riding. The NWNHC Store stocks standard Western and English versions to fit your saddle size and riding discipline. 

Learn more and purchase:

English Saddle Pad

Western Saddle Pad