[Product Review] Premier Equine Anti-Slip Airflow Dressage Square

Buying new white saddle pads for shows can be pretty frustrating: cotton ones tend to change their shape after being washed for the 100th time, even Vanish OxiAction could not help getting rid of these black marks from saddle and boots and having to have at least two pads per weekend because after you simply cannot use them for more than one day. Period. Pilling and broken (and thus, ugly) cords were just on top of that. So, this year I was looking for a plain, long lasting, thick enough but yet breathable saddle pad. No cords, no embroidery… a nice and simple easy to clean pad.

Hafl wearing his new Premier Equine Anti-Slip Airflow Pad

I came across the Premier Equine website when I was googling for breathable saddle pads. And I found these:

A technical & innovative saddle pad combining Anti-Slip Fabric, Shock Proof Protection & Moisture Control!

Highly absorbent pad made from shock proof materials
using high-tech innovative fabrics that allow moisture
and sweat to disperse away from the horse’s skin, keeping
your horse dry, cool & comfortable. Shockproof material
helps to enhance the weight bearing areas which relieves
the pressure on the wither & spine. Anti-Slip fabric stops
the saddle slipping in the most extreme sports & conditions.
From the Premier Equine Website: http://www.premierequine.co.uk/PBSCCatalog.asp?CatID=2218146

Why not giving it a try? So I ordered one pad for our first show end of March. These pads are available in two colours, black and white, and in four different sizes (Dressage, General Purpose, Jumping, Cross Country). Once the parcel arrived, I was already impressed by the packaging. 

Uh look at that fancy packaging!!!
Not only did it come in branded outer plastic but it also came along with his own branded bag! What a good idea for easily keeping it clean on the way and throughout a whole show weekend.

The pad in his bag

The back of the bag

Easy to carry around
The pad is made out of mesh fabric, white outside, black inside. The top is made of some anti-slip material with extra padding in between the layers. It feels pretty thick and comfy and due to the mesh material, sweating should be less of an issue. I cannot yet approve that as it was still too cold in March but this pad will travel along and we will see in summer if that holds.
White outside

Black inside
Non-slip also on the inside along the back

From a fitting perspective: it fitted well underneath my Kentaur dressage saddle (17.5"). Neither the pad nor the saddle slipped a millimeter during our rides. Also the ergonomic back line helps a lot as even for Hafl with almost no withers it happens that pads lie directly on it.

Big enough for even longer dressage saddles

Thick and light at the same time

Higher at the withers

Cleaning: I used the back on two consecutive days and three tests with oiled leather reins and oiled saddle and boots. There were black marks at the withers (also some dust from a not yet bathed horse) and where my legs were. I cautiously washed it in the washing machine at the suggested temperature:

Washing instructions
It worked almost perfect, next time I will give it another try with a slightly longer program in order to get rid of all the black stains. No harm to the anti slip area from the washing, no pilling yet on the mash material. We will see throughout the season how this will work out when washed more often.

The storage bag is a huge benefit. With that, you can easily carry the pad around and put it in your trailer without fearing that it might get dirty. Unfortunately, I already broke the upper left corner of the bag (the plastic somehow broke at the stitching). Anyway, nothing a bit of duct tape cannot fix.

The only disadvantage of this pad is that they do come in two colors only. I would have loved a navy one for example. But Premier Equine has another type of breathable pads that do come in different colors. Maybe Hafl will get one of these as well.

At the next show, I will use it there for three days and I guess, I can even quickly hand wash it in between in Hafl’s water bucket as drying is not an issue with this great fabric. So far, I am really happy with this pad – hopefully, it can survives our busy show schedule and my less than perfect washing skills!

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