Sheepskin, again

Tanga
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Sheepskin, again

Postby Tanga » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:27 am

OK, so after 35 years of riding dressage, I finally figured out you're supposed to put the sheepskin straight on the horse's back. Who knew? The Lemke pad seems to really be good for the horses and I've been riding two horses five days a week in it for three weeks.

Sigh. I have been carefully brushing/fluffing it with a shedder comb and drying it in the shade every day. A few days ago I noticed a lot of wool coming out and there's a bald spot. Yesterday we're up to four bald spots and when i looked at one, it looked like I could just keep peeling it all off.

Sigh. What am I doing wrong? Should I not put it against the horse and put a pad under it? Make sure it doesn't get wet? But then it's full of sweat.

I did find a great used tack store today that's been around here for 10 years that I never knew of! I picked up a western sheepskin pad for $30 to use once I figure this out. I also, with all of my new found knowledge of saddle fitting and my handy dandy whither models of both mares that stay in the car, found a great Albion that fit better than any other saddle there (including the super, duper expensive ones) for $350 that I can take on trial for a week. Score!

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StraightForward
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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby StraightForward » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:20 am

I wouldn't use a shedder comb. When I brush mine, I just rough them up a little with a medium bristle brush where sweat is matting them up. Usually though, I just wash every 2-3 rides, and then brush lightly to bring the pile back up after they air dry.

Are the Lemke pads wool attached to a textile, or are they shearling on hide? My LeMieux numnahs are the former and I haven't had any patches of wool come out after using for about a year.
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Tanga
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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby Tanga » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:09 pm

StraightForward wrote:I wouldn't use a shedder comb. When I brush mine, I just rough them up a little with a medium bristle brush where sweat is matting them up. Usually though, I just wash every 2-3 rides, and then brush lightly to bring the pile back up after they air dry.

Are the Lemke pads wool attached to a textile, or are they shearling on hide? My LeMieux numnahs are the former and I haven't had any patches of wool come out after using for about a year.


Sheryl Lemke said she's never seen anyone use a shedder comb, either.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but I'll guess. They are the wool on the leather attached to the actual pad/textile.

I think it might be that they are just getting too wet.

Do you ride with the wool against the horse's back? I never thought of doing that, but it makes sense, but I think it's also making a huge mess of the wool and it will either get very dirty or I'm going to rot it out.

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby silk » Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:33 pm

With my Mattes pads, which I use against the horse's back, I let them air dry after a ride (turn them upside down over a rail). when dry, use either a plastic curry comb or stiff dandy brush to brush off the dried sweat. The aim is not to de-mat the sheepskin, just brush the muck off. It is easy when it is dry.
They are sheepskin: fleece on leather on textile pad. Not woven, felted, or composite.

You may find a felted pad suits you better. The benefits of wool but not quite so delicate. These guys are local to me, so not for you, but are the type of thing I'm thinking about: https://saddleblankets.co.nz/

At a minimum, I would have one pad for each horse. Depending on how sweaty your horses get, the pad may not be drying out between rides, which will make it hard to look after.

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby heddylamar » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:05 pm

I air dry my sheepskin saddle pads, then, if they get matted or really hairy, beat them against the rubber walls of the horse trailer. That seems to knock the fibers loose, and hasn't damaged them.

One of the 2 pads is 16 years old, and I just purchased a replacement because the fabric of the pad (not the sheepskin) is falling apart. It's gone from faded, to sort of unravelling, to really unravelling in the last 4-5 years. The sheepskin is in perfect condition.

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby Tanga » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:10 pm

silk wrote:With my Mattes pads, which I use against the horse's back, I let them air dry after a ride (turn them upside down over a rail). when dry, use either a plastic curry comb or stiff dandy brush to brush off the dried sweat. The aim is not to de-mat the sheepskin, just brush the muck off. It is easy when it is dry.
They are sheepskin: fleece on leather on textile pad. Not woven, felted, or composite.

You may find a felted pad suits you better. The benefits of wool but not quite so delicate. These guys are local to me, so not for you, but are the type of thing I'm thinking about: https://saddleblankets.co.nz/

At a minimum, I would have one pad for each horse. Depending on how sweaty your horses get, the pad may not be drying out between rides, which will make it hard to look after.


Thank you. This is useful. I was hosing down the sweat off of the sheepskin, which is probably a bad idea. And my bad about trying to de-mat it. These are fleece on leather on textile pad.

The felt pads are like the western pads we have here. I can pick those up easily. I just think they might be too thick. I thought the idea of the sheepskin was it really allows the saddle to sit where it needs to.
Last edited by Tanga on Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby Tanga » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:12 pm

heddylamar wrote:I air dry my sheepskin saddle pads, then, if they get matted or really hairy, beat them against the rubber walls of the horse trailer. That seems to knock the fibers loose, and hasn't damaged them.

One of the 2 pads is 16 years old, and I just purchased a replacement because the fabric of the pad (not the sheepskin) is falling apart. It's gone from faded, to sort of unravelling, to really unravelling in the last 4-5 years. The sheepskin is in perfect condition.


OK. I think the hosing off the pad is my problem. It just seems they would get too sweaty otherwise. I assume you were putting the wool on the horse's back?

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby Chisamba » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:08 pm

If you have real sheepskin you can wash them just do not tumble dryer, the sheepskin they use for bedsores are laundered in the washing machine and they use the spin to get rid of the excess water

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby heddylamar » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:04 am

Tanga wrote:OK. I think the hosing off the pad is my problem. It just seems they would get too sweaty otherwise. I assume you were putting the wool on the horse's back?


Sheepskin against horse (it's attached to the underside of a saddle pad), and, no, I don't hose it off between rides. I ride every day, and it wouldn't dry in time for the next day.

It gets washed 1x/week. Cold water wash, heavy duty cycle, hang to dry.

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby Hayburner » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:44 pm

Sounds like the leather backing to the wool is drying out.

What type of laundry detergent are you using? I swear by the Leather Therapy Wash and also their rinse for all my leather washables. The Leather Therapy Rinse is great at keeping leather soft and pliable, which would be good for the skin part of your sheepskin pad.

To me once a week is a lot of washing in a machine. Can you now and then just soak and hand wash, only spin in the machine.

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby Tanga » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:39 pm

Thanks, Hayburner. I think the issue is the leather backing is getting too wet. I've not washed it in a washing machine yet, just hosed it off. I think I need to either make sure I do not hose it off or put another pad underneath it.

Even though it is still warm here and it is drying every day, I think it was too much for it. Apparently no one does this!

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby silk » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:20 pm

I think hosing it was too much. Leather doesn't like getting wet without being conditioned after (just like your bridle or saddle, except in a pad, you can't get to the leather!). If you hose it, the leather will get saturated. Then the fleece will be susceptible to falling out.

I too wash my fleece pads in the machine. Gentle/wool cycle, with a generous splosh of olive oil added to the rinse water, spin then air dry gently. Never any issues.

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Re: Sheepskin, again

Postby Tanga » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:55 am

Thanks everyone. I think we've figured out my mistake. And I learned a lot about washing fleece pads the right way!


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