Sportsfreund and Melasól have designed their first Saddle Pads collection together. Wool meets leather. Two natural materials combine to create an exquisite product. Glamorous Icelandic fish leather adorns the saddlecloth made from Bavarian Wool.
Incidentally, the noble piece is sewn in the Vogtland by an extremely experienced car upholstery shop that knows how to safely incorporate such a valuable material into textiles. As usual, loden fabric and wool padding come from traditional family businesses in Bavaria.
With this admittedly extravagant collection, we are also doing ourselves a favour. It's just incredibly fun to design such pieces of "jewelry". Design is a need for us like eating and drinking. And when the interaction of the best ingredients results in a thoroughly reasonable product, we are very satisfied. And let no one say that looking beautiful isn't sensible!
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Katharina is a trained saddler with creative ideas and professional competence. ”Every horse is unique - and that's why I think every horse deserves unique equipment. And not cheap or in poor quality, but a handmade one-off a kind. And that is exactly what Melasól stands for! Quality and exclusivity come first - because your horse only deserves the best! " As a trained saddler, she combines specialist knowledge with her creativity and designs unique and custom-fit bridles and halters.
Melasól is particularly well-known for the use of Icelandic fish leather, which is now also used for the piping of our saddlecloths.
As a saddler, Katharina knows best what belongs on a horse's back
For me as a saddler, one thing applies first of all: the saddlecloth is - as the name suggests - primarily for the saddle. To protect the saddle from sweat and dirt. Theoretically, you can also ride without any padding, but then you have to look after your saddle very well. Which unfortunately very few do.
That's why it should be as thin as possible. The prerequisite is always that the saddle fits. It must have a certain stand, hold its shape, not form folds under the saddle, not slip, be made of good material, and carry sweat to the outside.
I am very critical of the “I only use one pad” that is widespread in the Icelandic horse area. Have people ever put the rubber pad on their bare skin or their heads? I find that so gross and uncomfortable. I shudder in all directions when I see the pad being placed directly on the skin. It tugs and hurts! It is said that the saddle no longer slips. If the saddle slips, then the saddle doesn't fit. Then have the saddle adjusted. More about the right saddle pad here.
The saddle panels are responsible for the padding
The construction is like this: The saddle panel distributes the rider's weight and transfers it to the saddle pads. When properly adjusted, they distribute pressure evenly throughout the length and width of the pillow. Then there is no more pressure in front or behind, nor is there a bridge.
Of course there are horses for which it is very difficult to adjust the saddle due to slouching, etc. Leveling pads also serve a very specific purpose here, but in general plugging 5 cm of padding under the saddle does nothing, it only makes it worse. Because you are farther away from the horse, you have fewer opportunities to fine-tune the seat, because there is so much spongy material wobbling under you. Your aids arrive unclear or even somewhere else than they should, with the result that your horse does not understand you. The saddle panel is botched in the clean work. The whole interview with Katharina can be found here: Why do I actually use a saddle cloth?
Wool can simply absorb an incredible amount of sweat - up to 30% of its own weight - and thus ensures a dry saddle area, which in turn cannot cool down. On the other hand, it never feels cold and moist, you can put it on the horse when it is wet. If it doesn't dry properly in winter or you get caught in the rain, that's no problem at all.
In summer, wool also protects against overheating under the saddle because it always remains at a neutral temperature. Even if it would be too warm for us in summer with an Icelandic jumper, that doesn't apply to the horse because it doesn't wear the wool on its bare skin. You shouldn't let yourself be deceived. Cotton saddle pads always have a polyester filling that is neither absorbent nor temperature-regulating.
Both the Virgin Wool Loden, the wool padding and the fish leather are natural materials that can be composted. Which of course won't happen, because our saddlecloths are a purchase for life. More about sustainability here and in our podcast episode with Takt und Verstand. (German)
Why fish leather?
Why am I allowed to afford something luxurious for my horse? Horses are our hobby, it should be fun. It is often overshadowed by fear and illness, horses die, are injured, are put to sleep, someone has a riding accident.
That's why I think that you should make the hobby as nice as you can. It makes a difference if I hit the pony with some kind of saddlecloth and cheap bridle and say, that's fine, it serves its purpose. That does so much to me, which is also transferred to the horse, because I'm proud, because it looks great, because I feel comfortable with it. This is an important aspect beyond practicality. I also dress up when I go to a wedding and don't show up in a shower hairstyle and sweatpants. I'm happy that I look good and I radiate it. You can do that with horses too.
DARK RAINBOW – Sold Out
Dark Rainbow is the begining. The usual good Saddle Pads made of 100% new wool were sewn from deep black loden cloth, quilted in rainbow yarn and decorated with a circumferential piping made from genuine Icelandic fish leather that shimmers in all colors of the spectrum. This is where pure function and dreamlike appearance come together. Exclusive and limited with a fine embroidered logo. Because the rainbow is the motiv of longing with a claim to eternity, it was the color design of choice and now shines softly over the black saddlecloth.
MERMAID – Sold Out
If mermaids rode horses, they would grab this saddle pad. Original Icelandic fish leather in a silvery natural shade accentuates the deep petroleum of the healthy feel-good fabric.
PRALINÉ – Sold Out
Original Icelandic fish leather in warm old gold accentuates the deep dark brown of the healthy feel-good fabric. The combination reminds us of certain hazelnut and chocolate balls in their typically crumpled gold foil wrapper. Hence the name PRALINÉ.
… faint was the air with the odorous breath of magnolia blossoms. Honestly, with the MAGNOLIA we feel quite poetic. She is even more beautiful in person than in the already beautiful photo. How the burgundy red of the loden and the salmon-gold-rosé of the fine fish leather come together is simply poetry.
HIGHLAND – Sold out
Saddle cloth HIGHLAND made from the finest Bavarian wool with Icelandic fish leather decoration. This is international understanding in the service of good taste. The coloring makes us dream of the Scottish Highlands. In the olive-green background we see mosses, ferns and herbs, the wine-red band is the image of the blooming heather and the cranberries hidden within.
We are very pleased that our collaboration with Marleen Stühler is entering its third round! For us she is a best sports friend who shows spectacular rides at tournaments and works lovingly and carefully with her horses at home!
Marleen Stühler and Sportsfreund Studios – the continuation of a creative partnership.
The now third blanket represents Muninn vom Lindichwald. The jet-black son of Odinn vom Habichtswald entered Marleen's life quite unplanned and smuggled himself into her heart with gentleman vibes and movementa that are as irresistible as they are full of promise. The collection includes a Rain Rug, Sportsfreund x Melasól Saddle Pad and a Sporty!
Mehr coming soonFor updates follow our Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter. And if you have any questions about the availability of the blankets, please contact us.
Does The Sportsfreund Saddle Pad Fit Under My Saddle?
We often receive inquiries as to whether our Saddle Pad also fits under saddle xy. Basically, I can answer this question with yes, as long as it is the shape of a modern dressage saddle. Whether the panels are wider or narrower, the saddle flap short or long, pre-cut or straight, it doesn't matter. There is enough space for that.
Baroque, western, vaquero, distance etc need a different form. We will soon be presenting a saddle pad for these models. On the sketch above you can read the dimensions and compare them with your saddle. Overall, we have measured the shape rather generously, so that the saddlecloth cannot be too small. And so that you can see something of the beautiful material. It wasn't the goal to let the blanket “disappear” discreetly under the saddle. If that's important for the look, you'd rather take that, depending on the saddle color schwarze oder braune Pad aus Wolle.