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The VIP Equestrian pad is a proprietary viscoelastic polymer (not gel), that molds to the horse’s back to eliminate pressure on the spine. This equestrian pad is soft, flexible and seamless with no pressure causing trims.
The Very Important Pad (VIP) is a saddle pad made with a proprietary viscoelastic polymer. This material has been used for over 50 years in human medical settings in the prevention and treatment of pressure sores and ulcers in human patients. The impact protection of this proprietary polymer behaves like fat and skin and doesn’t leak or bottom out under pressure, providing better cushioning to the horse’s back while dispersing heat to regulate temperature.
The VIP Equestrian pad fits English saddles and is available in Original (fits saddles with seat sizes 17 – 18.5 inches.
- Superior textured structure gives high tensile strength, the key to maintaining shape under extreme and prolonged compression
- Soft, flexible and seamless with no pressure. Molds to your horses back like a low profile second skin
- A thin film gullet eliminates pressure on the horse's spine
- Only 8mm thick so does not alter your saddle fit
- Bobbles increase surface area, alleviating pressure points and evenly distributing weight
- Doesn’t stick, cause friction or pluck hair when removed.
* Actual color may vary - Although we have tried our best to make these images true to color, color display may vary between devices.
The VIP is made with a unique, viscoelastic polymer
including the military, in gun recoil pads, in spaceship harnesses, by
stunt actors, in football helmets, motorcycle seats, and several other
HOW DO I CLEAN THE VIP?
Easy, just run it under the tap. As it is not sticky you wont need to do this very often as nothing sticks to it. It is not porous and doesn’t absorb water. Don’t use anything abrasive or any kind of chemical soap on the pad. Just hang it over a smooth railing or saddle rack to dry or wipe the water off with a cloth
HOW DO I STORE THE VIP?
Store the VIP away from direct sunlight and heat sources such as radiators, and preferably flat, folded length-ways in half, or draped over your saddle. Keep away from sharp objects.
WHY DON’T YOU PUT A FUR TRIM ON THE VIP?
Fur trims may look pretty but serve no function. Furthermore, the panels of a saddle never fully sit within the edges of the trim, the outer edge of the saddle panels usually sit partially on the fur. This causes an unnecessary pressure point.
WILL THE VIP MAKE MY HORSE SWEATY?
The VIP will not make your horse any sweatier under the saddle than he is from the work he is doing. If he is sweaty on his neck, between his back legs, behind his ears, around his girth etc., he will be equally sweaty under his saddle with or without the VIP.
The VIP also draws the heat away from the horses back into the polymer.
IS THE VIP STICKY, WHY DOESN’T IT HAVE AIR HOLES?
No! We hate sticky pads. They cause so many problems. They cause friction, they stick to the horse and pluck hair when removed. The horse moves in a dynamic way and a saddle needs to move a bit with the horse. The muscles need to ‘roll’ under the panels.
‘Air holes’ fill with hair and sweat also adding to this plucking effect. Also, claims manufacturers make that the air holes allow the horses backs to breath don’t make sense. How can a back breathe when you have a gel, a saddle cloth, a saddle and a rider on top?
DO YOU OFFER TRIAL PADS?
No we don’t but we do offer a 14 day money back guarantee.
CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT PERCENTAGE THE VIP REDUCES IMPACT BY?
Currently we can’t quantify this for you. We have only been trading since the beginning of April 2018 and decent research is very very expensive. We have just started to invest in equine research and this will take a while before we have results. We have had amazing feedback, and combined with the 40 years of published human research and the numerous studies that have been done in multiple other sporting applications, we are very confident (and excited!) to get these results
WHAT SIZE SADDLE WILL IT FIT?
The VIP perfectly fits dressage, jumping, event, side saddle and polo saddles with a multitude of panel shapes and sizes, and seat sizes 17 - 18.5 inch. On any saddle smaller than 17 inches the pad will be large and have a bit of overhang but this won’t affect the way it works. If you are wanting a pad for a western saddle, for vaulting we can get you one of these too, but there will be a delay as these are special order.
WHICH WAY IS UP AND WHERE DO I PUT THE VIP ON MY HORSE?
Use the VIP always bobble side to the horse, so bobble side down against horse’s back/saddle cloth and smooth side against saddle panels. It is totally hypoallergenic and bacteriostatic so you can either use it directly on your horses back or between the saddle cloth and saddle. Horses have preferences so try both ways to find out what is best for your horse.
WILL THE VIP STOP MY SADDLE SLIPPING?
Rider feedback frequently says that The VIP stops their saddle moving, but we don’t make this claim as the pad was not designed for this purpose.
MY SADDLE FITS, MY SADDLER TOLD ME NOT TO USE ANY PADS
At only 8mm thick, The VIP will not alter saddle fit. The age old analogy says if my shoes fit then why would I make them tight by adding a thick pair of socks. What about if you have amazing fitting shoes and you add a very thin insole that makes them oh so comfortable? This is what the VIP does, it adds a superior lay of cushioning that will give you and your horse the extra edge performance wise. In medical settings the pad is used as a skin/fat substitute in radiotherapy to protect the patient’s skin. Our uniquely sourced polymer behaves just like fat and skin, so in effect what you are doing is adding a thin layer of fat to your horse’s back to offer better cushioning.
Many of our stockists are saddlers and physios. When we started the business we had thought we would be selling to tack shops and direct to the customer, but we were being repeatedly approached by professionals, and this is how we have grown organically.
We have encountered saddlers who have said they don’t like VIP, many of who haven’t seen it! Saddlers love convention and often new things are met with suspicion, especially when new to the market and which haven’t yet been tested on horses. We also have riders who use the pad against their saddlers wishes because they have seen such a remarkable difference is their horses comfort, way of going and willingness.
The horse doesn’t lie! We have also heard from physios who have been to treat a horse who has been really sore in the past and they have gone back and the horse is massively improved. The riders have then mentioned the VIP and the physios have then approached us to be stockists . This happens a lot!
WHY DOES THE VIP HAVE BOBBLES?
We originally got the idea from bubble wrap but fast realized it enabled us to use the maximum amount of raw material without making The VIP bulky and heavy. The bobbles have a small amount of movement, which allows the muscles and fascia to move under the pad. The flat side goes against your panel for maximum contact.
So effectively the top and bottom move separately. This also helps stabilize the saddle. Many riders have reported this has helped their own backs.