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Helpful Tips
 Red Star

Helpful Tips

5 Star pads offer the best protection for your horse’s back. Proper maintenance will keep your pad performing year after year!

When to Wash your 5 Star pad: There are several factors that will affect how long you can ride a 5 Star 100% Wool Pad before you should wash the pad.

  1. Time of year – Hot, Cold, Shedding of hair, etc.
  2. How long you ride each time saddled
  3. How often you brush out hair and dirt from your pad
  4. The condition you keep your horse’s hair coat (how well they are groomed)
  5. If your horse is stalled or runs out side
  6. How often your horse is washed in order to keep dirt from its back

These factors will determine when the wool fibers in a 5 Star Pad will begin to get hard in the following pressure points – wither/shoulder areas, cinch area, loin area, and along the bottom edges of the pad where the sweat and dirt flows down.

The best rule of thumb is to wash your pad when these areas begin to get hard and crusted over. When brushing will not bring surface to a soft flexible condition, it’s time to wash your pad.  It doesn’t matter if you have ridden it 50 hours or 150 hours; if the pad gets hard to the touch, wash your pad.

Water: Use Luke warm water 30°C / 86° F

Do not use water hotter than this because it will damage the wool’s natural elasticity.

Soap: Only use soap like Woolite™ that is PH7 – neutral or an alkaline based shampoo. Do not use soap that is acidic based, because it will damage the wool’s natural elasticity.

Procedure: Wash from the center of your 5 Star pad to the edges.  Wash your pad at an angle. Never spray directly into the pad body. Soak with warm (86° F) water up to the salt line then apply Woolite™ Soap. Let your pad soak 15-20 minutes then rinse the soap out of your pad. Make sure that you rinse the soap completely out of your 5 Star Pad, because leaving any soap residue could irritate your horse’s skin. Always rotate the pad during rinsing to ensure dirty, soapy water flows outward to the edges of the pad rather than soaking into it.

Another option to protect the bottom of your 5 Star Pad is to use a 5 Star Pad Liner underneath your pad. 5 Star Liner Pads dry much faster, however the same washing technique is required and recommended. The liner is very good at keeping horse hair and dirt from embedding into your 5 Star Pad. Sweat will still be absorbed through the liner into your 5 Star pad, however a 5 Star Liner Pad will extend the number of hours that you can ride before your pad will need to be washed. 5 Star Liner Pads are available in 30” x 30” or 32” x 32”.

Recommended care for 5 Star 100% pure wool saddle pads:

  1. Brush out hair and dirt from your 5 Star Pad weekly using a 5 Star Dry Cleaning Sponge or rubber curry comb. In the springtime (during shedding) brush your pad after every ride.
  2. Air dry your 100% Pure Virgin Wool Pad after every ride. Hang your pad in the correct position to dry and store – never lay a 5 Star pad on its back.
  3. Never store a 5 Star with a saddle or other pad on top of it. Wool pads need air to dry and breathe.
  4. Store your 5 Star Pad on a rail or hang it by the gullet hole in a dry, well ventilated area, so your pad will be able to air dry completely.
  5. When the pressure point areas – wither/shoulder area, loin area, and the bottom edge of the pad begin to get hard – it is time to wash out the salt and dirt from your pad.
  6. Use a 5 Star sponge or rubber curry comb to brush out hair and dirt from your pad. Follow up with a vacuum to remove excess grime and loose material. A brush or a swift slap with your hand can also be used to sweep away dirt and hair.

Never lay your 5 Star pad on its back to wash, dry, or store as the special hand lacing that is used to create the true French curve contour can come undone.

These 5 Star recommendations on cleaning, care and washing instructions are aimed at educating our customers on how to care for 5 Star Pads so that the pad can perform at its optimal condition to wick sweat, remain flexible and comfortable, absorb pressure, and obtain 2,000+ hours of riding with the BEST PROTECTION available on the market.

It is very important to follow 5 Star Equine and our felt manufacturer’s recommendations in order to bring back to life the 100% Pure Virgin Wool fibers after they have become full of sweat, salt, dirt and hair. By following the cleaning and washing instructions you can bring the fibers back to their original elasticity, so that your 5 Star Pad can wick sweat, absorb pressure, and remove heat like it did when it was brand new, because it will be able to breathe again.

If you follow these simple maintenance procedures on a 5 Star 100% Virgin Wool Saddle pad you will get the performance from this material that you need to keep your horses back comfortable, protected and cooled with the best material available on the market. If your horses back doesn’t hurt, he will perform better and will be much happier when you saddle him up.


We guarantee and stand behind all of 5 Star’s workmanship. We also stand behind the 100% Virgin Wool felt. We will replace unsatisfactory workmanship or defects in felt due to the manufacturing process or the assembly of the 5 Star pads. We will not stand behind the felt or workmanship if it has not been cleaned or cared for as we have recommended. 

Warmer weather is right around the corner, and with warmer weather comes shedding season.  Get your tack ready for spring trail rides, horse shows, play days and more before you need to use it.

Not only will you need to get your tack ready, but you may need to groom your horse as well.  This will aid in keeping your 100% pure wool saddle pad free of excess hair from shedding.  There are numerous tools that can be utilized to help get your horse ready from curry combs to shedding blades.  Some helpful tips in shedding your horse might include taking off any winter blankets or sheets, turning your horse out to aid with natural shedding, using your shedding blade or tool to remove as much winter hair as possible, and bathing your horse to remove any excess hair and to help your horse shed out.  Some horse owners may choose to use a vacuum or clip their horse as well.

The all-natural 100% pure wool fibers allow a 5 Star Pad to offer the best protection for your horse by wicking sweat and removing heat.  Springtime shedding can contribute to your 5 Star Pad’s build up of hair, sweat and dirt over time.  It is imperative to remove as much hair as you can after each ride (or at least every few rides) with the included 5 Star Dry Cleaning Sponge.  This sponge is intended to be used dry, rubbing in a circular motion on your 5 Star Pad to remove any excess hair.  Helpful Tip: The 5 Star dry cleaning sponge is also great at taking care of those wool cowboy hats!

If you haven’t taken the time to brush your pad after riding and have acquired an excess amount of hair, you may need to use a rubber curry comb in conjunction with a shop vacuum to thoroughly remove the build up of hair and debris from your pad.  This may take a little time and effort on your part (and a little elbow grease), but it will allow the exnatural wool fibers the freedom to breathe and do their job.  Your horse’s comfort and protection is the ultimate goal.

Your 5 Star Pad should be washed after every 40-50 hours of riding time – more often in hotter climates.  All of the sweat and dirt that is absorbed into your wool pad can cause the pad to become hard over time.  If the edges of your pad become hard and abrasive, it is overdue for a wash.  5 Star spent years developing a 5 Star Saddle Pad Cleaner & Soak that is PH Neutral, anti-microbial, and penetrates deeper into the natural wool fibers of your pad.  This cleaner is safe for you and your horse and works great to wash those winter blankets before storing during the summer months.  It also works great as a soak for our 100% all-natural mohair cinches and breast collars as well as our 100% neoprene sport boots!

To wash your 5 Star Pad begin my removing excess hair with a 5 star sponge. Thoroughly wet your 5 Star Pad with warm water if available (never hot). Spray cleaner directly on underside of saddle pad until completely wet. Allow to set up to 30 minutes then brush crust & hair away before rinsing well with a water hose using gentle water pressure (do not use pressure washer).

Continue to rinse from the middle toward the outside edges until water runs clear. Repeat as needed. For deep cleaning, mix 6-8 oz. of concentrate per one gallon of warm water. Completely submerge the saddle pad in a large tub and allow it to soak overnight (8-10 hours). Agitate periodically to work solution into pad fibers. Rinse under gentle water pressure. Allow to air dry. Always spot test first on a small, inconspicuous area if being used on a sensitive fabric or surface. Hang your pad by the gullet hole or clamps if you have a flex fit pad to dry.  You can also let it air dry over a fence.  Never lay your pad on it’s back or store it underneath other pads or saddles.

To prevent some of the maintenance involved in the removal of hair from shedding from your 5 Star 100% pure wool saddle pad, you can use a 5 Star Wool Liner.  The liners offer an easily washable and replaceable layer between your horse and your pad.  The liners will grip to the wool fibers of your saddle pad to prevent slipping.  They are ¼” thick and can be washed as well.  The use of a liner can help elongate the life of your pad.

With proper care, your pad will last many years.  We have proud 5 Star Pad owners that ride in the same pad that they purchased 10-15 years ago!


Watch this short video to learn about this 5 Star Pad that has about 10,000 miles on it!

It is important to keep your saddle pad clean through shedding season.

Your pad can build up an excess amount of dirt and hair during the spring shedding season. To protect your investment, use a saddle pad liner as the “dirt catcher.” The liner keeps your pad clean through daily use and extends the life of your pad.

Daily maintenance with 5 Star’s Sponge helps minimize the buildup of hair and dirt. Keeping your pad free of daily buildup ensures that it stays soft and comfortable for your horse’s back.

Watch the video tip from owner, Terry Moore: “When does my saddle pad need to be washed?” to learn when it is time to wash your 5 Star saddle pad.

Have you washed your 5 Star Saddle Pad? Watch this video for a demonstration on how to properly wash your pad. 5 Star offers a safe, PH balanced Cleaner and Soak to clean, freshen, preserve, and soften your pad without damaging the wool fibers.


We guarantee and stand behind all of 5 Star’s workmanship. We also stand behind the 100% Pure Wool felt. We will replace unsatisfactory workmanship or defects in felt due to the manufacturing process or the assembly of the 5 Star pads. We will not stand behind the felt or workmanship if it has not been cleaned or cared for as we have recommended.