Why is there a price difference between "Natural" items and the other colours? Natural felt and cord has been processed much less than dyed ones. Therefore, when you purchase a dyed product, you are paying for the materials and labour that went into creating it.
Will you take custom orders? YES! While my listings already allow for a great deal of personalization, I can't think of everything. Please contact me and I will be happy to work with you and 5 Star to turn your vision into a reality.
How long will it take my item to get here? Please see the "Shipping and Delivery" section on my Policies
What is different about the mule contour? The mule contour uses a gentler curve along the spine, and has a wider profile over the shoulders to allow for the mule's unique wither and body shape.
Mule Contour, Regular Skirt
Would a mule contour be better for my mutton-withered horse? "Mutton withers" is the term used to describe a horse that has a flatter curvature to their back, or lower withers. The answer to this question is "Yes." Many of my customers have found that the mule contour is exactly what their mutton-withered horse needs, and that the horse contour had too much curve for them (see image).
However, please be sure that you truly do have a "mutton-withered" horse, or you may be frustrated with your pad not conforming well into the dip of your horse's back. If you are not certain, email me a photo of your horse's top line and I will assist you in making the decision. Thanks.
Horse Contour on Mutton Withers
What about Self-Contouring pads? You can get an open spine on any pad 5 Star makes. The idea is that the spine is self-contouring, as the pad will conform precisely to the shape of your horse's back. Currently, 5 Star only recommends this in three cases:
For their 1/2" Self-Contouring English
For Treeless saddle pads, which they will only sell in 7/8" and 1" thicknesses. In this case, the self-contouring spine keeps pressure off the spine of the horse from the rider's weight, as there is no tree in the saddle to do so.
For extremely low-withered animals. In this case, thicknesses of 3/4" or less work best. My personal preference is to try the mule contour first, as this has had better results in the past, and does not count as a "customization" in case it needs to be returned. Most owners who think their animals have flat withers are still better off with the horse contour. If you are not sure, please email me a photo of your horse's top line and we will decide what is best before ordering.
Self-Contouring Open Spine
My horse has prominent withers. Will 5 Star's Horse Contour work? Most of the time, the normal horse contour will work, even for horses with fairly high withers. However, for animals that really do need extra clearance, I recommend the no-gullet option, as this allows for higher clearance over the withers. Please email me a photo of your horse's top line if you think that this might be the best option for you.
My horse has prominent withers and shoulder dips. In this case, you want to get the thickest pad you can in your desired colour (at least 1 inch thick), and you may choose to get the Comfort Fit, which means that the gullet is cut out in front. This will allow the pad to sit down beside the withers in contact with your horse, and be flexible enough to be used if your horse's shoulder muscles develop.
You need to make sure that your saddle's cantle will have enough clearance over the wither when it is resting on the pad.