Friday, May 25, 2012

Toklat Test Drive

The beautiful blue, almost too pretty to use,  Toklat Coolback pad went for it's maiden voyage tonight for a spin around the arena. The weather is rather dreadful here, cloudy, 46 degrees and windy. I got off work a couple hours early for the holiday weekend and teetered with the idea of loading Maggie up and heading out for a fast 5-10 miles but opted against it. I just stayed home and did the arena , neighbors pasture ride.

I put the pad on and at first , the darn thing looked absolutely enormous on her but I threw the Specialized on over the top just to see. I was pleasantly surprised , it fits pretty good. It had some extra pad out the back but I don't think it's going to cause an issue. Then I threw it under the Duett. Even more surprised, it didn't look half bad. In fact, it fit the Duett almost as nice. So, I left it on and decided to just go ahead and get the new off and ride in it.

My first impression under the saddle other than it was quite pretty, was that it was downright slippery. I understand this lessens with some wear on it.. I sure hope so. I thought I had the girth tight enough but as I was riding around, I was feeling somwhat unsecure up there. I checked the girth and it was completely loose.Well no wonder..Once I tightened things up, it felt much more secure. 

Maggie was a little edgy with the wind tonight, so it was hard to tell if her reactiveness to cues tonight was the weather or the feeling of the pad.  I will have to keep an eye on this and see.

I had some problem with keeping the pad forward. It kept sliding back on her. I may have to go check out Karen Chaton's website. I think she had posted about how to modify pads and put a clip in the front of them to hold them in place. Too badToklat just doesn't put billet straps like alot of english pads use. That usually does the trick. 

Over all impressions of the pad :
It appears to be well made  for it's price
Hoping the color won't run or fade , it's pretty brightly colored.
Padding/Protection level- typically with a synthetic material, after some use, the material mats down and does not provide enough protection for the horses. Wool is generally the best choice to keep this from happening  because it retains it's loft. Will see how this pad stands up after a few rides.
More economical in  comparison to alot of other pads I have tried (and often hated) in the past.
Dislike the fact that it's sliding backwards.
Dislike it doesn't have billet straps
Machine Washable- so it says...

Tomorrow, assuming it's not raining too terribly hard, I will take it for a longer ride and see how it feels on the trail.

1 comment:

Funder said...

I've seen some really bright really old Coolbacks for sale at the convention tack swap, so I think they've got colorfastness down. I never could defeat the pad slipping, but you have different types of saddles - good luck!