El Companero
Bareback Rider (English Toast)
Western Miscellaneous



Manufacturer: El Companero
Model: Bareback Rider (English Toast)
Category: Western Miscellaneous

Purchase: I bought my el companero bareback rider on ebay for $150. New they cost roughly $320. The one I got was used, and had shrunk slightly; apparently the last owner washed it in warm water instead of cold.

Likes: This is the MOST SECURE bareback pad I have EVER used. I prefer it to my saddle. The suede is very very grippy and I have sat through spooks in it so successfully that now I worry more about riding in my saddle and having my horse spook. The foam inserts into a nice velcro 'envelope' on the back of the pad and is relatively easy to remove or put back in (its much easier on a pad that hasn't shrunk like mine). The foam provides adequate cushioning but I have a nice cushiony HAF pad for my treeless saddle and use it under my el companero too. WONDERFUL combination...I ride in my el companero more than in my saddle now. Additionally the bigger size of this pad allows me to ride in whatever I am wearing and stay clean enough to go to the grocery store afterwards. The western cinch is well-designed and sturdy. The leather handle sewn on the front is durable as well. I love it that these pads are washable! I have a friend that does endurance rides (usually 30 miles) using her el companero. Trying hers is what convinced me to buy one! And once my riding instructor saw mine she ordered 3 for her stable and now has her students ride in them. She feels that they really allow you to have a long relaxed position on the horse while also being secure in your position, and safe out riding the trails.

Dislikes: The holes on the cinch strap have frayed and are a bit difficult to use now. I don't know if they are holes added by the previous owner that were not burned, and so they frayed or what. But the holes have all sorts of threads running through them now so I always struggle a little bit with doing up the cinch. I removed the very long saddle strings because they bothered my horse. If you use this pad without anything else underneath it the suede 'envelope' that holds the foam will dig lines into your horse's back, so its important to use a saddle pad underneath. There's a loop that you can use for mounting from the ground - the 'getup' strap. I don't think they're safe and that loop is never used on mine. Also, their website suggests using stirrups as a possibility, but as with any other bareback pad, stirrups would be really dangerous because of how they would apply pressure across your horse's back. As with any other bareback pad, I can't get on from the ground.

Quality: EXCELLENT construction! Each el companero is signed by the artist and has a hand-drawn feather on it. The durability and quality of it is to last a lifetime, and its the most beautiful bareback pad I've ever seen as well.

Summary: This is my favorite piece of horsey equipment period. I feel more secure riding in my el companero than I do riding in most saddles. I love how grippy the suede is, how well-designed it is, and the fact that its hand washable. Overall a must have for anyone that trail rides, finds saddles uncomfortable for their hips, knees, ankles or back, or anyone that likes hopping on bareback for a quick ride and wants the extra grip. I LOVE THIS PAD!!

Rating: 5

Author: Curly Pony Girl

Date: 0000-00-00

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