Numnahs, like saddle pads, provide a buffer between the saddle and the horse's back. This protects the saddle from dirt and sweat. Apart from that, the numnah is also intended to make wearing the saddle as comfortable as possible for the horse. It cushions light impacts and comfortably compensates for minor imperfections.
As with saddle pads, there are also different variations of numnahs. For example, some have a sheepskin lining at the withers to make the horse even more comfortable. Since the cut of the numnah matches the saddle exactly, there is little room for design and ornamentation. However, numnahs are in no way inferior to saddle pad in important functions such as breathability, ventilation and moisture wicking.
After training or a long ride, you should hang your numnah up to dry - preferably with the underside facing up. This stops sweat stains from forming and allows the numnah to air out well. When dry, horse hair on the underside can also be brushed off easily. This is the best way to preserve the numnah's colour and shape.
Always follow the washing instructions on the label if washing the numnah in the washing machine.
Before you wash your numnah in the washing machine, always check the care label for washing instructions. As a rule, numnahs should be washed at 30 degrees Celsius, preferably on a gentle cycle, although there are also manufacturers who specify higher temperatures.
You should not use fabric softener, as your horse may be allergic to the residues or find the smell unpleasant. A mild detergent or, in the case of white numnah, a special detergent for white laundry, is the best choice.
In a gentle wash cycle, the spin cycle is already reduced, otherwise a spin programme with low revolutions is recommended. You should also let your numnah air dry.
A numnah should basically be as big as your saddle.
Numnahs that are too short do not protect the entire area of the horse's back that's in contact with the saddle. A numnah that is too large can cause friction or even form folds that can impair fit.
In order to determine the correct size of your numnah, it makes sense to measure your saddle before buying and to choose the size based on the measurement from the rear end of the saddle along the spinal canal to the front end. Simply add at least 5 cm to your measurement and you will have the minimum length that your numnah should have.