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The best saddle pad for horse comfort?

Moderators: crossspur, gotothewhip
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Last activity 2015-02-22 10:59 AM
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Reg. Feb 2015
Posted 2015-02-15 11:09 AM
Subject: The best saddle pad for horse comfort?


Posts: 2
Hello everyone! I'm needing all your expertise on saddle pads these days. I'm in the market for a new pad and considering how pricey they are I want to make sure I'm getting one that'll work. I've heard everyone rant and rave about 5 Stars and tons of fellow riders say Impact Gel is the only way to go.. but considering how many pads there are out there it just gets a little confusing! I'm mostly worried about my horse getting a muscle atrophy just because it seems so common..is this from the pad or the saddle because I have little knowledge of what causes this.. just a restriction of shoulder movement? I recently bought a "new to me" saddle that doesn't seem to fit him the best, it's a little wide in the gullet so its on a bit of a slant and the back pops up just enough to slide my hand under. Should this affect my choice in pads? It seems like there's so much pressure on his shoulders that I am considering getting another saddle but he's only 4 and I'm sure his body will change so rapidly, I guess it's better to be a lil big right? So if any of you have suggestions on the best pads for horse comfort, especially with reducing/evening pressure I'd love to hear your experiences with all different types! :)
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Reg. Dec 2010
Posted 2015-02-22 10:59 AM
Subject: RE: The best saddle pad for horse comfort?

Red Bull Agressive

Posts: 5981
Location: North Dakota
No pad is going to fix a poorly fitting saddle. If your saddle is a hair too wide, a pad may be able to temporarily help, but if the saddle is too narrow or the tree shape is not right for your horse, there's nothing you can do but get a new saddle. Using such a saddle will cause pain and/or muscle atrophy (pads will not cause the atrophy). I do not care for impact gel or memory foam. Both of these products bottom out when pressure is applied, which leaves the horse with no cushion. Just put your hand on a memory foam pillow and press down. It feels really squishy and awesome at first, but if you press down hard for a few seconds, the foam will completely compress under your hand and won't be comfy anymore. Same with gel. I recommend any type of pad that is firmer. It will buffer any jarring/pressure much better and protect your horse's back. 5 Stars are very good pads with many thickness and width options. My saddle fit's my horse very well, so there's not room for a thick pad underneath. A 1/2" pad works perfect for us. The felt thinline pads would be another option. For you, I would highly recommend looking into CSI pads. I had one that unfortunately, was a little too thick for my saddle but NOTHING I've found distributes pressure like those bad boys. I put my hand under the pad and pressed down with a hammer, even hitting my hand, and could hardly feel it at all. Because these pads are on the thicker side (1" give or take a little depending on which liner you use), it would work REALLY well on a saddle that is just a bit too wide. They are expensive but possible to find used. 
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