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View Full Version : Saddle pads compromising saddle fit....Help a converting hunter princess ;)



JustABay
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:22 PM
So in all honesty, I am still one foot firmly in the trends and habits of hunterland. This would be just fine if this was months ago before I knew anything of saddle fitting or hill work, and before my TB tanked out with muscles.

Now that he's (successfully!) making the career change, and my saddle has been *properly* fitted to him, I can't use a lot of my old saddle pads as they alter the saddle fit way too much.

I used to love to use a super thick quilted pad, plus my Mattes half pad (also super thick) and his sheepskin girth (he gets wicked bad girth sores in summer if I'm not careful!) Needless to say if I put on all that gear now the saddle fit is seriously off. I am having a hard time letting go of my "hunterisms" and really hate riding with just a baby pad under my saddle - I also realize this sounds absolutely retarded and whiny :(

I'm looking for some good thinner pads to use, and I am pretty minimalist - no crazy colors or patterns! I prefer solid color with trim and I always cut off the velcro strap at the top (drives me nuts!) Also are there any thin half pads out there that won't totally kill my saddle fit? I know I'm obsessing about the damn half pad, but after riding in one for the last 5+ years, I feel like something's missing every time I tack up :( I find the thin baby pads soak through with sweat way too easily and are sweat marking the hell out of my saddle panels. Suggestions?

Dramapony_misty
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:07 PM
I haven't used them personally, but I saw one of these in the tack store the other day:
http://gifthorsesaddlery.com/products.php/HPFHalfPadwithFrontandRearRollsSoftSystem/manufacturers,16#!prettyPhoto[gallery1]/0/

It's called an HPF pad. Sort of gives you that plush sheepskin half pad look without altering your saddle fit like the normal ones do.

JWB
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:49 AM
I'm going through the same thing right now.... Just ditched the saddle that was two years older than the horse for a custom fitted Albion. The first thing the saddle fitter told me was to just ride in it with a single pad underneath.

Here's the thing.... I've ALWAYS used a gel pad or a Fleeceworks pad. My horse has also always had some degree of back tenderness - nothing major but noticeable enough that we were toying with injecting. I've had the saddle for two weeks and did a few rides at home without the extra pads but Sunday I went out XC schooling and I packed my gel pads out of habit. In the end, I sucked it up and didn't use them. It just about KILLED me and I was second guessing it all the way out. (Am I going to hit her back and make her buck? Will she be too sore to move nicely for dressage lesson on Tuesday?)

I left her alone on Monday but when I went to ride on Tuesday, her back was perfect. She hasn't had a day of back trouble since I ditched the old saddle! My old saddle was obviously a really bad fit for her (it was very heavy and way too long) but I just can't believe how much better she's going in a saddle that actually fits right.

In this case, less is more.

BTW - my standard "every day" saddle pad is the SmartPak diamond weave pad. They come in dressage and AP style, and you can get any color you want as long as it's black or white (or navy for the AP). They're $20, they fit great, breathe well, and hold up. I also cut the straps off.
http://www.smartpakequine.com/smartpak-medium-diamond-ap-saddle-pad-9496p.aspx?cm_vc=Search

Livie
Aug. 3, 2011, 12:53 PM
Try an ultra thinline. they're thin enough to not interfere with saddle fit, they reduce concussion plus they should protect your saddle panels.

scubed
Aug. 3, 2011, 12:53 PM
You can get the Mattes pads in Quilt only. They are very well made and come in lots of colors and sizes. If you want something that won't change fit as much, but a little more "cushion" you could try a Thinline http://thinlineglobal.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=103 or you could go with EcoGold https://www.ecogold.ca/product_info.php?products_id=81&osCsid=7gccc8h7epnascvfjjdjvbbgv7

huntergoneeventing
Aug. 3, 2011, 01:04 PM
Try an ultra thinline. they're thin enough to not interfere with saddle fit, they reduce concussion plus they should protect your saddle panels.

I have one of these and it doesn't alter my saddle fit at all. I debated for a long time about the sheepskin halfpad or this one, but in the end I decided that saddle fit was more important to me than what was pleasing to the eye. I am like you in that I was originally a hunter girl and am trying to make the switch to eventing. I still find myself falling into the hunterisms but I have found that my boy is way happier when I for function over looks.... the hunter world does try to make you into a princess. I know I thought I was until I tried out the eventing world that is :lol:

JustABay
Aug. 3, 2011, 01:40 PM
Thanks for all the input guys:) All the "real" eventers at my barn laugh at me for being so obsessed with my half pad and missing it so much. I know saddle fit is way more important than looking pretty, but damn, it just makes everything look complete...:lol:

I have the regular ThinLine pad, but it is a bit thicker than I'd like, and Princess Pony has decided that since I now pay attention to things like saddle fit, he WILL protest LOUDLY anything that he deems "unfit" to work in. Which has been most of my saddle pads, the old ThinLine, my old bit, and the fleecy girth. Sigh. I liked it better before he was a diva lol.

I am intrigued by the Mattes quilt only pad - I dearly miss my old Mattes pad that is still in my locker in the hopes that it will be invited to the party one of these days. I'll have to poke around and see if I can find one at a tack shop that I can physically see.

Thanks again for not ridiculing me and my half pad lol... it's funny how attached to trends we can get! :eek:

GingerJumper
Aug. 3, 2011, 03:34 PM
Hmm... Have you tried Dover's line of schooling pads? They've got several varieties, the jumper schooling pads and the plain colored (no piping or contrast trim) are pretty thin, and not very pricey either.

Zephyr
Aug. 3, 2011, 04:27 PM
I third the vote for Ultra ThinLine. I have one plus a regular (old) ThinLine, and it's about 1/3 the thickness of the original... maybe less. It's practically nothing more than a sheet of paper, but it does disperse shock -- and I'm the exact same as you, even though I've never been a HP -- if I can't have my fleece half pad, I still need SOMETHING!

osgoka01
Aug. 3, 2011, 04:36 PM
UltraThinLine all the way. These are wonderful, light weight, easy to clean and offer incredible shock absorbtion.

AND you can get a "demo quality" for $45 off ebay (they are generally 90+) I just bought another and they let me request color and type. How cool is that?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Demo-quality-Ultra-ThinLine-half-pads-/140586942407?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20bba27fc7

JustABay
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:15 PM
OK so the Ultra ThinLine looks pretty good....And it comes with SHEEPSKIN!!!!!! :winkgrin::lol::yes: Thanks for the links I had no idea you could get them so cheaply! Now to convince my bank account it needs to hell out another $150 for ANOTHER saddle pad :D

jen-s
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:53 PM
I have an ultra ThinLine and an Ecogold half pad. I feel like the EG does more as an anti-concussive, BUT it does alter fit a bit. The TL doesn't alter fit, but I need the contoured line of the EG. Total tradeoff.

If you just have to have the anti-concussive-ness of something, I wouldn't recommend just a quilted Mattes pad. TL makes a pad that is quilted just like the plain Mattes, but has TL down the sides, so you don't have fit impact, but you get the anti-concussive-ness.

asterix
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:59 PM
One of my ponies needed a "thin" pad according to saddle fit (and chiro)...but I am a sheepskin ho...

I bought him an ultrathinline/back on track combo for showing -- he seems to like it -- and a "thin" sheepskin pad from Griffin NuuMed (in the UK), used along with an ultrathinline, for every day.

Chiro says his back is in great shape now. The thin pad I got from nuumed is really thin, but plush sheepskin. I love it!

KateKat
Aug. 4, 2011, 12:23 AM
I just got the sheepskin combo pad with the Thinline Ultra and I don't feel like its overly thick. I would say it actually feels thinner than the Fleeceworks pad I have now. I haven't used it on the pony yet, but I can't wait to. I also use sheepskin directly against my horse's back, and don't feel like its too much "stuff". So definitely check it out, it might help ease your Hunter pangs ;)

JWB
Aug. 4, 2011, 09:04 AM
UltraThinLine all the way. These are wonderful, light weight, easy to clean and offer incredible shock absorbtion.

AND you can get a "demo quality" for $45 off ebay (they are generally 90+) I just bought another and they let me request color and type. How cool is that?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Demo-quality-Ultra-ThinLine-half-pads-/140586942407?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20bba27fc7

Wow! Wish I'd known about this before I shelled out $88 for one!

ivy62
Aug. 4, 2011, 09:28 AM
Think of the old fox hunting pictures..no saddle pads. If your saddle fits right just get something paper thin just to help keep your saddle a little cleaner. I got some beautiful saddle pads from Equine Textiles and they are great. I just throw them in the washer and then let them dry and they look great and wear well...Sometimes less is more...

Larbear
Aug. 4, 2011, 10:51 AM
I looked at the thinline sheepskin combo pads but I didn't like that the spine area had the fleece there unlike the Mattes pads.

runnyjump
Aug. 4, 2011, 11:41 PM
Try an ultra thinline. they're thin enough to not interfere with saddle fit, they reduce concussion plus they should protect your saddle panels.

My thoughts exactly. And if your saddle is truly fitted to your horse, you don't need all those pads to make adjustments for lack of proper fit.

Repeat to yourself: let go of the dark side, let go of the dark side! ;)

It gets easier!

SaddleUp158
Aug. 5, 2011, 11:18 AM
Try an ultra thinline. they're thin enough to not interfere with saddle fit, they reduce concussion plus they should protect your saddle panels.

Yep these are awesome! I have two right now, a black one and a white one. I would be willing to sell the white one if you are interested. It has only been used one time.

JustABay
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:57 PM
SaddleUp158 - can you PM me with details and pics please? Thanks! :D

runnyjump....."I will let go of the dark side, I will let go....I will....I....need my half pad back :(" I'll get there! :lol:

clivers
Aug. 6, 2011, 08:55 AM
I really like the Ecogold pads and don't miss my half pad when I use these. They are, IMO, the perfect compromise between preserving saddle fit while providing enough padding/protection (as well as no slip grip, breatheability etc.) http://www.ecogold.ca/

atheventer85
Aug. 6, 2011, 05:30 PM
I've got a few Mattes and Fleeceworks. I like them both, but the Mattes that you can put the shims in is the best. Both companies also make actual full sized pads.

asterix
Aug. 6, 2011, 09:29 PM
Repeat to yourself: let go of the dark side, let go of the dark side! ;)


No, no, no....it's

"The dark side is good...I am seduced by the dark side...they have more fun...they get dirty...they drink beer...the dark side is good..."

:D

runnyjump
Aug. 6, 2011, 09:54 PM
No, no, no....it's

"The dark side is good...I am seduced by the dark side...they have more fun...they get dirty...they drink beer...the dark side is good..."

:D

Here may be where you misunderstand.... I don't consider eventing the dark side! It is where you get enlightened! Trying to get her to "see the light!" :lol:

JustABay
Aug. 7, 2011, 10:18 AM
I have to say, the event crowd certainly does love to drink beer...and they share it!! :lol: No hand goes drinkless, which is my idea of HEAVEN :lol: :winkgrin:

Maybe the "dark side" isn't so bad after all ;):winkgrin: