I need to replace most of my saddle pads, but I am hard on my tack and I don't want to spend a lot of $$$ on pads that I'm just going to beat up. At the same time, though, I don't want to go so cheap that the pads are going to fall apart after a few washes.
At $9.99, they're a great price even with Dover's high shipping charges. But if they're really cheap quality, I won't bother.
I find them to shrink and fade a lot. As in, they shrunk a good two inches all around. They're thin, too. That's my experience when I bought them a few (as in two) years ago. Maybe the quality's changed.
I bought a couple. They're a great cheap pad for schooling, but won't hold up as long as Toklats. I prefer them to baby pads because they have a little more substance and shape and cost the same. They will fade (unless you get white!) but for the price, even with the shipping (which adds about $2-$3/pad), they're a pretty darn good deal. They might shrink if you wash them in hot water (haven't washed mine yet). I suppose you could save them for the show ring, in which case they would last longer.
They will shrink, and if you have a larger saddle (I ride in an 18") they get a smidge too small. I do wash in hot water, and dry in the dryer, so if I didn't they may not have shrunk.
That said, the ones I've had have held up well other than the shrinkage. I haven't had problems with fading, but have lighter colors. I also haven't noticed them being thin compared to my others (Roma, Pessoa). We're getting the white with hunter trim for our barn to use at shows. For the price, they're a good buy I'd say.
I have a ton of them in assorted colors. I didn't find them thin at all. They're not the same as a $40 pad, but they're a great value for the price.
I don't put them in the dryer so I don't know about the shrinkage.
"You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.
I have 3 that are about 7 years old (so not sure if they've changed manufacturers since then), but they are decent. They are thin, and do fade and shrink, but the stitching and everything has held up nicely. I abuse mine, wash them on hot and dry them in the dryer. They haven't shredded, and all the billet straps are still in place.
IMO, the thin cardboard-like ones are the even cheaper pads (I think they come in a 3-pack or something). I have several of the 9.99 pads and I really like them - in fact they are the ones I use most often under my jump saddle. As others have said, they will shrink, but mine haven't faded very much.
Another pad that I really like, although they're a little more expensive, are the PRI pads. They come in lots of yummy colors, and hold up very well. I know VTO carries them.
Those are pretty much the only pads I use for schooling, and they last pretty well. In regular use - 4-5 days a week, a couple of hours a day - they last a year or two for me. I think they are well worth the price!
The regular pads, not the baby pads? They have never shrunk on me, nor are they thin. They're nice quilted pads; I get the white and have them monogrammed. I think I have 4 or 5 and they have held up beautifully. I'll eventually replace all my Beval pads because the Dovers have girth loops, wither clearance, and are big enough to cover my whole saddle.
"These are my principles. If you do not like them, I have others." --Groucho Marx
I buy a bunch of black ones at the beginning of the season. I use black for the jumpers and XC, and at that price I always have a nice clean crisp one and I don't have to do the panic horse laundry the night before a show....!They hold up pretty well, and when they start to fray a little by the girth loop, they become schooling pads...
There a decent pad -- My only complaint is that they are smaller than most, and my saddle flaps come right to the edge making it tricky to get the girth through the girth loop -- The length is similar to most of the baby pads I own -- I like that they're shaped well over the withers unlike other bargain pads I've seen --
"I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM
If you're talking about the baby pads, they're pretty much my favorites!
I love that they are thin and a bit smaller than 'full sized' pads (especially these days - 100 degrees heat index). I haven't had any problems with shrinking or fading, I wash the heck out of 'em, and I don't think they feel like cardboard. I REALLY like that, unlike most other baby pads, they are shaped at the withers. My girls and I each have several - most are monogrammed
The 9.99 Rider's International pads that come in plain colors I never found to shrink--just to run small. Most of the time it's fine, but if you use, say, a Dover wool half-pad with a wither cut out, the pad will be too long for the saddle.
The ones with colored trim seem to be larger.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
We probably have 60 or more of these in the barn at the current time. Most get used about 5 days a week. They are used as the bottom pad under a wither back or gel pad, and hold up well considering the use they get. We wash them about every 2nd or 3rd use (every use in the summer) and they hold up for about 2 years on average.
Well worth the price - actually thanks for pointing out they are on sale. Might be time to load up again.