Using a five star pad, and happy. Going to look at the csi pads at equifest next month. Really liked the saddle rite pad a lot. They sell a liner with it that keeps the pad looking brand new. There are a lot of very good pads on the market. You just have to find the one that works best for your horse and you. Spend the money and get a GOOD pad. Better to buy a good pad once, than two or three cheap ones.
Classic Equine Sensorflex! The fleece bottom provides grip but doesn't overheat a horse, and has great cushion. They confirm to a horses back much better than the ESPs. They also last longer than the diamond wool or esp pads, and we were using them on 10 or so horses per day.
No offense, but the western thinline pads are not good. If you're looking for a thin pad to use under a show blanket, you're much better off with a Leson Security Blanket. If you're just trying to add more padding under your western saddle, you're better off buying a thicker pad to begin with, like the Sensorflex 1" felt top, or a Todd Slone, than messing with multiple pads. Every time I've seen a horse with a thinline western pad, they've developed major back soreness while using the thinline pad.
They're okay. If you're not doing very long/hard training rides, they're a fine pad (although not good enough to be worth the money, IMO), but they can overheat/blister a horse pretty quickly where the gel bladders sit. They did come out with a vented model that I really like the look of and solves the breathability issue, but again, is more expensive then I can justify without enough extra benefit from the pad.
Does anyone use the Impact Gel pads and how do you feel about them? I love my PC, but was thinking of getting a 1/2 or 3/4" Impact Gel as my next pad.
After having one for only a year, I am not that impressed. It has gotten soft and spongy, pilling pretty bad. I really like my Diamond wool 3/4 inch pad. It seems thinner than that, stays firm under the saddle and not slippery.
I also like a Cashel wool felt pad liner with a Mayatex blanket.
I really think too thick of pads make the saddle roll. Unless you are filling in space on a too wide saddle, thinner the pad the better if your saddle already fits well.
Another vote for 5 Star pads here. Love them. Especially love the liners they sell for about 35 bucks, use those and it really prolongs the life of your pad plus drastically reduces the number of times you'll have to wash it. I've got a 5 Star that is going on 10 years old, looks and feels practically brand new and it's seen a LOT of use.
Does anybody know anything about the classic equine ESP pads?
I have one for my horse, with the wool top. Have had it for almost 5 years now and it still looks great. I like the fact that it is memory foam, and it has the felt bottom and doesn't let my horse's back get too hot. I also have the classic equine contourpedic pad, it's foam with a felt top and a cutout for the withers. I like the ESP pad better, but the contoupedic is really easy to care for- just hose it off!