Wat kind of half pads do you suggest? What do you think about bevel?
What are you trying to accomplish with it? I have a young TB who is still filling out so I wanted to keep pressure off his spine so I went with Mattes as it let me control where and how much the pad lifted the saddle. Very impressed.
This really depends on saddle fit. If you have room, ogilvy is great, mattes is awesome if you want sheepskin, if you're tight on space, thinline is your best bet. Mattes and ogilvy can also be used to correct balance. Generally this is about personal preference and there will be lots of opinions on whats "best".
I absolutely love my Ogilvy but it fits very well with my saddle and my horse appreciates it for sure.
It definitely depends on personal preference and the shape of your horse's back v. your saddle's tree. I use Mattes, Fleeceworks, and Beval all regularly. Beval is great if you need to make a medium/wide tree fit a narrow-backed horse - but that's the only time I find it appropriate because it is so thick. Fleeceworks is my go-to for most of the horses I ride simply because I have a CWD "pro tree" so my saddle generally fits without any correcting - I just like to add a little extra cushion since I jump pretty big, and Fleeceworks is great for that without affecting anything else. When I do need a little correction though, I go to my Mattes pad because it has more structure than the Fleeceworks, but without the bulk of the Beval. Mattes is especially great if you're worried about pressure on the spine. Fleeceworks came out with a new technology - FXK - that they claim addresses spine pressure, but I just don't trust it because even the FXK doesn't have the same structured shape that the Mattes pads have. I've never used Thinline, but I hear it's great if your saddle isn't balanced correctly but the tree fits otherwise (i.e., you don't have much room to work with).
My recommendation would be to borrow different half pads from friends/ fellow boarders and see which one fits your horse best with your saddle (keeping in mind that almost all but the Beval can come with removable inserts if you need to do any "tweaking"). Good luck!
Not to hijack your post, OP... But does anyone have recommendations for ones that are made a little longer? The one I primarily use now (and I couldn't even tell you what brand it is, it's pretty old) barely fits under my saddle, which is a 17.5 I need one that's a bit longer!
Also what is everyone's obsession with ThinLines? I've never used one and feel like I'm missing out on something here!
But does anyone have recommendations for ones that are made a little longer? The one I primarily use now (and I couldn't even tell you what brand it is, it's pretty old) barely fits under my saddle, which is a 17.5 I need one that's a bit longer!
To answer your question about length:
I have used the Diamond Wool wither relief pad with great success on an older TB to allow wither space as well as a wide-shouldered warmblood.
It helped with the fit of my medium/wide tree saddle. I really like the resiliency of the wool; it provides better cushion and holds up much longer than synthetic fleece. These pads are available online (do a Bizrate or Amazon search)in several fleece-trimmed versions, and are plenty long enough for my 17.5 inch saddle.
Also what is everyone's obsession with ThinLines? I've never used one and feel like I'm missing out on something here![/QUOTE]
I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to accomplish with the half pad (improve saddle fit, provide extra comfort, reduce concussion, etc), but I adore my Thinline and Ecogold half pads. The Thinline is great for shock absorption without adding any (or very minimal) bulk. The Ecogold is a memory foam half pad that does take up some room under the saddle, but compresses enough to fit the shape of your horse's back and the saddle itself. I have not used an Ogilvy but have heard wonderful things about them as well. I was deciding between that and an Ecogold.. ultimately decided on the Ecogold as I read it wasn't as thick as the Ogilvy (I was worried about altering my saddle fit too much). My young OTTB was experiencing some back soreness as he built up some muscle-- the Ecogold diminished it almost immediately.