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Half Pad feedback before I buy

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    Half Pad feedback before I buy

    A friend recently picked up a Fleeceworks Perfect Balanace Quilted Halfpad and I like it when I looked at it. When I asked my trainer her opinion if this would be useful for my horse she said it would be worth trying but also suggested that I consider the Olgive Dressage Half Pad.

    Does anyone have any experience/feedback on either of these products? Less expensive is always happier than more expensive if they are fairly equivalent but if one has better reviews than the other, the cost is secondary. It's more what might be the best fit for my guy. He's a 15.1 30 yr QH gelding who is still going strong in moderate work. Saddle still fits although he has dropped his back some, consistent with his age. Just trying to make him as comfy as possible. Thanks!
    Old age is no place for sissies.
    Bette Davis

    The fleece on the Fleeceworks is nice but imho the shims are too big and fluffy. They're memory foam and I think they take up too much room to make subtle changes in saddle fit. Ogilvies tend to be too fat also.

    I know saddle fitters and my vet (a lameness expert) prefer a Mattes because of the 4" channel for their spines as well as the thin shims that you can stack so you can fill up as much or as little space under the saddle as you want. They are pricey but last a long time and are very versatile.


      I've never been a fan of fleeceworks. They don't seem to hold up very well long turn and my trainer had one that just wouldn't fit any saddle. If you want to go with that style I would chose Mattes. Also I once got a Roma one, not the really cheap on that comes in colors. It was about $100 at the time and very nice for that price.
      However my horse likes the oglivy better. She never had any saddle issues, but she was much happier with it over the sheepskin. I also got a knock off one when I was in Canada visiting family for half the price and it worked well. I currently ride in the eco gold and it seems her favorite.
      If possible I would try out both options. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow from my friends and trainer until we found one miss princess liked. In turn when my friend was looking at the oglivy I let her borrow mine.


        I would have someone assess the saddle fit before buying anything as it could very well started bridging.

        I have quite a collection of half pads. Ogilvy, Mattes, Fleeceworks, Devoucoux's leather/felt and numerous others.

        I used Ogilvy's and the like with my older jumping saddle. It was fitted to be used with such pads.

        I now use a thinner felt/leather and a sheepskin half pad for better. Thin line would work great as well.
        I feel the weigth distribution is improved.

        With my dressage saddle, I usually use my Mattes half pads (other brands when it's laundry time) as I like the channel, it's more dense and my mare loves direct contact with the sheepskin. I put a thin baby saddle pad on top.

        My dressage saddle was also fitted with the thicker half pad.

        Because you don't want to put a half pad and change your saddle fit.

        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

        Originally posted by LauraKY
        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.


          Original Poster

          Thanks for the responses. I have a Mattes and find the sheepskin a little too thick under my saddle. I hadn't realized up until now that they also make a quilted half pad. Looking at the Olgive I was worried it might also be too bulky although the memory foam should contour somewhat. I'll have my trainer take a look at the Mattes quilted and see what the saddle fitter recommends. A new saddle isn't in my budget right now, especially since he's going well with it. I know how happy my feet are in super comfy shoes as opposed to simply comfy ones and want the same for him. : )
          Old age is no place for sissies.
          Bette Davis


            If you are mainly looking to keep your horse comfortable, why not a thinline pad?

            i have just a thinline pad that I can use with all my saddle pads and I also have the back on track with thinline pad.

            while I loved my Ogilvy pad, once I started using the thinline products I felt I was protecting my horses back a lot more.


              I like my Ogilvy and it seems to work well for my horse and saddle. I like the low maintenance: the cover washes easily in the washing machine and drys quickly, and the memory foam inserts have held up really well over the past 7 years that I have used it - in fact, they are like new. I have the original half-pad, which is a bit thick. I believe they make a thinner version (the gummy), if that is a concern.
              I also have a Fleeceworks sheepskin halfpad, but it is trickier to keep clean, so I don't use it often. It also doesn't quite stay put as well as the Ogilvy. I find the quality of the Fleeceworks to be decent though.


                If you want sheepskin, do NOT get ThinLine. I have one, and the first time I washed it (followed all directions, i own other sheepskin stuff), half the fleece fell out. Seriously, it started falling apart. Have since talked to several people who have had the same experience with ThinLine.

                Mattes makes the best sheepskin products, hands down. If you don't get sheepskin, there are a lot more options. And you can cut your own thinner shims if necessary.


                  Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                  If you want sheepskin, do NOT get ThinLine. I have one, and the first time I washed it (followed all directions, i own other sheepskin stuff), half the fleece fell out. Seriously, it started falling apart. Have since talked to several people who have had the same experience with ThinLine.

                  Mattes makes the best sheepskin products, hands down. If you don't get sheepskin, there are a lot more options. And you can cut your own thinner shims if necessary.
                  Yes, this happened with a Sheepskin ThinLine pad that I had years ago. I agree that Mattes quality is top notch, but I also like LeMieux and own quite a bit of their products. They also offer pads with shims of varying thickness. So I'd consider one of those two if I were in the market for a sheepskin style half pad.

                  I currently use a thin prolite pad over a think square pad as I don't want to alter fit too much, and like a closer feel to the horse. He probably doesn't need the prolite or any half pad as he has a healthy topline, but it doesn't do any harm at this point either.

                  I did use an Ogilvy style half pad (same concept, different brand) on a senior horse that had some deficits in his topline mostly due to age, and I liked that half pad on him. It was a bit thick for my taste, but I think it worked for him. I don't think I'd use it on my more rotund healthy younger guy.

                  Whatever half pad that you end up with, just make sure the saddle still fits well.


                    Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post

                    I currently use a thin prolite pad over a think square pad as I don't want to alter fit too much, and like a closer feel
                    I use a Pro-lite too! My horses seem to like it too!


                      Third vote for a Prolite. Love mine. I don't have any problems with slippage on either one of my horses and you can't beat the price for the quality compared to other shock absorbing pads..


                        My saddle fitter actually suggests Christ (Horsedream) pads over Mattes. The fleece is lovely and thick for sure. Personally, I like the natural sheepskin color.

                        If you end up with a sheepskin pad, consider getting one without the roll at the back. Depending on how it matches up to your saddle, it may end up causing irritation.


                          I have a Fleeceworks square pad that has the pockets for shims. It's not the sheepskin, just woolback. My complaint is the velcro on the spine is not holding up well at all. Not sure if that's the case for the half pads, but I can't imagine it's a lot different.


                            I have a fleece works half pad and I love it! It cleans up nicely and doesn't get dirty easily
                            Equestrian Insight


                              Equine Comfort Products makes a quilted half pad that is the same shape as the Mattes pad. It comes with foam shims, but the Mattes shims fit the ECP half pad.

                              Another 1/2 pad option that takes shims and has a spine, is the Prolite pad that has 6 pockets. The pad comes with thin shims and thick shims. The inner pad and the shims are made of a closed cell foam similar to Thinline.

                              I have the more expensive Roma fleece half pad. It has a nice density to the fleece.


                                If you can borrow one to try it before buying it, you should. Used various sheepskin pads for years, including Mattes and Fleeceworks, and they feel very different on different horses. Current horse doesn't like them, so goes in a Thinline without sheepskin.