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Sheepskin Half Pads

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  • Sheepskin Half Pads

    Does anyone use a sheepskin half pad?

    What configuration do you use it? For example, horse, half pad, saddle... or horse, half pad, baby pad, saddle... or horse, baby pad, half pad, saddle?

    Bottom line- when I had my saddles fit my fitter recommended using a sheepskin half pad and nothing else when riding. She thought the moisture wicking and cooling would be appreciated by my mare.

    I've ridden just horse, sheepskin half pad, and saddle. My horse and I both do wonderful with it but I have received negative comments from other people.

    Just wondering how everyone else uses them...

  • #2
    I generally use mine- Pad, Thinline, Thinline Sheepskin, saddle. Yes, he has two thinlines... he's a spoiled brat and very very opnionated I think that whatever works for your horse and yourself should be what you do. I know some people are very confused about not using a saddle pad, but if your saddle fits, you should be good to go.


    • #3
      You are actually using it as the manufacture originally intended. Who cares if others think its wrong; it's working.
      chaque pas est fait ensemble


      • #4
        I use mine ontop of my normal saddle pad, as do all my other friends that use them. I love mine! It makes the seat so much more compy! I hope this helps


        • #5
          Why would you get negative comments? My friend has about 10 of the saddle pads with what was essentially a half pad built in. She rode with the sheepskin directly on the horse. Of course, she has an extremely wealthy husband and can afford to buy anything and everything she wants. The horses seemed perfectly happy with the sheepskin pad arrangement.

          My horse likes my sheepskin half pad with my jumping saddle, but not with my dressage saddle. I'm not entirely sure why, they *appear* (to me and others who know about these things) to fit the same tree wise on his back, but obviously my position is different and something just makes him go better with the half pad. I use a baby pad under it because I can only afford the one and it needs to last. I wash it only a couple times a year because it really never gets dirty.

          I use one of those little Thinline pads under my dressage saddle. I also sometimes put it under the half pad with the jumping saddle.


          • #6
            I use mine directly on the horse's back, beneath the saddle pad. If you use it over the saddle pad, it acts as a bump pad and you loose the natural heat/moisture management and the lanolin oils. Friends use them between the saddle pad and saddle and adore them just the same.

            I buy the cheaper Roma half pads from Dover. Love them!

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            • #7
              You would use a sheepskin FULL pad directly on the horse, right? Then why wouldn't you use the half pad directly on the horse... yes they get dirty and sweaty, but you can clean them with wool shampoos, air dry them, and they are usually back to new-like condition. Real sheep wool on the horse is SO comfortable for them, too. I was able to get "weird" color sheepskin half pads for $39 at EquusNow ( blue, pink) and that helps with the feeling that you are ruining an expensive pad...!
              Last edited by smay; Dec. 28, 2011, 12:17 PM. Reason: bad spelling


              • #8
                I ride with a Roma merino sheepskin half pad directly on his back an a thinline untrimmed half pad on top of that. I'm actually trying to sell them both, but it's a configuration I'd be happy with if Fen didn't have such a distinctive back shape. He does better in wool felt pads, I've learned.
                My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

                Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives


                • #9
                  I come from hunterland, where everyone must school in a half pad or you are considered to be abusing your horse

                  Just kidding, kind of. We all use sheepskin half pads (or at least fleece half pads).

                  When I switched and started eventing simultaneously, I was flabbergasted that people would wear just a a/p pad under a saddle. Turns out you all get your saddles adjusted to the horse and we do not...usually. I have had 4 CC saddles and have never had one adjusted or fitted. Of course my dressage saddle had to be but it turned out it fit him perfectly.

                  Anyways, I have never had a mattes but people at my eventing barn love them and I have only heard good things about them.

                  I have 2 fleeceworks wither relief half pads that I love dearly. My older one wears like iron, but the newer one not so much. I would try to find an older one if you want to go the fleeceworks route. The new ones are super nice, just don't last as many years as the older ones.

                  I also have a thinline sheepskin comfort pad with shims. Very nice, but too big for all of my saddles . They retail for a lot, but you can find them used for decent prices. They apparently don't wash great, but I haven't had to wash mine yet and it is still beautiful. It is shimmable too.


                  • #10
                    oh! as far as a placing goes:

                    nunn finer no slip pad on back (cut in half)
                    baby pad, a/p pad, dressage pad etc on top
                    then half pad on very top.

                    that is how i have always used them and seen them.


                    • #11
                      here is a picture of my hunter doing the jumpers in a baby pad and fleeceworks sheepskin.



                      • #12
                        We use a no slip, a baby pad, then usually a Mattes or Fleeceworks half pad to school in, be it jumping, dressage, or fitness work. I am a firm believer in a half pad, and I use them at all times unless I'm using a Poly Pad (an obsession of mine).


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                          You are actually using it as the manufacture originally intended. Who cares if others think its wrong; it's working.
                          this! my trainer was telling me a few weeks ago about how saddle pads are a *relatively* new thing in the larger picture of riding, and aren't totally necessary. I noticed a lot of the GP jumpers this summer using only a half pad, which makes a lot of sense to me (less possibility for saddle movement, less between you and the horse).


                          • #14
                            I ride in non-slip pad, baby pad (or sometimes a/p), Fleeceworks or shimmed Thinline, then the saddle. I don't have a problem using only the half pad and the saddle, but mine need to last forever so they get a pad underneath!
                            "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
                            ~George Morris


                            • #15
                              I believe originally, pads were not used at all. As wool flocking would do essentially the same thing. With the advent of foam, and having saddles reflocked becoming so $, pads came into use. So yes, sheepskin half pads are intended to be used directly on the back. Most people use them over a baby pad, as I do, to keep them clean. But that does detract from the intended purpose. I only need it to take up a bit of space, and prefer that to synthetic, so I'm not terribly concerned. But you'll find some people on here have horses who are allergic to everything and use the sheepskin straight on their back.


                              • #16
                                I agree 100% with your fitter. All of the theraputic benefits of sheepskin are derived by having it placed DIRECTLY ON THE HORSE.

                                I have 4 Engel Sheepskin numnahs and I use them DIRECLTY on the horse. They are numnahs because it is like a half pad of sheepskin, but then there is like a "baby pad" of cotton/quilt that is SHAPED for the flaps.

                                It is perfect. So it really has the best of both worlds. My horses all go in these and love them (as do I)

                                Here is what the pads look like. Notice the ventilated/spine-free top - love that!

                                Here a close up with my saddle (and I stuck a ThinLine pad on top)

                                Another picture of one, in use:


                                Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                                **Morgans Do It All**


                                • #17
                                  I have a basic Mattes 1/2 back sheepskin pad and I use it directly against the horse, since it is what they are made for.

                                  So, horse, sheepskin, jumping saddle.

                                  Or, horse, sheepskin, foam riser pad, bareback pad (my Ottb has shark fin withers)

                                  I don't wash it that much, either. I brush it when it's dry to get the dirt off. I wash it with Woolite on gentle cycle in my washer. I've had it for years.

                                  I also have a regular pad with sheepskin built in, I forget which brand (griffin Nuumed maybe?), but the sheepskin part isn't nearly as thick as in the Mattes.
                                  Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!


                                  • #18
                                    I wonder what negative comments people could be saying to you? LOL.

                                    I also use my sheepskin half pad directly on my horse's back (I am from Hunterland too, GASP!). I have the Thinline Ultra Sheepskin Comfort pad (has the Thinline sewn directly onto the cotton portion of the pad, and is shimmable) and I LOVE it. I don't like using a saddle pad under because they tend to slip back on my horse and press down on her enormous wither (even the contoured ones). Plus, I like to believe in all the benefits of sheepskin directly against their backs, and I don't mind washing a little more frequently because of it.

                                    For this specific pad, there have been some reviews about the pad falling apart in the wash but I have not experienced any issues so far (3 washings in the machine, 2 by hand). I bought a special sheepskin wash, do it with cold water on the gentlest cycle, then pop in the dryer on the air dry setting to get most of the water out, then dry flat on a rack with a fan under it. In between rides I just brush it out with a little wire brush, and also got the black color to hide a lot of the dirt


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                                      You are actually using it as the manufacture originally intended. Who cares if others think its wrong; it's working.
                                      Exactly my thoughts. Sheepskin pads are designed to be placed directly on the horses' back - NOT on top of another pad. It totally defeats the purpose of using a sheepskin pad! That is the correct way to use them and who cares what others think - I sure as hell don't.

                                      "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


                                      • #20
                                        Baby Pad

                                        Please, WHAT is a baby pad?? Thanks!