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What's between your horse and your saddle?

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  • What's between your horse and your saddle?

    Hi all. I have a saddle that fits my horse well so I just use a baby pad and a normal cotton square pad. When I show, I use a Toklat shaped fuzzy pad (wool on one side). Assuming a saddle fits correctly, why would a half pad be used?

    I'd be interested in what you use between your horse and the saddle and why. Thanks!!!

  • #2
    I've found that a lot of H/J people use a half pad for the sake of using one, under the premise that it gives more protection to the horse's back. I know I've done it.

    But... recently, I've awoken to the magic that is ThinLine. I saw an immediate, noticeable different in how my horse went so now I just use the thinnest possible baby pad and my ThinLine Ultra (not even the fancy model, just the super thin "deli meat" style one).

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    • #3
      I also have a saddle that fits perfectly and have struggled with what to use underneath. I use a baby pad and a thinline. At shows we have the thinest Wilkers fleece pad available.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
        I've found that a lot of H/J people use a half pad for the sake of using one, under the premise that it gives more protection to the horse's back. I know I've done it.

        But... recently, I've awoken to the magic that is ThinLine. I saw an immediate, noticeable different in how my horse went so now I just use the thinnest possible baby pad and my ThinLine Ultra (not even the fancy model, just the super thin "deli meat" style one).
        This is how I feel about my Ogilvy half pad. My saddle doesn't fit perfectly, and the Ogilvy gives me everything I need. Plus, it's chic. I used to not use anything between my baby pad and my saddle, but then I tried an Ogilvy half pad... and fell in love. You can wash the shells, which is AWESOME.

        Depending on what show pad I'm using, I'll either my Ogilvy pad under the fitted pad (although the half pad is very discreet), or a pretty thick Wilker's or Tolkat. I have yet to buy the shaped pad from Ogilvy with the half pad in it, but I'll get around to it soon enough.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lrp1106 View Post
          This is how I feel about my Ogilvy half pad. My saddle doesn't fit perfectly, and the Ogilvy gives me everything I need. Plus, it's chic. I used to not use anything between my baby pad and my saddle, but then I tried an Ogilvy half pad... and fell in love. You can wash the shells, which is AWESOME.
          I think the Ogilvys are gorgeous. If I did need a little bit of correction, I would definitely get one. (Perhaps I will get one for other horses I ride... Then I can justify it. )

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          • #6
            Thinline is definitely the way to go!

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            • #7
              I ride in either a mattes over a baby pad, a thinline over a normal pad or an ogilvy over a baby pad. Then at shows I have a few Wilkers, one Fleeceworks fitted and one mattes fitted for classics.
              Mendokuse

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              • #8
                Depends on the horse. I use a sheepskin half pad on the one that likes a little cushion and a has a sensitive back.

                I use a regular fitted pad with an ultra thin line on the other one.

                When I hunt I always add an ultra thin line pad to the mix as I think it's kinder to the back and doesn't change saddle fit.
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                • #9
                  Can someone explain what a "baby pad" is?

                  My daughter had been using a quilted square pad plus a fleece pad on her teen-age mare, under the impression that the more padding, the better for Horsie's back. Recently her instructor said that it's better to have LESS between saddle and horse, assuming the saddle fits with good clearance. Since we like to baby this horse, I am wondering if there is one type of pad that is most comfy for the horse...

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                  • #10
                    Ideally, if your saddle fits well, you should only need a thin cotton quilt under your saddle - the same as with well-fitting shoes, you only need thin socks. Some disciplines use thicker pads on a regular basis (endurance/competitive trail riders come to mind first), and when you're fitting those horses, you have to take the pad into consideration.
                    Kitt Hazelton
                    Saddle Fitter
                    www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                    www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      I use a saddle right pad and a baby pad. I've had my saddle right pad since I was 15 I think and I've never had a horse with a sore back since.

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                      • #12
                        My saddle fits my horse really well so I only use a cotton square pad underneath it and nothing else. I like how easy it makes tacking up and nothing shifts around.

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                        • #13
                          I generally use a sheepskin half pad (right now, I am using one from ovation, but I have the beval wool on that was popular for a while too) and baby pad. I don't have my own horse right now, and ride a lot of different one, and this generally seems to work well for the average horse that doesn't need any special pads. (I that case, I add on whatever I'm told to use!)
                          ~*Paige*~

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                          • #14
                            Depends on the horse, and on the saddle. I am currently using an ogilvy knockoff from Greenhawk that I really like. I also have an ECP correction pad that makes frequent appearances. I usually ride in a tad coffin so it's meant to be used with a pad.

                            my county that I just bought, fits very differently, and that one primarily gets the ogilvy knockoff to fill in any spaces.
                            Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                            you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

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                            • #15
                              I bought a Thinline half pad last fall and will never ride english without it. I love it. I noticed a decrease in my hip and knee pain as well as my mare feeling more swinging through the back. I was saving up for a western thinline before my mare passed away. They are just awesome pads, and so thin that it doesn't alter your saddle fit.
                              Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                              The Blog

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post
                                Can someone explain what a "baby pad" is?

                                My daughter had been using a quilted square pad plus a fleece pad on her teen-age mare, under the impression that the more padding, the better for Horsie's back. Recently her instructor said that it's better to have LESS between saddle and horse, assuming the saddle fits with good clearance. Since we like to baby this horse, I am wondering if there is one type of pad that is most comfy for the horse...
                                I had the same question and here is what I found ... a baby pad is is just a very thin pad that is meant to be used under a fleece pad to keep it clean.

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                                • #17
                                  I have a fleeceworks sheepskin contour pad over a back-on-track saddle pad. It works okay, but I'm toying with the idea of using just the fleeceworks sheepskin contour pad after reading the above posts. Like others, I always thought more padding was better for the horses back, but I can completely understand how it would impede motion, particularly in the shoulder.

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                                  • #18
                                    I try to use as little as possible. I love my thinline pads. I have one regular black ultra that I use on a thin quilted all purpose pad for daily rides and I have the half pad that is just sheepskin lined for the look for shows. I have my saddle fitted regularly so I don't need much and since I'm short anyway I like to feel as close to the horse as possible.

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                                    • #19
                                      Assuming your saddle fits, can you use just an ultra thin-line pad or should you combine the ultra thin-line pad with another pad such as a contour or half-pad?

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                                      • #20
                                        What I've found. I did use one when my old saddle wasn't fitting my horse correctly but I was trying to let him fill out some before I had a saddle fitter out. Had the saddle fitter out and got a custom saddle but learned that the half pads usually do more harm than good with an I'll fitting saddle. If the saddle fits well or is slightly to narrow the half pad will make it a tighter fit and usually pinches them when riding. I thought I was helping my boy with one with the cushion but found from saddle fitter and trainer and vet that I was doing more harm then good.
                                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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