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Thinline v. Mattes Half Pads

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  • Thinline v. Mattes Half Pads

    Which do you prefer and why?

    It looks like both have options with shims (Thinline Full Sheepskin Trifecta Half Pad v. Mattes correction half pad with pockets for shims).

    What made you decide on shim v. no shim?

    How did you feel the sizing lined up with expectations?

    If you could go back, would you choose a different product in their line?

    Are there any benefits to the rear fleece roll beyond aesthetics?

  • #2
    Well, I definitely do NOT recommend any Thinline pad with sheepskin. Mine fell off in chunks after a measly two years. It had never gotten wet, not once, never washed or rained on.

    I got shims to be able to have flexibility on slightly adjusting saddle fit as needed.
    Custom tack racks!
    www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

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    • #3
      I LOVED my thinline comfort pad (thinline over a beautiful sheepshin. But even after delicately handwashing it- the sheepskin evaporated!!! I was so sad. Not sure I will let myself buy another one. So I match my mattes pad with a thinline on top of it. Not my favorite option, but the mattes pad is solid and can be washed and hold up.

      Comment


      • #4
        If the saddle is basically a good fit but maybe a bit wide in front, a sheepskin pad is good.

        If the horse has conformation issues such that no saddle is going to fit well, a shim pad is necessary.

        If the saddle fits well, you don't want or need a sheepskin pad because obviously it alters saddle fit.

        The only time I've used a shim pad is for an older borrowed mare with a slightly sunken back and a borrowed saddle. But in that case for a saddle that bridged I couldn't use either Thinline or Mattes because they only had 4 shim pockets.

        My choice was LeMjieux or TSF 6 pocket sheepskin shim pads. I went with TSF.

        If the horse had belonged to me I would have put the cash towards getting a saddle reflocked for her.

        So really it depends on what is wrong with your saddle fit and why you can't address that first.

        If you expect to be dealing with multiple poorly fitting saddles in future a shim pad could be a useful investment




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        • #5
          I have both a Mattes quilted half pad, and a Thinline Trifecta, both shimmable and neither has sheepskin. I don't have to use the shims in them, they function normally without them, but I like having the option if I'm riding one of the farm horses, trying a sale horse, etc . . . The Thinline offers the layer of back protection/shock absorption that the Mattes does not have, and I find the Mattes is a little thicker/more "squish-able" because of all the quilting, so I've ended up keeping both because they do fit and function slightly differently. I find they both also run larger than a lot of less expensive brands, which was helpful to me since my saddle is an 18.5" - something that doesn't come in a variety of size options is often too short for a bigger saddle.

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          • #6
            I absolutely love my thinlines. I got the one with the "fake sheepskin." I think it's just cotton, but no one can tell. It's held up through riding and a handful of hand washes. I also got one without the fluff to use at horse shows for a cleaner look.

            I used the mattes ones for years while leasing some other horses and I did not like them as much. It tended to bunch up after a wash and I didn't think it laid down nice and flat anymore.

            I haven't used shims - apparently Im more of a less is more type and pay more attention to my saddle fit. Though I do understand they are useful when riding other horses/different saddles etc. Though nowadays I use an ogilvy for hard to fit and/or different horses.

            The thinline was quite nice for my mare that didn't like a lot of bulk though. Always happiest with no half pad that one.

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            • #7
              I have a Mattes 'gold' shimmable pad and love it. Its their less expensive line as the backing is wool not full sheepskin, and the shims are stack-able thin wool pads. My only wish is that it was black, not white, and I personally do not like the fluffy rear roll things, so I was able to purchase one without it.

              I get a lot of use on it since my horse's topline can change pretty dramatically if hes not in regular work and its handy to have a pad with options if I ride a different horse who needs them.

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              • #8
                Mattes is better quality than Thinline in terms of sheepskin. I've owned both, and the Thinline fell apart. The Mattes washes up nicely. I custom ordered mine in a certain color and opted for the shim option. If I don't need it, I don't use it, but if I do need it, the option is there. So why not?

                For non sheepskin pads, I prefer my Prolite.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've got the Thinline Trifecta cotton pad (no sheepskin) and love it. I previously had the Thinline half pads (just the Thinline material cut into a shape) but my fitter prefers the Trifecta style so there is spine clearance.

                  I don't use a sheepskin pad as my saddles are fitted without one and it would add too much bulk.

                  FWIW, I just read that Thinline has upgraded their sheepskin so it's not supposed to fall apart any more. I think I saw this on one of their Facebook posts, as somebody commented about the poor quality of the sheepskin.
                  I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

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                  • #10
                    Of the two pads (I have one of each), I prefer ThinLine's shims for impact absorption and Mattes' sheepskin for durability.
                    In terms of shim ability, I like that the ThinLine pocket allows you to place the shims wherever they're needed (since frequently you need to place a front shim in particular further back than the front of the pocket).
                    But the pad I like MOST is the Matrix T3 with Extreme Pro inserts from Toklat. Excellent quality sheepskin and impact absorption without bulk. Win-win.
                    Patience pays.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Slightly off topic. How DO you pronounce Mattes? I always said "mats" but recently a fitter said it differently, made me feel like a country bumpkin, and I can't even remember how she pronounced it. Mat-ez maybe?
                      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                        Slightly off topic. How DO you pronounce Mattes? I always said "mats" but recently a fitter said it differently, made me feel like a country bumpkin, and I can't even remember how she pronounced it. Mat-ez maybe?
                        Well, if it makes you feel better, I try to say “mat-ez”, but usually end up saying “mettas” like the woman’s name. My brain just gets confused even though I don’t even know anyone named Metta.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Melissa.Van Doren View Post
                          Of the two pads (I have one of each), I prefer ThinLine's shims for impact absorption and Mattes' sheepskin for durability.
                          In terms of shim ability, I like that the ThinLine pocket allows you to place the shims wherever they're needed (since frequently you need to place a front shim in particular further back than the front of the pocket).
                          But the pad I like MOST is the Matrix T3 with Extreme Pro inserts from Toklat. Excellent quality sheepskin and impact absorption without bulk. Win-win.
                          I'd love to hear what you enjoy about the Matrix. This is not a pad I'd heard of before. The fact that it comes in 3 sizes is appealing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                            Slightly off topic. How DO you pronounce Mattes? I always said "mats" but recently a fitter said it differently, made me feel like a country bumpkin, and I can't even remember how she pronounced it. Mat-ez maybe?
                            I've always said "matt-is" because that's how I heard other people saying it. That's how my fitter pronounces it. I've heard other people (including fitters) say "matts."

                            I did check a "how do you pronounce....." YT channel, and they pronounced it as "matt-is." My guess is that's the correct German pronunciation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              LeMieux, hands down.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by asb_own_me View Post
                                LeMieux, hands down.
                                Talk to me about the LeMieux! What size did you get?

                                I need something that will not overhang a 22" spine dressage pad. The large is 25" spine thanks to a friend but I can't get the measurements for the medium. I have a ton of their S/M pads so I'm really open to the brand.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I've had a Thinline Trifecta with and without the Sheepskin. The sheepskin came off in chunks within a year.

                                  I do still love my Trifecta without the sheepskin. I use it with shims as needed to help in between saddle fittings if the saddle starts to seem unbalanced.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by asb_own_me View Post
                                    LeMieux, hands down.
                                    I needed a 6 pocket shim so the choice was between LeMieux and TSF. I loved my LeMieux cloth pad and was ready to buy a LeMieux shimmable sheepskin, but my saddle fitter said the LeMieux lambskin isn't as durable. My saddle fitter is a rep for TSF (though I also trust her advice) and she ordered me the TSF, and it came out to less than the LeMieux would have been in the tack shop.

                                    However my guess is the LeMieux would be just fine.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      After digesting everything in this post and all past posts I could find, it seemed like there were four large criteria used to assess usefulness:
                                      1. Shock absorption from sheepskin v. cotton v. wool
                                      2. Shock absorption from the inner material
                                      3. Fit
                                      4. Durability

                                      1. Sheepskin seems to win out in terms of shock absorption but there is some question about how much is lost when used over a saddle pad. Some people said that the Toklat is extremely thick, which gave me pause. LeMieux struck me as pretty but perhaps less substantial than other brands.
                                      2. In terms of inner material, thinline seemed to be a top contender with invictus coming up a few times and the Toklat material getting some thumbs up as well.
                                      3. I did not see any consistent complaints about half pad fit among the top brands.
                                      4. For durability, the Thinline Sheepskin Trifecta had some consistent complaints but I also saw some feedback that they had made changes.

                                      With this in mind, my original thought was to go after a TSF or LeMieux shim pad for economy and then buy the thinline shim kit. For ~ $200 I would get the perks of sheepskin, shims, and thineline shock absorption. The Mattes shim pad and trifecta shim pad are around $300 plus the cost of the thinline shims.

                                      Unexpectedly, I found a clearance sale on sheepskin trifecta in brown. If I don't end up needing shims, it wasn't that much more than a TSF or LeMieux and I get the perks of the built in Thinline. If I hate it, it should resell for what I paid more or less.

                                      For anyone who is curious, the Thinline spine is supposed to be 23" long. The PSoS S/M and LeMieux cob pads are 22" long so I have my fingers and toes crossed that they measured correctly so that this combo will work out. I know some horses protest strongly to having a tiny bit of sheepskin overhang and tickle.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post

                                        Talk to me about the LeMieux! What size did you get?

                                        I need something that will not overhang a 22" spine dressage pad. The large is 25" spine thanks to a friend but I can't get the measurements for the medium. I have a ton of their S/M pads so I'm really open to the brand.
                                        I can check what size mine are and measure the spine for you. I've had mine for 6-7 years and they are in great shape - the white one is really just used for shows, but the brown is used for daily/schooling and is just fine. There is some discoloration but that's because I usually leave it hanging in the trailer to dry, and it's discolored where it's been exposed to the sun over weeks/months at a time.

                                        They hold up well and what I really love is that you can place shims exactly where needed, since the front/back areas aren't separated by stitching. My horse especially needs help right in that center area where most pads are stitched.

                                        Comment

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