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Half Pads... Mattes vs. Fleeceworks vs. Circuit, Roma, etc..

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  • Half Pads... Mattes vs. Fleeceworks vs. Circuit, Roma, etc..

    Just looking for opinions regarding the different half pad brands.

    I was given a Fleeceworks shims pad which I cared for carefully (only washed a handful of times on gentle cycle with Pepede wash). It started falling apart after the second wash.

    I have been using a Mattes half pad. It does NOT have the actual fleece skin, but rather has the fibers woven as the base and then poofing out.. Like a Greek Flokati rug. It seems to wear very well.

    Both of these products are well over $100. However, I saw the Dover Circuit and Roma half pads advertised today for just $70-$100.

    I would like to purchase a new Mattes, but due to the price I'm not chomping at the bit. I'd really like to know if any COTHers have opinions regarding these brands and how they stack against each other.

    Also, I do understand that some people do not believe in using half pads. That's great, I respect your opinion.. in fact, I don't think they are a long term solution to saddle fit. I don't want to use mine forever, but I do find it necessary at the moment as my horse's back is constantly changing in shape. He's happy, and therefore I'm happy.
    Final Furlong Racehorse Retirement

  • #2
    The only one I have experience with it the Mattes. I have a regular (no shims) dressage with rear trim and billet slots (to connect half pad with saddle pad). I got it directly from the company and have had it for ~8 years, love it; has held up great, although I don't wash it frequently and when I do I hand wash with MELP. For the way it's held up, I think the price is worth it.

    Not to add more into your pool of choice, but I have heard a lot of positives about the thinline pads too.

    Comment


    • #3
      For what it's worth, I have an Ovation one that I think cost me $40. It's not real fleece, but the synthetic "fleece" has held up for over four years now, and I don't take very good care of my stuff. It washes well, the fleece is still fluffy and thick, and it does it's job of making my hard saddle a little more comfortable for my guy.

      If you're not using the fleece directly against the skin, you basically void all it's helpful wicking and cooling properties anyway. So if you're using the half pad over a regular schooling pad...just go for the synthetic $40 Ovation one.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a Mattes, an Ecogold, and a Thineline sheepskin with pockets for shims.

        The Mattes is ~3 years old, has had minimal washes, lots of use and looks great. I will buy another when this one dies. I use one of my dog brushes to fluff it when needed.

        The Thinline was purchased in the spring from COTHer Sidepasser and was basically unused. I have two shims in the front pocket and I clipped the pad's spine area. I use it on an immature three year old under an Amerigo Cervia. A local saddle fitter recommended I purchase a shimmable pad for use on this horse.

        Both my horses seem to go better in the sheepskin pads than in the Ecogold.

        Comment


        • #5
          I finally bit the bullet and bought a Mattes, so far I love it. But I haven't washed it yet. I did want to use it with a baby pad to help preserve it, but my mare seems much more comfortable with it by itself. Oh well it is only money right? Hopefully I will still have the same feelings after its first wash

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a Mattes half pad with shims. I've washed mine a few times now, on delicate with Woolite, once in a top-load washer and once in a front-load washer. It's done fine both times. I usually lay it fleece-side-up in a slightly sunny area to dry, and once it's completely dry, I fluff the fleece with my fingers or a brush.
            Full-time bargain hunter.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for the input guys.. hmm, there is a lot to think about here. Sounds like Mattes is still a favorite for a real fleece pad. I'd like to feel the Ovation though, sometimes the faux fleece has a feel to it I don't like, but others are pretty decent.

              Looking forward to additional responses.
              Final Furlong Racehorse Retirement

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess I should add that when I bought my Mattes I was at the Dover store and compared the Fleeceworks, Mattes, Thinline, Dover Circuit, Roma, and Ovation side by side and the Mattes won hands down!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fractious Fox View Post
                  Thanks for the input guys.. hmm, there is a lot to think about here. Sounds like Mattes is still a favorite for a real fleece pad. I'd like to feel the Ovation though, sometimes the faux fleece has a feel to it I don't like, but others are pretty decent.

                  Looking forward to additional responses.

                  Hmm, nevermind! I guess my ovation is real fleece! (Went and looked, after googling and not being able to find it.) In which case I recommend it even more...although it does look like the price has gone up a bit, to around $90. I do know I got mine for $40/$45 on sale, so it's worth shopping around.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Looks like the Roma ones are on sale for about $40 on Dover's site right now. Can't speak to the quality (I'm sure it's not as nice as the Fleeceworks and Mattes ones, but Roma makes decent quality stuff that I've seen thus far), but $40 is a pretty good deal.
                    The Western Adventures of Loki, a Florida Swampdog in Los Angeles

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My fleeceworks fell apart after the 2nd wash too, however the company was great and gave me a new one no problem so cant complain too much.
                      I have a mattes and love it. I like it because it has no sheepskin in the spine which makes it good for wither clearance. They last forever, are very good quality, and they fit. the romas and dovers are lower quality, I have had a dover (did not like it, one side was thicker fleece, the other side not so much. ) and have used romas and for sure the mattes was worth the money.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a Mattes Woolback (not sheepskin, but real wool woven onto a fabric backing) that's held up decently. I don't use it a ton.

                        Watch out buying Roma though. The company isn't likely to replace it if it falls apart, so unless the tack shop stands behind things they sell, you could be SOL if it dies after the first washing.

                        I did know someone with a Christ pad that was very nice too. I think my friend has an ECP sheepskin that's dreamy and has held up well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've said it on many other threads re: half pads, and I'll say it again:

                          If it's gotta be real sheepskin and you're looking for something durable that won't break the bank, ENGEL is your answer. I found out about them through Thinline--I was complimenting a Thinline rep on the quality of the Thinline Saddle Fitter pad, and she said it was a contract product through Engel. The Engel half pads are $70-$90 and are about 90% as nice as a Mattes sheepskin pad (and way nicer than Fleeceworks, which fall apart). I especially like the reinforced spine. I've been recommending Engel for nearly 4 years now, and so far everyone's been thrilled. You'll feel like you stole something when you see how much pad you got for the money.

                          My second budget pick is the ECP (Equine Comfort) sheepskin pad, but it's a smidge more spendy than the Engel and IMO not constructed quite as well. But it's just one notch down from the Engel and is still a decent pick under $100. Christ Horsedream is also very nice and has exceptionally nice sheepskin (on par with Engel and Mattes in that department), but IMO the quilting on the top of the Christ pad is not going to stand up to abuse as well as some of the other brands (Engel, Mattes, etc.)
                          Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I love my Dover pad. It gets used multiple times a day and has held up great for like a year and a half now. I machine wash it (I know, shame on me! hehe) and then lay it out to dry and the fluff hasn't even matted.
                            Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dixiedolphin View Post
                              Looks like the Roma ones are on sale for about $40 on Dover's site right now. Can't speak to the quality
                              I can... they totally SUCK First time I washed it in melp chunks of glued fleece patches fell off, and the density was different throughout.
                              After the roma, and a few other cheaper sheepskin pads, I finally bought a Mattes.
                              Mattes is the only sheepskin company that gets my money now. Cheaper in the long run and MUCH MUCH MUCH higher quality!
                              www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                              chaque pas est fait ensemble

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I too have a fleeceworks that fell apart after the second wash. I emailed the company last week and sent them links to pics, but have not heard from them. Wish they would replace mine! I can't believe it came apart when I was incredibly careful with taking care of it.
                                If you love me let me go....

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                                  I've said it on many other threads re: half pads, and I'll say it again:

                                  If it's gotta be real sheepskin and you're looking for something durable that won't break the bank, ENGEL is your answer. I found out about them through Thinline--I was complimenting a Thinline rep on the quality of the Thinline Saddle Fitter pad, and she said it was a contract product through Engel. The Engel half pads are $70-$90 and are about 90% as nice as a Mattes sheepskin pad (and way nicer than Fleeceworks, which fall apart). I especially like the reinforced spine. I've been recommending Engel for nearly 4 years now, and so far everyone's been thrilled. You'll feel like you stole something when you see how much pad you got for the money.

                                  My second budget pick is the ECP (Equine Comfort) sheepskin pad, but it's a smidge more spendy than the Engel and IMO not constructed quite as well. But it's just one notch down from the Engel and is still a decent pick under $100. Christ Horsedream is also very nice and has exceptionally nice sheepskin (on par with Engel and Mattes in that department), but IMO the quilting on the top of the Christ pad is not going to stand up to abuse as well as some of the other brands (Engel, Mattes, etc.)

                                  Where do you find these pads? A quick google search only turned up a handful of pads from some online shops that I've never heard of...

                                  Thanks for all of the responses, guys!! Such great information!
                                  Final Furlong Racehorse Retirement

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have a couple of Mattes and Roma ones, my Roma one has been used probably 3 or 4 rides per week for about 2 years, it washes up great, ive not had any problem with the fluff coming off or falling apart. I'm really happy with it considering i only bought it as i needed a schooling one and it was on sale (and it's blue lol).

                                    The Mattes one is great also, alot pricer and i dont know... kind of a large fit? I have a pony size one under my 16" dressage saddle and it's a tad big?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have a had two fleeceworks pads and I liked them both. I didn't use either of them much (and the one I have now is for sale if anybody in interested). From the prices I see on them they seem to be considered to be on the lower end of the sheepskin half pads, but I see nor feel no difference between my fleeceworks and the mattes and thinline pads that a couple girls at the barn have.
                                      Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                                      The Blog

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Fractious Fox View Post
                                        Where do you find these pads? A quick google search only turned up a handful of pads from some online shops that I've never heard of...

                                        Thanks for all of the responses, guys!! Such great information!
                                        There are several good, reputable Ebay dealers for them. There's also a number of reputable saddleries on Engel's own dealer list. Of the dealers on that list, I've had positive transactions with Danzig Bros (very popular halter dealer in Florida), M&M Tack Shop, Maryland Tack, and Advanced Saddle Fit.
                                        http://engelsheepskin.com/stores.html

                                        Watch the sizing on these. They run big. If you own a 17.5" or smaller, you definitely want the Medium and not the Large.

                                        Other raves for Engel:

                                        http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=232093

                                        http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...ad-384886.html
                                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                                        Comment

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