half pads - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-05-2008, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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half pads


Since i got my QH i have always ridden him western, but i recently decided i want to ride him English part time. I bought a used saddle, an English bridle, girth, saddle pad, and a half pad etc. Now i am unsure if the half pad is even worth using. Initially i bought it thinking it would give him more cushioning, but i have heard they can make you saddle tight fitting, and ultimetly will hurt the horse. So what is your opinion on using half pads?

Thank You

Last edited by CiscoKidd; 12-05-2008 at 07:10 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-05-2008, 07:32 PM
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I use a half pad for showing hunters, just because it looks nicer than a shaped pad. It is also quite a thing one so it doesn't change my saddle fit. Otherwise I ride in a regular square pad. I did have a Passier on a mare a while ago that was literally an inch thick, and I rode her with a half pad under that saddle because it hurt my back.
Otherwise, just think about it. You already have 2-2.5 inches of saddle between you and the horse, why would you want another inch hampering your aids?
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-08-2008, 11:13 PM
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I love my half pads, but only use them on specific horses. My mare has an exceptionally sensitive back (a good thing!) and I can communicate to her with gentle weight shifts and changes in my breathing. The half pad "dulls" the aids just a bit so she's not constantly asking "what did that aid mean"? That is an unusual case though!

I've had other horses in training who were a bit lacking over the back when they arrived for training. The half pad gave these horses more support and cushioning until their back had better muscle.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-08-2008, 11:14 PM
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What is a half pad?
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-08-2008, 11:29 PM
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Above is the half pad...you can use it alone or with a thin saddle pad.

Here's a photo of my mare with a half pad between the saddle and dressage pad:
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-09-2008, 10:52 AM
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I always ride with my half pad and nothing else. With my new saddle, and probably with most saddles, too much padding can put you in a bad position. I found that using my half pad with a square saddle pad that had any sort of padding was too much. As long as I have a super thin square pad under it that's ok but I mostly ride with just my half pad.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-09-2008, 04:51 PM
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A half pad is supposed to help a saddle fit better. If your saddle fits.. you don't need it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-10-2008, 12:39 AM
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I use a simple shaped pad, just for a bit of cushion and to keep my saddle clean.

I also have a sqaure pad that i wanted to use in winter , but its too thick and i think im going to go back to the shaped pad. in the summer ill get a thinner one

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post #9 of 9 Old 12-11-2008, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies!
My trainer came to the barn this past week and looked at the saddle on Cisco, and she recommended using a half pad underneath the saddle, so i will be using one.

14 year old Quarter Horse gelding
"some horses come into our lives and quickly go, others stay awhile, make hoof prints in ours hearts and we are never, ever the same"
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