half pads

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half pads

This is a discussion on half pads within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Do i need an english half pad?
  • Best half pad for riding

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    12-05-2008, 07:04 PM
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?

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    12-05-2008, 07:32 PM
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?
    12-08-2008, 11:13 PM
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.
    12-08-2008, 11:14 PM
What is a half pad?
    12-08-2008, 11:29 PM

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:
    12-09-2008, 10:52 AM
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.
    12-09-2008, 04:51 PM
A half pad is supposed to help a saddle fit better. If your saddle fits.. you don't need it.
    12-10-2008, 12:39 AM
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
    12-11-2008, 03:03 PM
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.

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