Gel pads? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-20-2012, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Gel pads?

I'm considering investing in a gel pad for Rosie as she's getting older and her back will become more swayed and need a little extra cushion. Her topline is a little weak as well but we're working on strengthening it. Are gel pads worth buying, or will a half pad work as well? I live in Canada so I'm restricted to brands such as Shedrow, Supra, etc if I want to buy brand new. My main place for buying tack is Greenhawk so I'd likely have to buy from there. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-20-2012, 09:27 AM
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Red face

we have been using gel pads when riding English since the horses were young to help absorb shock & hopefully assist with injury prevention..I think we bought them on line at Dover Saddlery but have had the same ones for so long (they hold up well accept they are no longer pristine white ) not 100%sure. My horses have never had any back soreness..... luck or gel pads..no way to know for sure
using a gel on a senior for extra cushion..maybe someone else has experience with this as none of mine are seniors yet.

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-21-2012, 09:31 AM
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I did some research on gel pads and was disappointed (that gel moves around changing the thickness and interfering with the saddle fit, I'm also not positive about shock absorbing). I'd much rather invest in Thinline pad instead (I personally have standard contour). Thinline indeed absorbs the shock and saves the backs of both - horse and a rider.

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post #4 of 6 Old 06-21-2012, 04:23 PM
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I would prefer a good sheepskin half pad over a gel pad- gel pads can trap heat and cause hot spots, the gel can move around and create inconsistancies in fit, and the gel will compact and deteriorate over time.

Just food for thought!
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-21-2012, 05:24 PM
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I second (third, fourth?) sheepskin! I use a half pad under everything. My favorites are the Mattes and ECP, but I have one right now that has thinline inserts sewn into it that I really like for my mare. Many of them have inserts you can put in to shim if you need to. My gelding is a tad downhill being the cutting bred dude that he is, so for his dressage saddle, I shim up the front so the saddle sits correctly on him.

I've always heard what kitten val did about the gel, that it moves away from the pressure points- where you want to have it! Of course, if there are severe pressure points, you would want to check your saddle fit, but I think for the money and quality/longevity of the product, going with sheepskin would be your best bet. My ECP is now 6 years old and besides the white quilting underneath where the saddle goes being a little dingy looking, it functions just as well as it did when I pulled it out of the box.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-21-2012, 07:28 PM
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Then again, sheepskin traps heat as well.
I'd stay away from gel, and go for Thinline instead. I've found them to work very well. They help absorb impact, but they're very thin and don't get in the saddle's way, or trap heat.
My friend jumps and you can tell instantly if she isn't using her Thinline pad. Her mare gets cranky.
My mare does better with out Thinline pad too. If you want an inexpensive one, try for one of the originals. They're cheaper and work just as well. Get a used one if you want to.
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