Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: dark side of the moon
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.