Impact gel saddle pad, advice on pads please!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-07-2012, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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Impact gel saddle pad, advice on pads please!!

So, here's my problem. My saddle doesn't fit my mare very well when she has had time off. But, it fits her great once she gets muscle along her topline which doesn't take long. She is Quarab. I have noticed certain pads make a big difference. I know that no pad will fix a temporarily ill fitting saddle. But I am considering getting an Impact Gel Saddle Pad. They seem legit. Good at distributing pressure and what not. Does anyone have experience with these pads? Also, would you get the traditional, or the new one that just came out? Any advice is greatly appreciated!! PS, sorry if there's already a post about this. I couldn't find this same thing in particular.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-07-2012, 05:39 AM
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If it's the same pad they have in the UK (made of black squidgy stuff) they're great for stopping a saddle sliding about. Whether they'll do what you want depends on where the muscle's been lost - you often need a pad thicker in front - or at the rear - to counteract any unevenness.

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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CONTOUR FELT Pad.


This is the pad. I don't really need a thick pad to fix my problem. Supposedly these help distribute any pressure points caused from the tree.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 07:00 AM
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CONTOUR FELT Pad.


This is the pad. I don't really need a thick pad to fix my problem. Supposedly these help distribute any pressure points caused from the tree.
Gel does spread pressure over a wider area, and not having it stretched over the spine, like a conventional gel pad, is a plus. This isn't the make I was thinking of and quite frankly their blurb is gobbledegook - which is a common thing, unfortunately.

Excess pressure problems are sometimes difficult to fully overcome due to outside influences, the horse's constitution, age, individual physiology and usage being just a few imponderables. It's a bit like the brick-in-a-handbag analogy - how long before the weight begins to annoy you depends on so many factors.

I'd go with your gut feeling. If you think the pad will help then try it

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 07:01 AM
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There doesn't seem to be any way to change the padding thickness of the pad along its length.

If you have any dips in the topline musculature, it might be nice to have a way to insert shim pads in different places to make up for the unevenness.

I know Thinline, Mattes, and Fleeceworks all make pads with pockets for shim pads. Most are geared for english saddles but I think there are some square pads that might work for western saddles.

ETA: Looks like Impact Gel makes a pad just like the one you selected but with the ability to take shims. http://shop.impactgel.com/Contour-Bu...ad-buildup.htm

Last edited by mildot; 05-08-2012 at 07:04 AM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 08:25 AM
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I am thinking something like a tucker wool back pad that has openings for foam inserts. Put the inserts in when she is skinny, pull em out when she fills out.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 10:09 AM
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I have the Impact Gel pad with the straight back, holes along the spine to release heat. I love it and that one might work for you.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your advice!! From what I understand, putting more padding under your saddle is compared to putting on an extra sock when your boot is too tight. Also, it creates more space between the saddle and horses back, allowing the saddle to move more, causing friction. Also, building up the front could make your saddle uneven. That is why I don't want to go with a built up pad. I've used them and they made the problem worse lol I'm looking for something to distribute pressure. I've heard of thinline. But have not heard any bad personal reviews on the impact gel. BarrelRacer23, thank you for your input! I will probably go with the contour because I have also had problems with the straight back pads bunching up. How long have you had your impact gel? Does it make a difference in saddle fit or your horses performance compared to other pads? Any advice would be great! Thank you all again :)
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-08-2012, 07:59 PM
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Thank you all so much for your advice!! From what I understand, putting more padding under your saddle is compared to putting on an extra sock when your boot is too tight.
That is true if your saddle is too narrow and already pinching the shoulders. Not true if the saddle is too wide. In that case more padding can salvage the situation.

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Also, it creates more space between the saddle and horses back, allowing the saddle to move more, causing friction.
I suppose that would depend on how much padding you put under the saddle and what kind of padding it is. Wool (fleece or felt) tends to grab.


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Also, building up the front could make your saddle uneven.
That definitely is true.

Overall, I agree with you that pads/shims are a band-aid best replaced with proper saddle fit. I don't know if western saddles can be adjusted or not, but I had a professional saddle fitter visit my horse today to fine tune the fit of my new saddle to her. She added more flocking to the panels in the area just below the withers and now the gullet clears the withers with plenty of room to spare even with me sitting on it. But that's an english saddle which has wool stuffing in the panels.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-15-2012, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice. I know someone who owns an impact gel. She's going to let me try it out before I cough out the money on this pad :)
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