Your favorite is my favorite is my favorite. I was given one as gift and I use it for showing, loved it so much, bought another everyday riding, pricey but it will last forever & ever (the last "ever" made it seem economical, didn't it?). I love them because they look very nice, hold their shape super well, and never have irritated my horse's back.
5 Stars are at the top of my list. Impact Gels, Classic Equine ESP, and EquiPedics follow.
I am not a fan of the Air Ride pads.....at all.
For the prices, if you want a good pad your going to have to pay money for it. Just like anything else you buy. You pay a cheap price your going to get a low quality product. I have a 5 star that we have had now for 10yrs and it is still going and in great shape.
Adding a photo of the 5 Star in use....it is now Scrats pad :) As I bought JJ a new one for Christmas lol. I hosed it late last summer and haven't had the chance to re-oil the leathers so if they look old and worn they really are not lol.
I ride in a local (Amish made) wool pad. I love it. Wife rides a ranch wool pad. Like it. Daughter rides a Pro choice pad (not sure what model) its alright but her next one will be like mine. Posted via Mobile Device
I would pass on the SMX Air ride. I am not satisfied for the price. If you are willing to spend that same amount of money go for the 5 Star wool pad. If not, I love my Diamond Wool ranch pads they are almost half the price but very durable.
I agree with cowchick on this one. I sold my pro choice pad cause I did not like it at all. I use wool felt pads now exclusively. I have an impact gel that is 9 years old and still holds up well. Have some reinsman and irvine felt pads that are great. Just purchased two diamond wool ranch pads and am selling the classic equine esp pad. For what we do, the pad just does not hold up well enough. It worked well when I wasnt going to be roping off my mare, now though, I need something that has better shock absorbtion and breathability. My little horse wouldnget pretty hot under that esp pad all day! Posted via Mobile Device