10-21-2011, 06:36 PM
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Put me in the cheap category, although I might change if I thought I could take up barrel racing without inspiring insane laughter from the public.
I like wool felt - just a simple wool felt pad. Mine is 1/2", although I might replace it with a thicker one. I put it under a heavy wool Navajo blanket - I'm using one that is New Zealand wool & very thick.
My gelding has a very short back and very high withers, so pads like the Tacky Too just don't fit. It doesn't go far enough forward with his withers, and at the same time hits his hip in the rear. I've had a chance to use it with some larger horses, tho, and it worked great with them.
I've also had good success with putting the wool blanket UNDER the felt pad, but it just looks weird. In the end, saddle fit is the critical thing. The better your saddle fits, the less the padding matters. My much lighter daughter-in-law can get away with just using the Navajo blanket, with no sign of discomfort from Trooper. I'm a little bit too...well, "prosperous"...for that!