Well, I should have expected conflicting advice since there are as many ways to ride as there are riders. But I suppose a range of opinions can be helpful. I feel much more informed now!
I think the issue is the cheap nature of the pad, making it stiff and awkward, not the thickness. I may try a few short rides in it and see how it goes, but I'll be shopping for a nicer one in the meantime. It sounds like wool or felt is the way to go, not foam? What do y'all recommend that is nice but in the lower price range?
Thanks again for the help!