Thanks guys! I adore my 5-star. That would definitely be my first choice. I went and looked at them though and it would be well over $200 for a 1" 5-star. I think the one I was looking at specifically which was 1" natural color, 32x32 was $244 at Jeffers, which seemed to be one of the cheapest places. Sigh! Yeah, maybe I should just wait and get that one, but I want my horse tack "fix" now!
This Diamond Wool at Jeffers is an outstanding price and everyone who gave it a review loves it: http:// http://www.jefferspet.com/ra.../EQU/cp/3B-R1/
I know it's not the same high quality, but I don't think it's bad quality either because I have a Diamond Wool that I bought about 15 years ago and it's a pretty decent pad. The wool compacted slightly at the shoulders, but hey, to give it credit the pad is 15 years old! The only reason I don't like using it anymore is that it's not a contour shape and I've grown to love a contour. The stay up off the withers whereas the non-contour always moves down onto the withers even if I pull it into the gullet when I saddle up. Part of me says just get one of these and replaced it in a few years if I want to.....after all, you could go through about 4 of these for the price of one 5-star!
The other thing that is good about Diamond Wool is I know the wool is soft. And 5-Star is soft. I have seen some wool felt pads that are very stiff. I don't know if that makes them better or worse, but part of the reason the 5-star is so nice is that it really molds to the shape of the horse and I think the Diamond Wool will too.
So that leaves me leaning towards Diamond Wool.
Smrobs, do the folks that you know who use Diamond Wool just use one of their cheapier ones? Diamond Wool has pads all they way up to the price of 5-Star, but I might as well buy a 5-star if I am going to spend $200. But everyone seems to love their $65 version?
(I know I can get the canvas tops and such too, but I'm talking about the felt quality.)