Impact Gel Saddle Pads - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-17-2014, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Impact Gel Saddle Pads

Thoughts and opinions on Impact Gel western saddle pads? Pros and Cons? Are the good for round mutton withered horses? I mainly trail ride and am wondering if they are breathable and comfortable on those summer days?
Thank you!
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-17-2014, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
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I have an impact gel. Used it for 1 season and it started breaking down and pinching my geldings withers. Now matter what people say...Gel gets displaced under pressure.

I have a 5Star now and won't go back to anything else. The quality is ridiculously amazing. Night and day difference in the way our gelding moves under saddle now.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-17-2014, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I thought the pressure test on these pads were odd you would not want to put that much pressure or shock on a horses back anyway. I've heard they harden in the winter which I would think that damages the gel
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-17-2014, 10:42 PM
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I haven't had any issues with mine getting hard in the subzero temps. Mine stays in an enclosed tack room, though. My gelding (with round mutton withers) seems to like the pad. He certainly does much better than he did with the old hunk-a-junk pad I had before.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-17-2014, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking the straight back with vent holes along the back would be best for my horse. As I hear straight backed pads work best for mutton withered horses.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-18-2014, 06:45 AM
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Mine is contoured and I've never had any problems with that. I had a straight pad before and neither he nor I liked it for the fit.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-18-2014, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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This last fall I bought the Impact Gel XL Lite pad (1/2") to use with other pads or blankets depending on what horse I rode.

I was worried about the breathability of the pad and went with that particular one because it was supposed to more breathable than their original pads. Not sure if I could tell the difference since I am a stickler for getting off, uncinching and lifting my saddle up to let their back breathe anyhow.

I quit using it because I was getting rub marks over the loins of my horses that I have never had an issue with before, same saddle, nothing changed except for the pad. Cant be certain it was the pad but like I said it was the only thing that was different.

Mine did freeze this winter and that is why in another thread on here I suggested if you do get one maybe keep it inside at night. Mine was in the barn, not in a tack room per say and it froze solid.

Don't have any suggestions for a mutton withered horse but I wouldn't spend the money on an Impact Gel in my opinion. I went back to my old wool pads. If you insist on trying one maybe borrow one or buy a used one so in the event it doesn't work you aren't out a whole lot of money and you could re-sell for close to the money you bought it for.

Good Luck :)

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post #8 of 10 Old 02-19-2014, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Currently I am using a Sharron Camarillo wool felt barrel saddle pad and my horse seems fine it in. Before she was using an ESP pad I already had for a couple weeks as I just got this saddle (due to needing a shorter skirted saddle cause the long smx air ride pad I had bought for this saddle was rubbing her hips), but the deep contour just didn't sit right on her, probably because she is round and mutton withered. Unfortunately I do not have a heated indoor so I can't/won't work her into a sweat to see for sure if the saddle and pad combo she has on now fits her. Just from checking a few times it seems to fit her. I have always wondered about the impact gel pads I see so many people ride in them and have no idea why they chose that pad I watched the videos of the gel pads and to me you wouldn't want that much pressure or impact hitting your horses back anyway!
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-19-2014, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: California
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I personally haven't had any problems with my impact gel pad yet, and my horse seems to like it. But, I haven't had it for very long. I got it in October.

I was drawn to horses as if they were magnets. It was in my blood. I must have inherited a genetic proclivity toward the equine species.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-19-2014, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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I've had Impact Gels for several years now and love them! But I only bought one brand new (got the others second hand) and if I were to buy another expensive pad I would get a 5 Star or something similar.

But that isn't because I've had problems with the Impact Gels. They've been great. I just think it's hard to beat solid wool felt. They are a bit lighter in weight too compared to a comparable Impact Gel.

Never had any freezing or break down issues, even with the old second-hand pads. I find it strange that people have had that happen. Mine are still going strong and the oldest are probably about 5-6 years old.
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