02-02-2012, 09:48 AM
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I have several older "regular" SMX pads (not the ortho sport- I have never seen one of those on person) and one concern I would have for the original poster is that they are not very thick. And it sounds like the OP would like something thicker to give more clearance.
I know that for example, with my Fox Trotter who is a bit too narrow for my FQ Bar saddle, I would never use the SMX's on her because they are too thin to beef up her shoulders for the saddle.
So, assuming that the current SMX pads are the same thickness as the old ones, I don't know if it would be a help or not.
I still like really nice wool felt pads myself. Ones made for roping can be an inch thick or more. I usually use a single layer wool blanket (like a Mayatex) on the bottom to keep my pad clean (and it also ads a bit extra thickness), and then a 1" thick Impact Gel top of that. I can use almost any pad for my Mustang. He's a chunk. But with the Fox Trotter who is a bit narrow for my saddle, that is what I like to do. I don't think it needs to be in Impact Gel or anything, I just happen to have a nice 1" thick one. I like any high quality felt pad.
The $180 for the SMX would buy you a nice thick wool felt pad. Most of the good ones have wither cut-outs and a contour shape.