Do gel/thick saddle pads help for heavier riders? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-08-2014, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: St. Paul, Alberta, Canada
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Do gel/thick saddle pads help for heavier riders?

I always feel self conscious about how much of my weight is resting on the panels, and therefore, on my horses back muscles. Do you guys think gel padsor thickly padded saddle pads help this?
Or am I stressing over a dumb thing because the saddles are meant to distribute weight there?
My horse is a 15 year old Trakehner made, 16 hands, about 1100 pounds. I'm under 20% of her weight, including tack, but barely.
I bought a Therapeutic Cavallo pad for her-its memory foam filled and was hoping it would be cushy for her....I'm losing weight, but slowly.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-08-2014, 08:29 AM
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Gel pads are awesome. I use one and I know a lot of people who do. I think it does help as it provides comfort and protection, but you have to also consider balance and the kind of riding you're doing.

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-08-2014, 10:04 AM
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I'd be more concerned if your horse was a 900 pound Arab. =/
ALWAYS use the best pad you can bc even a light rider on a saddle without enough padding can make a horse's back sore. =D
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-08-2014, 10:14 AM
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If you think you are particularly bouncy then a gel pad or some other high end shock absorbing pad can definitely make your horse more comfortable. Just be careful packing on the extra padding. If your saddle fits without a lot of extra padding, adding padding can sometimes throw off the balance of your saddle and make it feel smaller to your horse. It's like putting on a pair of shoes with some big, thick socks. It makes the shoe feel smaller and can pinch your toes and make your foot sore. The same thing can happen to your horse's back.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-08-2014, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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Personally I don't like the gel pads, but I LOVE my 5 Star Equine felt pad, worth every cent I paid for it. I think it provides a great stable padding for the saddle, and my weight.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-08-2014, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado
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A pad should be used to help with saddle fit, not necessarily to help absorb weight.
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