Impact Gel Pad
I am considering getting one of these pads but wanted to get some input/reviews from anyone who might have experience with them.. they are a little pricey but sound like they would be very comfortable for the horse??
I have a barrel racing saddle (although I trail ride :wink:) so I was considering the barrel racing pad from this line as it also seems to be alot lighter weight/bulk then the contour pad but with the same benefits.
My horse is narrow built and I just trail ride and do a little sorting but just want something that will be very comfortable for him. Any thoughts???
Impact Gel - Equine - Saddle Pads and Seat Saver's
I have several Impact Gels (bought second hand from a friend) and I LOVE them. But a good quality wool felt is also a good choice. Really, a good quality wool felt is just about as pricey as the Impact Gels, so go with whichever suits your fancy. I really think what I like about the Impact Gels IS the felt, but I'm sure the gel does a nice job too.:-)
Thank you for you reply. I do ride in only felt as it is my personal preference so that is a huge asset but the idea of the impact absorbtion being better etc is intriguing. I have been told they are quite heavy in comparison to other pads? Have you noticed that being an issue?
Yes, mine are heavier than a regular felt pad. The don't weigh a TON or anything, but they are definitely heavier than just felt. I am also a heavier rider, so I think about things like that, but I use them anyway because I figure they make up for the extra weight with protecting the horse's back.
Now it seems like I have heard the newer ones may be lighter, but I am not for sure on that. Mine are several years old and I have never felt a newer one in person. It just seems like maybe I have heard that they are, but I could very well be mistaken. :?
Just don't get anything with memory foam. My friend who sold me her old Impact Gels bought a couple memory foam pads to replace them, I think they were Classic Equine, which should be a good pad, but the memory foam layer must collapse because they condensed and left the imprint of the saddle in the pad, permanently, in just a matter of months. She was very disappointed in those. Now she uses 5-Star pads. They are really nice too, but I am not convinced they are better than Impact Gels. And they are just as expensive if not more so than the Impact Gels. And they are solid wool felt. For the money, I don't think you can go wrong with the Impact Gels. The 5-stars are lighter weight though because they don't have any gel inserts.
All saddle pads compress. What I don't like about gel pads is the gel has to be contained in a plastic type material. This can get quite hot and can create a sore back. Wool is absorbent and wicks sweat away and this very action is what helps cool the horse's back. Too much padding can cause a saddle to dig in behind the shoulders while the remainder of the saddle floats, which can create additional friction.
smoke and mirrors, smoke and mirrors, Wool felt and or fleece. All these moving air sacs, and gels are creating hotspots, or if not arnt really doing much more than a wool felt pad will do. Some of the newer foam type pads like thinlines are designed to pad and move heat may be a better mousetrap. But alot of the stuff on the market is designed more to catch your money than help a horse.
Your presenting very good ideas here :) I like it. A saddle maker friend of mine agrees...he says all gimmicks and to ride a simple felt pad and get a saddle that fits well. Period. But I have to admit, they sure make them sound good! I think I may pass now. Hmm....ok so let me throw one more idea out there......contoured or not contoured? Any opinions?
I have an english saddle so I don't really know if the fitting is quite the same, but I found that a gel pad lifted the saddle too far off the back and made it "float". My belief is that gel pads are really a bit overused these days, a well fitted saddle and a good numnah works best. But if you really want added protection for your horse a good thick but soft bit of foam is the best thing there is.
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