I've been throwing around the idea of buying a Thinline pad- just the plain pad, no sheepskin or corrections- and I want to hear what you think of them. Almost every review that I have seen during my search has had glowing reviews basically saying that both horse and rider have improved drastically and they'll never ride without one. While I would LOVE to experience these results, I am a bit skeptical and don't want to fork out the better part of $100 for a miniscule effect.
So, what has your experience been with thinline? Are you one of those that has fallen in love and will never ride without one? What did you like about it? Has anyone had a negative experience with the pad? If so, what was the issue?
I can see how the pad can provide benefits to the horse, but I have heard a few folks say great things about how it benefits the rider's comfort. I'm a bit more skeptical about this... how can a 1/4" thick piece of rubber benefit the rider that much when there's a few inches of saddle between the two?
Finally which one should I get? What's the difference between the regular thinline, ultra thinline, contour, etc? Anything other than the shape/size of the pad?
The only difference in the two contour pads is the thickness. I think the ultra is the thinner of the two. The thicker one is for riders who are really flopping around up there. The thinner one just absorbs a lot of shock and gives you a more comfortable ride.
How thick are the two pads actually? I handled one a long time ago, but I don't really remember the thickness. I'm, for the most part, well past the point of flopping around in the saddle. However, I've recently taken up a bit more jumping and am still working on not coming down too hard on his back after the jump. Nothing extreme and he hasn't acted bothered, but would this warrant buying the thicker one instead? Or should I go with the thinner one?
Then there's the black vs white dilemma...
Subbing to remind me to write my "story" later. Will never ride without one again!
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My mare has easily the worlds most sensitive back. She gets regular chiro and massage work(apx every 3 - 4 months) lots of stretches and I keep her fairly heavily blanketed to keep her back warm. I am getting a Back On Track mesh sheet to go under her winter blanket this year.
Anyway I have tried custom fit saddles, even did a Schleese saddle. She was still a cranky mare who was very sensitive and reactive to the slightest movement on her back. My saddle fitter suggested a Thinline pad for her. I figured "why not?"
So I ordered just the regular thinline ultra pad
It was an instant difference! She became very relaxed under saddle, started moving up under me and just happy as could be.
I have since given ditched the Scleese saddle(it was my coaches and I honestly didn't like it for me anyway) and I got a HDR Fletcher event saddle and added the sheepskin thinline
Even though my saddle fits great. Adding the sheepskin thinline was the perfect combination. The Schleese fitter actually loves the HDR on her with the thinline pad(and she isn't a fan of "padding up").
Anyway this isn't about my saddle lol.
She is the happiest girl with this combination on her, and believe me she is one mare who will tell you to get the heck off if she doesn't like what is going on on her back lol. She moves beautifully, she is relaxed and stretches forward. My own back and hips have noticed the difference as well as it seems to just be that right amount of shock absorption between us. If I ride other horses without a thinline my back and hips scream in pain. If I add the thinline I am good to go.
I don't know what it is, but this pad seems to be the perfect trick. I will never have a horse without at the very least the thinlin ultra between me and my horse.
Thanks for the input! I'm still hoping to hear from more folks, but I'm looking into getting the ultra thinline now :)
For me the difference was being able to sit deeper in the saddle since the pad was absorbing some of the "noise". For the horse, it was immediate. His back instantly came up and he starting trotting around like twinkle toes. He was still feeling me through the saddle but obviously felt less affected by me extraneous unintentional movements. The chicken/egg part was, once he started moving better, I could ride better, and the positive snowball has kept going ever since.
I think the difference between the two is one is 1/8" and the other is 1/4'.
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