do you use a half-pad? **updated w. pics of my saddle - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,465
• Horses: 1
do you use a half-pad? **updated w. pics of my saddle

I was wondering who uses half-pads (for English riding) and what success have you had with them? How do you know when you need to use one? I'm thinking that maybe I need a half-pad because I don't think my all-purpose pad is enough for my TB. She has shark-fin withers and I feel like its not enough padding. Lately I've been using my close contact (shaped) pad over the rectangular pad. Is this ok, or is it too much padding? How do you know when you are using too much padding?

Thanks guys!

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Jubilee Rose is offline  
post #2 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 01:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 9,883
• Horses: 0
I use a half pad (along with a shaped pad) when I ride Gem. He's had a sore back in the past and I wanted him to be extra comfy.

The other two I either ride with a half pad or without it.

I'm sure Jub will let you know in some way that its too much padding (making it uncomfortable)
appylover31803 is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 02:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,348
• Horses: 4
I only use a half pad. I have a mattes pad and I love it... I should use something under it to keep it clean, but I never do.
Supermane is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 502
• Horses: 1
Half pads are generally used for comfort. Riser pads are used to keep the saddle elevated off the back so it is flat and even.

If your horse has a sensitive back then I would reccomend the Half pad over top of a regular quilted saddle pad. You can also use a pommel pad instead of the half pad to keep the saddle or surcingle when lunging from pressing down on the withers. If your horse does not need a half pad or riser pad for any reason, generally it is best if you just dont use one.

Hope this helps,
eventnwithwinston is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,049
• Horses: 0
I almost always use a half pad and also put a baby pad underneath to keep the half pad clean. It works well for me and provides just the right amount of padding without being too bulky. I would definately suggest one for Jubilee as she has about the same build as my TB.
mudypony is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
1/2 Pads were meant to add more horse to a saddle too wide.

I have a friend who is a Professional Saddle Fitter and Maker, who trained beside Schlese - she despises 1/2 pads and says that many 1/2 pads create more negative effects than positive.

She has gone to many clients - to find out their 1/2 pads were impeding, not aiding.

You can cause bridging, pinching and unbalance. You can cause compacted back muscles, you can other issues.

Just be sure you have someone with enough knowledge and experience to help you with this, before you make any decisions.

With a saddle that already fits - and adding a 1/2 pad to that - ouch, poor horse. That is adding more bulk undernieth the already fitting saddle.

After a good ride, look at the sweat marks on your saddle pad. See what is going on.

I have a TB with an A symetrical back shape, with shark fin withers. I used to use a regular quilted pad, and a wither relief 1/2 pad - I thought I was doing good - adding comfort to his already sensative back.

Until I had a professional Saddle Fitter/Maker come out to work with us - turns out that extra pad was causing bridging and more issues that had to be delt with down the road.

The spine has to be clear, first and foremost. And the muscles surrounding the spine. The back has to beable to lift and the muscles have to beable to breath and work.

You have to have a correctly fitted saddle as well - that is the part that should be corrected and fixed and assessed.

Learn how to read the sweat marks on your saddle pad.

With too much padding, you could be doing nothing good.

Every horse is shaped differently, every saddle make is different. 1/2 pads can help when needed, and 1/2 pads can also impede.
MIEventer is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 23,642
• Horses: 0
I completely agree with MIEventer.
Too many use half pads because it's the "cool" thing to do right now, and it makes a good-fitting saddle not fit... or a poor-fitting saddle fit worse.
I used a half-pad with Denny (and still do) because he has a narrow topline, and my saddle is just a teeeeny bit too wide at the moment; it will be a great fit when he's all muscled up. It just adds that little bit of padding until he has his own padding.
Now, when you have a saddle that fits correctly, the saddle pad should ONLY provide a barrier for sweat so your saddle doesn't absorb the moisture.
If your saddle is fitting incorrectly, it's time to invest in a new saddle.
Yep, it sucks... horses are not cheap.. haha.
If your saddle is a tiny bit wide, it's okay to use a half pad in most cases.... I would strongly suggest looking for a half pad with a spine-free channel, i.e. no sheepskin along the spine.
If your saddle fits well or is a little bit too narrow, do NOT use a half-pad. This will create a very snug fit and will definitely impede a horse's movement and comfort.
JustDressageIt is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 02-16-2009, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,465
• Horses: 1
Thanks everyone for your input! From the sounds of it, I think I have a little too much padding with both my quilted pad and close-contact.

Thanks again.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Jubilee Rose is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 02-16-2009, 12:44 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
• Horses: 3
Shaped pad over a square pad used to be "in style" when I rode H/J back in the 90s in Southern California. Most girls would be riding in that combo in lessons or at schooling shows.

You want to make sure that your saddle is wide enough to accommodate all that padding. If the saddle "just fits" without any pad or with the quilted pad, then adding extra will actually make your horse less comfortable. Think about when you put on too thick of socks in dress shoes or cowboy boots. It's fine for a while, but then your feet begin to cramp up.

If you want something shock absorbing and cushioning that won't change your saddle fit, I'd HIGHLY recommend a ThinLine Half pad or Contour Pad. They do a great job of absorbing shock and reducing "bounce," making gaits a bit easier to sit. I really like the results of my ThinLine pad. And they have a guarantee, so if you don't love it, you can send it back for a refund of the purchase price (less shipping).

If your saddle is wide enough and you want to use a Sheepskin pad, I'd go with an Engel pad. They are very high quality without being so expensive. My daughter has one and it's held up well through many washings.
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 02-16-2009, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,465
• Horses: 1
Thanks luvstoride. I know that my saddle fits my horse, but I'm not sure if its too wide, or fits just about right. I'm pretty sure its a bit wider if anything, but how do I tell for sure?

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Jubilee Rose is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Updated Filly Pics! WSArabians Horse Pictures 10 05-16-2008 05:21 PM
Updated Colt pics... I could cry! WSArabians Horse Pictures 19 05-16-2008 05:08 PM
Stud Man **UPDATED** More Pics! FGRanch Horse Pictures 28 03-13-2008 11:50 AM
updated pics of my guys jazzyrider Horse Pictures 10 01-31-2008 05:49 PM
what do you guys think??? - UPDATED w Pics jazzyrider Horse Health 14 10-26-2007 07:14 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome