Fleece or Gel? Advice on half-pads... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 11-10-2008, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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I forgot part 2 of the question. I personally like Fleece/sheepskin better than gel. I have used gel once and I can't see I really like it. I just can't grasp how those would be comfortable to the horse.
my2geldings is offline  
post #12 of 19 Old 11-10-2008, 11:06 AM
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I use a gel pad. But I don't use the kind that most people use.

This is what I use:
Alfa Gel Honeycomb Saddle Pad - Dover Saddlery...

It's better than most other gel pads because of the honeycomb design. That prevents the gel from being unevenly distributed and it also prevent heat buildup. It also molds perfectly to the horse back and helps keep you saddle and pads from slipping around.
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post #13 of 19 Old 11-11-2008, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sultan, WA
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I'd recommend natural sheepskin for your half pad. Sheepskin is the best at creating air flow (cooling), wicking away sweat, and not creating pressure points. I've read about lots of problems with gel pads (mainly that they trap heat). Although, the pad that blossom linked to looks intriguing... I'd say the only benefit of a gel pad is that it's easy to clean!!

Monte - 15 year old Paint/TB
Auric - 13 year old Arab
Equina is offline  
post #14 of 19 Old 11-12-2008, 01:04 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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Originally Posted by mojo7777 View Post
Thanks for the input. I'm so glad I found this forum! My reasoning for using a half pad is about cushioning--if the saddle were strapped to my back, I think it would feel more comfortable with a comfy pad underneath...weight-distribution... But I'm definitely trying to understand the reason behind Mojo's obvious sensitivity in the back area. Opinions here about the saddle all seem to think it is a good fit--plenty of clearance in the gullet, evan sweat pattern on the pad, etc--wish I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt! I'm light in weight and have a decent seat, so I don't think that is it. He's ridden lightly to moderately about four times a week. I'm leaning towards a fleece pad--maybe I can borrow to try it out first... Not to highjack my own thread, but any suggestions on how to truly know what is causing the sensitive back and sides? (No problems with soundness.)
If you want something to absorb shock without affecting the saddle fit, then I would definitely go with a ThinLine Contour pad. They are only 1/4" thick, so your saddle will still fit nicely. They are GREAT at absorbing shock and being non-slip. I love mine and won't ride without it ;). I can definitely feel a difference. They also have a 30-day guarantee, so if you aren't 100% happy with it, you can return it. Read about ThinLine pads.
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post #15 of 19 Old 11-12-2008, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Michigan
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I use an Equigel pad underneath my fleece pad for my huntseat saddle. The gel stays at the same thickness all of the time it does not squish from one side to another. My saddle does fit properly but my horse just seems more comfortable at the end of a long day of showing when I use it. I like the Equigel pad because it is not contured and when I ride western I lay it sideways over my horses withers. It helps absorb any shock on his withers and shoulders. It does get sweaty underneath but that is my only complaint. It does not cause hot spots though.
Here is a link to it.

Equigel Cushion Pad - Dover Saddlery...
LauraB is offline  
post #16 of 19 Old 11-12-2008, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: NJ
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There are two main problems with gel--
1. They don't breath, so in the summer, your horse will be DYING from the heat.
2. They're usually heavier then many other pads!

With that being said, back soreness is a huge issue, and I would get a chiropractor or a massage therapist out to check on him. If it's not fair to make a person run when their leg hurts, then it shouldn't be fair to ride a horse when his back hurts.
mayfieldk is offline  
post #17 of 19 Old 11-13-2008, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm going to borrow various pads and experiment. Luckily, our barn has a variety of types and owners willing to share... I totally agree with you about horses and sore backs. I wish they could talk to tell us if and where it hurts. We have an equine masseuse around here, but I'll have to import a chiropractor. Runs into money, but it must be done!
mojo7777 is offline  
post #18 of 19 Old 11-15-2008, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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I was a huge fan of the sheepskin but now I wouldn't use anything else except the gel. I use it over a baby pad or quilted pad.
Patagonia is offline  
post #19 of 19 Old 11-15-2008, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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I use a gel-pad on my jumping horse, it's more comfortable to him and absorbs landing and weight shocks.
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