Before reading the article...
1) Depends on what the pad is made of...aka how dense the material is.
2) Depends on what it's intended for. Is it just a pad, or is it for distribution and/or dissipation of downward force?
3) Depends on whether you use a constructive saddling method, which implies more padding.
And now I've read the article and agree with this point: if a saddle fits perfectly, then yes - it is probably not
a good idea to use a thick, inflexible
, and non-fitted pad with it. I've never been a fan of those anyway. If you put the pad on the horse's back and it doesn't follow the shape of the back, or looks (and almost feels) like a plywood board sitting on the horse's back, I'm not having it. I like sheepskin (shave a gullet down the middle) or just a blanket for my western saddle. Foam in a spine-relief pad would be nice too. I think we recently had a conversation similar to this and
pointed out that a well-fitted saddle does not require a pad to help it fit. In my opinion, it's just there to help cushion and dissipate any sharp energy down onto the horse's back from the rider's seat.
Picture what would happen if you had a pair of shoes that fit and then you put on an extra pair of socks. It would obviously change the fit to the point where the socks were causing the pressure, not the shoes.
While this makes perfect sense, nobody in their right mind would wear a 'just right' pair of shoes with 2 pairs of thick, woolen socks. Right? You'd start with shoes that are slightly too big, and hence keep your feet warm and padded with the socks. The shoes would still need to fit the arch of your foot though! So enter constructive saddling. Basically it takes a saddle that would fit perfectly if it were narrower, and widens that a little. Cushioning and impact-shock material is then used to fill in the small amount of extra space, but leaves enough room for movement in the scapula. It's an interesting concept and appears to be working for my horse. Everybody's different! =)