Your thoughts on the benefits of saddle pads (like gel pads)?

Discussion in 'Horse Riding' started by Deb2, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I have a pad, that looks like a gel pad, but feels like a memory foam that bounces back after squishing.

    I've not used it before as I've had western and halfbreed saddles, so its been in storage.

    I am now in the throws of deciding which dressage saddle I want to buy, and when I have made my decision I will have the saddle professionally fitted.

    This brings me to my question about this pad. Who likes these pads and why, and who hates them and why?

    I figured it would be better for me to decide if I want to use it, or not, under my new saddle (with one standard saddle blanket), and then have the saddle fitter make allowances for it at the time of fitting the new saddle. Ofcourse, then I would always have to use it in order to keep the padding between saddle and horse the same.

    I'm off two minds as I like to ride as close as possible to my horse, but after having western/halfbreed saddles for so long makes me a bit concerned about the smaller load bearing parts of the 'english' saddle, so I wondered if this pad would distribute the load bearing out better. I hope that makes sense.;)

    Does anyone want to share their thoughts on this?

  2. montygirl

    montygirl Well-known Member

    I ride with a Thinline pad under my saddle. I LOVE it!!!! My horse is cold backed and this pad has completely stopped the humping and bucking! I'm not a fan of gel pads :( They don't equally exert the pressure on the horses back.
  3. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    I've also been looking into pads, and having read all i can it seems the gel in the pads moves under pressure and can cause more pressure sores on the back...I have recently bought an original old mac pad, they are memory foam. Have yet to try it out, but a friend of mine has a western one and it was the only thing that distributed the pressure evenly on her boys back and stopped the problems! (I believe there is one for sale on the evil auction site!).
  4. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    I have a Prolite pad (also known as a Gel Lite pad) for one of my horses and a Thinline for the other one.
    The thinline is my preference **)

    *ETA the Prolite is a high density memory foam. Personally I wouldn't use any type of gel pad either)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2010
  5. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    Gel Pads are useless - drop a ball bearing on it and the gel seperates - not distribute pressure like they are supposed to.

    Get a thinline - great investment, they are thin so don't affect the way the saddle fits, they distribute pressure evenly, and they are good for the riders back - jarring etc

    I also have a skito pad - used it for my treeless, wouldn't use it for anything else though too bulky, but distributes pressure well. Under a normal saddle it's too much bulk and makes saddle too tight.
  6. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    i would love a thinline pad if had the $$$ maybe later!
  7. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    I have a thinline too. It was $140 well spent!

    My guy shattered his whither a couple of years back and has since got back pain.
    This pad has helped so much I love it.
  8. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    The Thinline pads are on special this month too. **)
  9. kp

    kp Well-known Member

    I always ride with somne sort of back protector for my horses. I have a thinline. It is good. But I LOVE my fleeceworks one. I would never ride my warmblood without it.
  10. Black Ice

    Black Ice Well-known Member

    I have a Gel Pad and a Lamicell Saddle Pad. I hate the Gel pad, but I still use it under my jumping saddle until I can afford a Thinline one. I use the Lamicell under the dressage saddle and since using it Zulu is working so much better.

    I have consulted Zulu about not using anything, and he doesn't seem to like the idea... usually showing his displeasure by bucking/hollowing/head tossing or simply not moving!
  11. paula223

    paula223 Gold Member

    I have a bid on one now **) Therapeutic Thinline Pad $45 ATM so im fingers crossed lol
  12. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Oh good luck Paula.:)*

    I think most people got the idea that I had a gel pad, but I said it LOOKS like a gel pad, but is like a memory foam type.

    What are peoples thoughts re the saddle fitting.

    Get the saddle fitted with the idea of using the pad, or not?

    If people use their pad sometimes but not other times, how do they manage the 'fit' issue with their saddles?

    Am I making sense???

  13. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    the saddle should be made to fit the horse and the pad should just improve matters. IMHO.

    I am purchasing two thin line pads that will be used till we can get the perfect fitting saddle and then will be used to help absorb inpact.
  14. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    i got my saddles fitted without & mentioned to the (excellent) saddle fitter that i'd like to ride with my memory foam pad (one from saddles plus, dunno the 'brand' think it's just a generic one from them) and the fitter was pleased that i ride with one. it didn't make a diff to the way she fitted tho. like SM said, it just improves things.
  15. chick_with_a_chainsaw

    chick_with_a_chainsaw Gold Member

    i bought a memory foam skito on years ago and used it pretty much all the time on libby. now that shes got no topline (being semi retired and out for over months with an injury) i wont ride her without it/

    skye on the other hand has a stupid rolley polley back. the saddle has been fitted and the fitter says because of her shape (aka barrel with legs) the less i have under the saddle the better.

  16. WildandFree

    WildandFree Well-known Member

    well i ride my mare in a gel pad its white and is the shape of the saddle and my mare loves it you don't put it on before a ride she get cross you put it on and ride shes happy no dramas

    i think the think the thineline pad may help rossy tho

    paula you may have a bidding war on your hands lol *#)

  17. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Okay, thanks blitzen, thats what I wanted to know.:)*

    I will mention to the fitter though.;)
  18. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    When I have my saddles refitted I always make sure I have the pads handy to show the saddle fitter.
    The Thinline pad has never affected the way one of my saddles is fitted, but for my other horse that I used the thicker Prolite pad on, it has.
  19. Maree4

    Maree4 Gold Member

    I use a thinline pad, but I had to also buy a gel pad to lift my old saddle at the back..not a good idea, hated it. It caused more trouble than it was worth, the saddle should fit well without needing pads. I use a thinline as it is designed to disperse the pressure. It doesn't interfere with how your saddle fits, they are awsome.

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