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Old 07-10-2009, 08:11 PM  
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What's the best western saddle pads to buy?

I have used everything from cheap pads to blankets with hospital felt pads to what I now use- an Impact Gel that's wool and fake sheepskin and cost me almost $300. I also have an Impact gel that's thick felt but the felt doesn't have enough 'give' even with the gel in it and I don't use it. It was almost $300, too, and it sits collecting dust in the tack room.

Anyway, what would you consider to be the best western pad money can buy? And I don't mean 'Pat Parelli's super-duper pad that he had to design himself because nobody in the whole world made one like his and now you can buy it for only $1500 and if you don't you're a mean horse owner'. (Does he have anything like that yet? I just about choked when I saw what he wanted for his stupid saddles.)

What I mean is something that is actually the best thing you could use on your horse. When I was at the Mane Event in the spring there were pads made from some kind of special wool (Marino? Murano?) that were about $300. That kind of thing. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:19 PM  
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Sorry, I love my impact gel and wouldn't trade it for the world! My horse is happy and not sore anymore! You can donate yours to me if you don't want it.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:22 PM  
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100% real wool felt pad. Contoured back with cutout withers.

I have two right now. Both are Tod Sloanes, but there are other brands that are just as good and a bit cheaper now. The first one I got is almost 10 years old, the other a couple years newer. Both still in great condition as long as I hose them off every so often to get rid of the hair, dirt and sweat.

Never had a horse sored. Never a sore back without good reason (like too long a day in the saddle).
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:05 AM  
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Pleasant Ridge in eastern On. has a thick 100% wool felt pad with vent holes that comes in black or black. They seem to be well made. I may order one myself as they are less than $100 including taxes and mail. There is no gel, no fake fleece, just wool which helps wick sweat away, a cooling feature. This particular pad will not work on a high withered horse as it's not contoured, nor cut out at the withers. **After I posted I went into their website and see that they have added another felt pad, a beige one for just over $100, 3/4" thick which I plan on ordering. The thickness will allow for me to top it with a thick wool blanket.

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Old 07-11-2009, 03:53 AM  
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I am a heavy rider and have ridden in everything from regular felt, to wool, to impact gel, to neoprene, to memory foam, etc. My saddle fits my mare very well, but if I use the wrong pad she still gets dry spots from my weight being in one spot. The best pad I have found is Classic Equine's split memory foam, it has a wool top, and two memory foam panels down either side of the back. Because it's 'split' the pad gets no side-to-side shift, and the memory foam contours extremely well. My mare works happier, and no more dry spots, even after long rides! I also have a gel pad that cost over $200, and it does not perform as well as the Classic Equine pad. They will be the pads I buy from now on. They run about $130.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:11 AM  
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I haven't tried these but my trainer uses them and loves them.
http://www.yuccaflatsinc.com/catalog1.html
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:59 AM  
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The absolute BEST thing I've used so far is the CSI pad. They have the flex plate technology that reduces the impact on your horses back. You can seriously stick you hand under it and smack it with a hammer as hard as you can and it won't hurt! I've seen it done...I've done it . I bought the felt bottom insert instead of the foam, but even the foam is ok--it's not like neoprene, which I don't like.
They are at least $300 on their website, but as hard as we ride our horses, it's worth it. We have 2, my bf has 2, and another close friend has 3. We all love every one of them.
I also have a Classic Equine Bio Fit pad, and I really like it as well. I bought it before I bought the CSI, and it does exactly what I bought it to do. I need just a tad improvement on a saddle fit due to some dry spots on the the witheres. The dry spots are gone and it really freed up the shoulders. $160 and worth every penny.
I have a Todd Slone 1" wool pad that I use often. I like it alot, but I had to purchase the Bio Fit because of the dry spots it left on one horse. But it's still a good pad and works well on Deuce, who is wide enough for my saddle.
The other pads we have are all Classic Equine Contour Fits. They are thick with lots of wither relief for the two older rope horses. The only thing I don't like about them is they are neoprene bottoms, so we use thin navajo's under them, and then they work fine.
I don't have a singe cheap saddle pad anymore. Saddle fit is just too important. The cheapest one I have is over $150! If you'd have asked me a few years ago, I wouldn't have had anything over $100. But I've learned...
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:10 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misstishus View Post
The best pad I have found is Classic Equine's split memory foam...
Do you any idea who this pad might compare to the Equipedic pad? I am a heavy rider and haven't had much luck with the Equipedic, which also uses memory foam.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:07 PM  
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Originally Posted by fishing_trex View Post
Do you any idea who this pad might compare to the Equipedic pad? I am a heavy rider and haven't had much luck with the Equipedic, which also uses memory foam.

I'm not familiar with the Equipedic line. But there are different types of memory foam. The ESP Contour split pad I refer to isn't just memory foam, it has a wool top blanket with 1/2" memory foam middle, and a felt base for breathability. I found them on clearance today for $99.95.

<http://www.smithbrothers.com/product.asp?pn=X3-19602&sid=nextag&CATALOG_CODE=SX832&EID=X3832001&z mam=1460880&zmas=2&zmac=37&zmap=X3-19602>
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:08 PM  
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Sorry, link didn't work, but if you cut and paste into your browser window, it should take you to the ones on clearance at Smith Bros.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:52 PM  
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Sorry, this is the first time I could get back on here, the site's been acting up again.

Thanks everybody for your information and insights!
I do really like my wool Impact Gel but it's my show pad and I don't really want to use it every day. So the decision is whether to get a new show pad or a new everyday one and which one to get.
This is really helpful!
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:01 PM  
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I have to agree w/ Rockingr. I was sold on the CSI pads and now have one. I use it daily and love it. I have a whole tack room full of pads....thats the only one I use. I have a Professionals choice Charmayne James air ride. Its alright but really really noisie. I have a couple Martha Josey contoured pads and they aren't bad...run on the cheap side...after a bit of use they have lost thier shapes a bit.

I did get the foam insert on the CSI pad....while I wont get that again..I dont hold it against the pad. It just hasn't really held up like it should have..in my opinion. I guess I will "replace" with the wool insert next time. They are very easy to take care of and look awesome! www.csipads.com is the website. Every once in a while you can find used ones...but once you are sold on them...you dont let them go.
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:24 AM  
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I really like Classic equine countoured felt pads. Pretty, but also functional. And they're comforatable for the horse.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:42 PM  
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Thanks for the CSI link, very interesting. Thanks for the input everybody!
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