At Epplejeck you can find a broad range of different half pads of multiple cuts and styles. Our assortment carries gel pads, sheepskin pads, memory foam pads or therapeutic pads. Even though these all sound like they are very different, they all have one and the same function: pressure distribution and relieving pressure and weight. For a well-fitting saddle, a half pad should usually not be necessary. If you have troubles with your saddle, we always urge you to have a saddle fitter have a look at it. But if you need a quick fix to your saddle problem, a half pad can help temporarily. In some case, a half pad can also turn a well fitting saddle into a perfect sitting saddle. In general though, we do advise to take any saddle issues up with an expert and only use half pads if really necessary and as a temporary solution.
What do half pads do?
If your horse has a sensitive back, your saddle is laying a little wonky or the physical condition of your horse has change, a half pad can make your horse more comfortable in the daily training sessions. A half pad can also make the contact between saddle and back softer. The influence of the rider's weight on the horse's back can be decreased with a half pad and pressure can be distributed better. Sensitive spots on the back can therefore be spared a little bit.
If your saddle is not in perfect position, half pads can help it achieve a better position or keep it more stable. A back riser raises the back part of the saddle and takes pressure off from the spine. A front riser on the other hand takes pressure off from the withers.
Half pads should only be used as temporary fix. If your saddle is not fitting well, please consult an expert saddle fitter. Until a saddle fitter can come or if it takes a while to adjust a saddle, half pads are a good solution. If you have a horse that's currently changing body shape, like a young horse or a horse that was over-/underweight or if you're increasing your training intensity and have your horse gaining more muscle, a half pad can also be good, until the horse stops changing so quickly.
What sort of half pad are there?
Sheepskin pads, meaning half pads with (usually faux) fur edge, are highly popular. It doesn't only look good, but also does its job well and stimulates blood circulation in the horse back. If possible, you should put it between the back and the saddle pad (instead of between saddle pad and saddle). Make sure that the saddle doesn't become too narrow with a half pad. A favourite among the sheepskin pads is the LeMieux Pro Lambskin. If you're looking for a cheaper option, you can also choose the Shires Performance Suede or the half pad from Horze.
Many half pads are made of memory foam, which takes the shape of the saddle and horse for an optimal fit. Memory foam pads also absorb shock really well and are great pressure distributers. A very popular model of memory foam pad is the Wither Relief pad from LeMieux. Other options for memory foam pads include, for example, this half pad from QHP or the Saddle balancer from Harry's Horse.
Gel half pads also exist, with the same function as any of the other half pads. There's typically two types of gel pads - solid and honeycomb structure. Solid gel pads absorb shock well and shape to the horse's back, but are more weighty and trap heat more. The half pad Epplejeck Gel is an example for this type of pad. Gel pads with a honeycomb structure, like this Harry's Horse Back Riser, allow more heat and moisture to leave through the little holes. They are usually quite thin and thus won't impact your saddle fit too much on the negative. If you can't decide between foam and gel, no worries, we got you - the BR Memory Foam & Gel half pad gives you the best of both worlds!
Saddle pads at Epplejeck
Shop the best half pads at Epplejeck from the comfort of your home. Our virtual doors are open 24/7 for you and ordering is quick and easy. We always strive to send out your package just a few days after your order comes in, so your wait time is minimal. If something doesn’t fit, simply send it back to us within 30 days – no questions asked!