The search for the perfect half pad is not always easy. There are lots of optioins, but what does my horse need? What do I need to pay attention to? No worries, we’re here to help make the perfect choice for you and your horse!
First off, it’s of course immensely important that your horse has a well fitting saddle. But, even then it may be that you could need or benefit from a half pad. If your horse for example has a very sensitive back, a half pad can be good for distributing pressure better. Other than that, you can also use one to correct and help with some small, temporary problems. It may also be necessary to use a half pad as shock absorption, for example when jumping.
Sheepskin half pad
A well-known and much-used half pad is the fluffy, furry sheepskin one. These sheepskin pads are amazing at absorbing shock and distributing pressure over the entire back.
The Pro Lambskin Halfpad from LeMieux
is made of Australian Merion Wool. This natural products has the benefit that it’s very breathable and regulates temperature well. The thinner lining at the spine ensures that air can flow through the pad.
Another benefit of wool is that it wicks moisture so that the horse’s back doesn’t get too wet. Half pad made of other materials are cheaper, but often also get warmer under the saddle. They usually also have less shock absorption and aren’t as good at distributing pressure.
Paralympic dressage rider Sanne Voets is fan of the Lambskin half pad from LeMieux. Sanne: “the pressure distribution is good and the design is super as well. Many half pads get less and less shock absorbant over time, but the wool from LeMieux stays well structured and lined even after a long time.
Adjustable half pad
Do you need a half pad to correct the position of your saddle? If your horse temporarily has less muscles after a injury or training breaks for example, a half pad may be needed. It could also be helpful with a young horse that changes quickly physically. In these cases, a adjustable half pad is a good choice. It’s also a practical choice for when you’re riding multiple horses with the same saddle.
The Prosorb Half Pad from LeMieux has pockets on the top in which you can insert foam pads. It’s entirely up to you to adjust the pad to the horse’s back at any time. The foam is made of memory foam, which shapes to the horse’s back with the body heat. The saddle molds into the half pad, which makes it more stable and gives correction and support exactly where needed.
Would you like to combine the benefits of the Prosorb with sheepskin? The LeMieux Prosorb Lambskin Half Pad
gives you both. If you don’t fill it up with the small pads, you can also use it as a general sheepskin pad.
Memory Foam pads are also very common. The material evenly distributes the pressure of the saddle over the horse’s back. The body heat of the horse warms up and shapes the foam, adjusting it perfectly to the back and the saddle for an outstanding fit. The saddle also becomes more stable and better positioned due to ‘melting’ into the pad.
The Wither Relief Half Pad
is made of Memory Foam. Besides the general benefits, this pad also has a Carbon Mesh insert on the withers. This ensures that no pressure is being put on the withers and that good air circulation is possible in order to prevent warmth build-up.
Equestrian Sanne Voets has one last tip to help you with your choice: “Coordinate all elements together. Discuss with your saddle fitter if you need a half pad and have them look at your half pad with the saddle if you already use one. Like that, you can achieve the optimum result for your saddle, half pad and your horse.”
JRS is Equestrian Brand Expert of various high-quality equestrian brands in the BeNeLux countries. The equestrian sport is developing quickly and JRS wants to stimulates those changes. They therefore don’t only act as wholesaler, but also as knowledge center. For more information (in Dutch): www.jrsport.nl