Top 14 Recommended Half Pads For Horses

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Looking for the best half pads for horses? 

Choosing the right pad is important as the wrong decision can actually have the opposite effect than you desire.

I’ve taken all the guesswork out for you with this buying guide covering 14 of the best options for you and what to avoid.

Let’s take a look.

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Best Half Pads Top Picks at a Glance

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

Editor's Choice
Preview
ECP Air Ride Shock Absorbing Half Saddle Pad - White
Top Benefit
Breathable
Check Latest Price
Preview
Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief, White, 22 1/2-Inch
Top Benefit
Great for high wither horses
Check Latest Price
Preview
Lami-Cell Full Shock Absorbing Memory Pad - Black - Horse
Top Benefit
Shock absorbing
Check Latest Price
Preview
Horze Harleigh Rising Half Pad - Ventilation Horze
Top Benefit
Mesh spine channel helps airflow
Check Latest Price

14 Best Half Pads (With In-Depth Reviews)

#1 ECP Air Ride Shock Absorbing Half Saddle Pad

Half Pad

If you want a lightweight, thin pad at a reasonable price, you’ll like this option.

Physical Attributes

  • Mesh openings
  • Proprietary TPE foam
  • Shock absorbing

Sizes and Measurements

  • One Size

Benefits & Drawbacks of ECP Air Ride Shock Absorbing Half Saddle Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
BreathableFoam likely to wear out faster than some other options
Not bulky
Non slip

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is one of the most budget friendly options in my guide. It is also foam but thin for those the don’t want a thick pad but don’t like gel.

Expert Tips

Saddle pads are not as straight forward as you think. Here are some do’s and don’ts from an expert saddler.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About ECP Air Ride Shock Absorbing Half Saddle Pad

A happy horse rider has this to say about this pad: “This is a very nice thin, cushiony half pad.”

ECP Air Ride Shock Absorbing Half Saddle Pad - White
  • Breathable, lightweight and shock absorbent
  • Small, comfortable ventilation holes prevent excessive sweating
  • Ventilated back prevents overheating
  • Mesh openings provide soothing relief to the back
  • Earth friendly and recyclable

#2 Kavallerie Gel Saddle Pad Middle Riser

Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Fleece Half Pad

Sticking with Kavallerie, their gel saddle pad model is extremely popular. I have one myself and find it great if you want to add some shock absorption without bulk.

Physical Attributes

  • Air channels
  • Patented Reiter gel material
  • Comes in black
  • Middle Riser

Sizes and Measurements

  • One Size but can cut down size

Benefits & Drawbacks of Kavallerie Gel Saddle Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Not bulkyGel isn’t as good as wool or foam for reducing pressure
Breathable
Very flexible
Pressure distribution
Can make smaller

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is the thinnest option and good for those that want something that won’t be too bulky, especially if using one of the thicker pads will actually make the saddle fit worse.

Expert Tips

How do you pick the right half pad? See what these horse tack experts have to say.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Kavallerie Gel Saddle Pad

 Check out this helpful review of the Kavallerie Gel Saddle Pad.

Kavallerie Middle Riser Gel Saddle Pad - Helps with Saddle Bridging, Sore Back, Swayed Back, High Withers English Bareback Pad for Horses, Protective, Perfect for Eventing, Schooling, Dressage
  • ✅ All Horses Need Love And Attention. Four specifically designed gel saddle pads to choose from: Seat Saver, Middle Riser, Rear Riser, and Front Riser. Each has specific features and use. Every back condition that your horse may suffer from, we have the gel saddle pad to help you and your horse to have the most comfortable rides.
  • ✅ Provides Cushion Your Horses Need. We know you care a lot about your horse's health. That's why we developed a gel saddle pad that will reduce uneven pressure distribution on your horse's back. Imagine a layer of cloud-like support every time you train or go for a quick ride.
  • ✅ A Reliable Gel Saddle Pad That Does It All. Made from soft yet strong materials that keep your saddle from moving, we put 100+ gel holes that prevent heat that causes too much sweating, discomfort, irritation, and skin sores. This is one gel saddle pad your horse will be happy to have.
  • ✅ Easy To Maintain. A gel pad that's easy to clean and maintain? We got you and your horse covered! Kavallerie offers a series of gel saddle pads that are designed not only to provide comfort and align your horse's back with the saddle but also easy to wash. Just wash it with water and you are good to go!
  • ✅ Use It For Any Event. Help your horse perform with ease and comfort. Have a saddle pad that supports its back during dressage, jumping, or training. Yes, you don’t need to find another set saddle pads for each event. Kavallerie soothing gel pad has got your horse’s back covered (literally).

#3 HORZE Fur Half Pad

Half Pad

I’ve included this half pad for those looking for something on a tighter budget. I’m not a big fan of fleece half pads as they are poor at shock absorbing, but can still be helpful. This is one of the best fleece half pads you can get.

Physical Attributes

  • Quilted fabric
  • Non-slip fleece
  • Billet Straps
  • Comes in grey, black, or white

Sizes and Measurements

Horse or pony size

Benefits & Drawbacks of HORZE Fur Half Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Budget friendlyNot very shock absorbing
BreathableSome users find it too thin
Helps minor saddle fit issues
Washes easily

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is a great pad for a tight budget or for someone who wants to make a slight adjustment to the fit of their saddle.

It is thin, so won’t add a lot of bulk but it is not as good at distributing pressure and absorbing shock as some of the others.

Expert Tips

You may have heard how important a correctly fitted saddle is for your horse’s well-being. So how does a proper saddling fitting happen? Find out here from saddle experts.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About HORZE Fur Half Pad

 Natalie found this half pad perfect for her needs. She has this to say: “Product was great! Worked like a charm for practice and showing!”

HORZE Fur Half Pad - Durable, Quilted, Breathable, Non-Slip Correction Saddle Pad with Fleece Underside and Faux Fur - Grey - Horse
  • ✅ Measurement Chart for Accurate Sizes: Unsure of what size you should order? We have you covered. A Horze-specific measurement chart is available in the images to help you choose the right size that will fit your horse. To ensure you order a half pad that feels comfortable and fits properly, we recommend you take a few minutes to re-check your horse's measurements even if you've ordered these half pads before.
  • ✅ Breathable Quilted Fabric - The beautiful diamond-quilted pattern is made of a breathable cotton/polyester blend for comfort!
  • ✅ Keep Your Saddle In Place: This non-slip half pad raises the saddle to accommodate minor saddle fitting issues. This half pad features a fleece underside and faux fur edging to provide a secure and comfortable fit.
  • ✅ Breathable Diamond Quilt Pattern: The elegant diamond-quilted pattern gives this half fur pad a luxuriously elegant look and feel. The half-pad is made from a blend of cotton and polyester blend to maximize breathability.
  • ✅ Multiple Colors To Choose From: Classy and elegant colors to match your style.

#4 Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief

Half Pad

This is a new brand for me but I really like the look of this wither relief pad. It is made with foam and has a fleece bottom and extra room at the wither.

Physical Attributes

  • Fleece bottom
  • 10mm thick sponge interior
  • Cotton twill top
  • Comes in white or black

Sizes and Measurements

  • 19-inches long

Benefits & Drawbacks of Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief

BenefitsDrawbacks
Great for high wither horsesNot the easiest to clean
Good price
Sof and flexible

How it Compares to Others and Why

For a thicker foam pad with extra room around the withers, this is a great value. It has more room for the withers than some other options and is also one of the cheapest.

Expert Tips

Want to know how to check your saddle to make sure it still fits? I found this video about 6 steps you can take from a saddler fitter really helpful.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief

Horse parent, Michelle, found this pad ‘perfect’ for her high withered thoroughbred. “I couldn’t be happier with this item”

Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief, White, 22 1/2-Inch
  • CUSHIONED FIT: The Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief sits snugly between your saddle and the horse’s wither to provide a cushioned padding that relieves discomfort and keeps your horse safe while riding.
  • KEEP YOUR HORSE COMFORTABLE: The 100% cotton twill fabric is super comfortable, and the fleece bottom feels soft against your horse’s coat. For the best fit, this pad should only be used with saddles over 17 inches.
  • EVERYTHING BUT THE HORSE: For over 45 years, Intrepid International has been the leading global manufacturer and distributor of products for horse and rider. We strive to provide quality products at reasonable prices with superior customer service.
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Includes (1) Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief - White. Fleece bottom with rolled edge, cotton twill top, 6mm felt and 10mm sponge padding, 5 in cut out hole, 22. 5 in long.

#5 Thinline Ultra Sheepskin Comfort Half Pad

CThinLine Ultra Sheepskin Comfort Half Pad

I can’t mention the best half-pad brands without including Thinline’s products. While Thinline pads are very trendy, they are also really good!

Thinline is unique in that as their names says their pads are extra thin. They provide shock absorption with a special open-cell foam that doesn’t add bulk under your saddle.

This particular pad is the full works. It has a sheepskin underside with a Thinline pad on top for an extra layer of protection.

It also has pockets for shims. You can also get regular Thinline pads without all the extra features, which I recommend as well.

Physical Attributes

  • 2 saddle attachment straps
  • Sheepskin pads
  • Thinline pad on top

Sizes and Measurements

  • Comes in medium or large
  • Available in black or white

Benefits & Drawbacks of Thinline Ultra Sheepskin Comfort Half Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Shock absorbingPricey
Helps distribute weight evenly
Help give the rider a more comfortable ride
Reduces pressure points

How it Compares to Others and Why

Thinline is one of the Thoroughbreds of half-pads. Helps the comfort of the horse and the rider. What is has that others don’t have is a lack of bulk. 

This is great for custom-made saddles as these saddles can end up fitting wrong if you add a pad that is too thick.

Expert Tips

If you want to encourage your horse to have more free movement, then I suggest trying out this pad. Thinline claims that it helps allow the horse to move more freely and the rider to sit its gaits more easily.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Thinline Ultra Sheepskin Comfort Half Pad

Find out what this horse rider, has to say about this incredibly popular half pad here.

#6 EquiFit ImpacTeq Half Pad

half pad

EquiFit makes impact protection products that I love. They are better known for their tendon boots, but their half pad incorporates all the same modern materials.

Physical Attributes

  • Breathable
  • Anti-microbial
  • Multi-dimensional air mesh

Sizes and Measurements

  • Pony spine length 19-inches
  • Standard spine length 21.5-inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of EquiFit ImpacTeq Half Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Molds to the horse’s backExpensive
Fits well under most saddlesTakes a bit longer to arrive
Absorbs extreme impact
Easy to clean

How it Compares to Others and Why

EquiFit incorporates their extreme impact-absorbing mastering into their half-pads to provide an option that is not too bulky.

It is more expensive than some options, but you get what you pay for with quality and protection.

Expert Tips

If you ride multiple horses a day and want a pad that doesn’t raise the saddle too far off the back, this is a good choice to consider.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About EquiFit ImpacTeq Half Pad

Horse parent, Terese, is a big fan! Here’s what she has to say: “best half pad…worth the price.”

#7 Lami-Cell Memory Foam Half Pad

Lami-Cell Memory Cell Half Pad

In the last few years, memory foam has become very popular with makers of equine half-pads. It is one of my favorite materials for this type of gear and I particularly like Lami-Cell’s products.

I really like that this pad is discreet and simple. Plus it comes at a great price.

Physical Attributes

  • Memory foam
  • Black
  • Faux leather trim in the same color

Sizes and Measurements

  • 1 to 1 ¼ inch thick
  • One size

Benefits & Drawbacks of Lami-Cell Memory Foam Half Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
LightweightOnly one size
Shock absorbing
Helps keep the saddle in place

How it Compares to Others and Why

Compared to other half pad options this Lami-Cell product is of excellent value. You get your foot in the door with a memory foam pad at an affordable price, as many half-pads using this material often cost more.

Expert Tips

While I love memory foam pads, they do have one thing I don’t like. The foam does not last as long as a gel or the material you find in the amazing Eco Gold pads.

One thing I notice is that they lose their shape, especially where the saddle sits and takes the weight.

When you start to notice a dent in the pad test it by squeezing it between your hands. You will be able to feel that the pad is no longer providing any shock absorption.

When you feel this, you will need to replace your pad.

Half Pads -Good? Bad? Find out more from a saddler fitter in this helpful video.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Lami-Cell Memory Cell Half Pad

Check out this review from a regular horse owner, just like you.

Lami-Cell Full Shock Absorbing Memory Pad - Black - Horse
  • Helps Keep Saddle in Exactly the Right Place
  • Gel Foam
  • Absorbs Shock
  • Provides Spine Relief
  • Eliminates Pressure Points

#8 ECP Equine Comfort Products Correction Half Saddle Pad

ECP Equine Comfort Products Correction Half Saddle Pad

ECP’s Equine Comfort Pad is one of the best shimmable half pad options available outside of Prolite.

As many horse owners know their horse can change shape along their back depending on weight, fitness, and muscle development.

A shimmable pad allows you to insert different width pads to adjust for these changes.

They also allow you to use different sizes in the front and rear of the pad which means you can adjust certain parts of the saddle if necessary.

Physical Attributes

  • Brushed Cotton topside
  • Density foam shims
  • 2 straps to attach it to the girth straps

Sizes and Measurements

  • 4 pockets for shims
  • Lots of great color choices
  • 22-inches along the top

Benefits & Drawbacks of ECP Equine Comfort Products Correction Half Saddle Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Shock absorbentThe foam shims wear out a bit too quickly
Adjustable
Can help stabilize saddle fit issues

How it Compares to Others and Why

One thing I really like about this pad compared to others is that you can adjust the shims to make it thinner or thicker depending on the saddle and horse.

It also comes with a cotton cover, which is really easy to through in the wash.

Expert Tips

The shims of this pad are not washable. Make sure you remove them before you put the cover in the wash.

For some tips from a fellow equestrian on half pad fitting take a look at this video.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About ECP Equine Comfort Products Correction Half Saddle Pad

Horse owner and saddle fitter, Shannon, just loves this pad! Here’s what she has to say: “Fabulous alternative to buying the $150+ Fleeceworks pad. I’m a saddle fitter and use these to help demos fit client horses during appointments, and recommend this pad to trainers to allow their saddle to fit many different horses”

ECP Equine Comfort Products Correction Half Saddle Pad with Adjustable Memory Foam
  • Comes with memory foam inserts; Adjustable
  • Absorbs shocks; Helps prevent injuries
  • Provides comfort to both horse and rider
  • Features 4 pockets with contoured shims for front and back
  • Available in multiple colors

#9 Fleeceworks Half Pad Classic

Image 1 - Fleeceworks Therawool Classic Sheeps Wool Halfpad with Rolled Edge

Fleeceworks makes some of the best half pads. They are traditional with modern features integrated to make them even better for your horse.

This pad uses really wool, the only material worth using outside of gel or memory foam. I really like that they designed the pad to provide wither relief.

This is good for every horse as you want to avoid pressure in that area but it is especially good for horses with high withers.

Physical Attributes

  • Elastic just below the top line
  • Sheepskin
  • Cotton stitched top

Sizes and Measurements

  • Comes in small, medium, large, and extra large
  • Size length is 18 to 21 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of #10 Fleeceworks Half Pad Classic

BenefitsDrawbacks
Suitable for all-purpose, close contact, and dressage saddlesExpensive
Anatomically correct
Integrated elastics relieve pressure

How it Compares to Others and Why

Fleeceworks is a high-end brand that makes it more expensive than many other options. Its integrated elastic strips are unique in that they stretch vertically instead of horizontally. [1]

This prevents the shoulder’s rotational pull from adding unwanted pressure on the back.

Expert Tips

These pads are washable but make sure to follow the instructions by using a suitable detergent for wool. Also, even though this pad is expensive don’t be swayed by cheaper fleece versions that are not really wool.

Fleece in general is a pretty terrible material for a half pad. It does not provide the shock-absorbing protection that wool does. It is also hotter whereas wool actually helps to regulate temperature. 

My advice is to never buy a fleece half-pad, as it flattens quickly and the only thing it does is add bulk under the saddle without the benefits.

Learn more about this popular pad from equestrian tack experts here.

#10 Mattes Gold All Purpose Correction Half Pad

Product Image

Mattes is one of the gold standard half pad brands. They have correction pads with shims, pads without shims, and those shaped to fit dressage saddles.

This pad does not have sheepskin panels but does have wool attached to the fabric. Mattes is one of the most popular wool half-pads amongst riders, despite the price.

Physical Attributes

  • Wool backed fabric
  • 2 straps to attach to your saddle

Sizes and Measurements

  • 1 ¼ inch thick wool backing
  • Medium or Large

Benefits & Drawbacks of Mattes Gold All Purpose Correction Half Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Because it is wool backing only it stays softer after washing and dries quickerExpensive
High quality
Good shock absorption

How it Compares to Others and Why

If you want one of the best half pads for your horse that uses wool, then this is it.

It is more expensive than many of the others so if it does suit your budget take a look at the great gel or memory foal options on my list.

Expert Tips

This is a correction half-pad. If you don’t need this, then I feel it’s better to just get a standard half-pad. If you have a dressage saddle, take a look at the Mattes pad created specifically to fit this type of saddle.

I found this video really helpful to understand the design of Mattes Half Pads, I’m sure you will too!

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Mattes Gold All Purpose Correction Half Pad

Mattes are very popular for their quality. Find out what this horse rider has to say about the dressage version of this pad. 

Check: Saddle Pad for Swayback Horse

#11 Horze Harleigh Sheepskin Rising Pad

Horze Harleigh Rising Half Pad - Ventilation Horze

While this half-pad is pricey it is a cheaper wool option from the excellent brand, Horze. Horze always tries to provide high-quality products at more reasonable prices, which is one thing I really like about them.

What I really love about this pad in particular is the mesh ventilation strip along the spine.

Physical Attributes

  • Real sheepskin
  • Open mesh spine channel

Sizes and Measurements

  • Pony size suits 14 to 16.5-inch saddles
  • Full-size suits 16 to 18.5 inch saddles

Benefits & Drawbacks of Horze Harleigh Sheepskin Rising Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Good shock-absorbing qualitiesExpensive but a cheaper option than Mattes
Mesh spine channel helps airflow
Durable

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is another excellent pad if you want to go with traditional wool protection. It has more ventilation along the top that some others don’t have, which can help keep your horse more comfortable.

Expert Tips

A half-pad size needs to be based on your saddle size. If it’s too small the edge will sit under the saddle panels creating pressure points. Size your half-pad so that it is longer than your saddle.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Horze Harleigh Sheepskin Rising Pad

Horse parent, Jackie has this to say: “LOVE this half pad. Very high quality, and the ventilation channel is perfect, since my horse really sweats a lot.”

I saw it on Equinavia

Horze Harleigh Rising Half Pad – Ventilation Horze

#12 WeatherBeeta Memory Foam Comfort Horse Half Pad

Product Image

You may recognize the brand WeatherBeeta for its excellent range of horse blankets. However, they also have some other quality equestrian gear, like this memory foam half-pad.

This is a thick pad that provides great pressure relief and shock absorption at a good price.

Physical Attributes

  • Non-slip
  • Memory foam
  • Soft and breathable material
  • Anti-microbial

Sizes and Measurements

  • Sizes small, and large
  • Small length 19-inches
  • Large length 22.5-inches
  • Comes in black or white

Benefits & Drawbacks of WeatherBeeta Memory Foam Comfort Horse Half Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Dries quickly if it gets wet in the rainSome might find it a little too thick
Helps evenly distribute pressure
Anti-slip

How it Compares to Others and Why

If you want a good half-pad but want to spend less than $100 dollars this is an excellent option. It is much cheaper than the other options but you still get a pad that will do the job you want.

Expert Tips

Remember to keep an eye on wear and replace the pad when it starts losing its shape. 

Learn more about memory foam half pads from a saddler fitter here.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About WeatherBeeta Memory Foam Comfort Horse Half Pad

Both Taylor and her horse are really happy with this pad. Here are her comments about it: “Love it! Good quality, it’s nice and thick. My horse really appreciates it.” 

#13 LeMieux Lambskin Half Pad

LeMieux Lambskin Half Pad-Dark Brown Wool/Brown Fabric - Small

LeMieux is one of my favorite brands. I love their traditional sheepskin half-pad. It is simple, easy to maintain and offers great protection for your horse’s back.

Physical Attributes

  • Merino wool underside
  • Saddle attachment straps
  • Rolled edge

Sizes and Measurements

  • Available in dark brown, black, and white
  • Comes in small, medium, and large

Benefits & Drawbacks of LeMieux Lambskin Half Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Good price for a wool padThese pads are pretty thick, so might not suit everyone
Wool helps regulate temperature and provides excellent cushioning
Looks good enough for shows
Natural material

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is a traditional style half-pad and while excellent it doesn’t incorporate the most modern features that you see in some other options.

Expert Tips

If you’re getting a LeMieux pad or any other pad on this list, you will need a suitable saddle pad. I recommend looking at LeMieux’s range of jumping pads that are great for shows and schooling at home.

Learn more about LeMieux wool half pads here.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About LeMieux Lambskin Half Pad

Equestrian tack experts tell you what they think about this lovely half pad here.

#14 Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Fleece Half Pad

Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Fleece Half Pad

Gel mesh is one of the better materials used to make half pads for horses. I really like the design of the pad and its features.

The anatomical top line allows you to easily lift the pad into the saddle gullet avoiding unwanted pressure on the spine.

The gel also provides grip, which avoids the saddle slipping thus also helping to prevent rubs. The mesh helps to allow heat trapped under the saddle to escape. 

Another great reason to love the gel material is that it does not degrade easily or quickly. This means that it keeps its shape and will not lose its shock-absorbing ability like some other materials.

This Kavallerie saddle pad is flexible and conforms to your horse’s backfilling any gaps created by a lack of muscle or the saddle.

Physical Attributes

  • Shock absorbing
  • Gel Half Pad
  • Fleece lining
  • Velcro strap
  • Anatomic topline
  • Mesh fabric
  • Gel holes panels

Sizes and Measurements

  • One size
  • Comes in white or black
  • 23-inches long Top line
  • 11-inches flap
  • 26-inches length to rear cushion

Benefits & Drawbacks of Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Fleece Half Pad 

BenefitsDrawbacks
Lightweight and machine washableSome people find it too thick
Helps even out pressure distributionMight be too big for ponies or small horses
Keeps saddle in placeOnly one size
Relieves discomfort
Helps saddle bridging
Gel holes help release heat
3-month refund policy
Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Fleece Half Pad

How it Compares to Others and Why

Kavallerie makes several quality equestrian products. This is one of the best half pads for horses on the market. Compared to others it is one of the more expensive pads.

However, I feel that if you can stretch your budget, it is best not to skimp on the half pad you choose.

A cheap half pad will not provide adequate protection in the long run. They wear out quickly and often do not have the right features to genuinely relieve any of your horse’s back discomfort.

It’s unfortunate that this pad does not come in more sizes, as it will not fit all saddle sizes or horses.

Expert Tips

Always put a half-pad directly under your saddle and on top of the saddle pad. The best saddle pad sizes to use with half-pads are the square jumping pads.

Half pads can affect the fit of your saddle, so it is important to choose wisely. Learn how your saddle should fit from master saddler, Kate Ballard here.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Fleece Half Pad 

Find out what other equestrians think of this great half pad.

Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Fleece Half Pad, for Impact Protection & Therapeutic Gel Padding for Maximum Support and Stability, Best for Horses Under Saddle, Dressage, Jumping & Training
  • ✅ HOLDS THE WHOLE SADDLE IN PLACE - It is important to properly tack your saddles before riding. Kavallerie Half Pad can help keep your saddle in place by providing a gel surface that sticks to your saddle and saddle pad to keep your horse tack secured and sturdy.
  • ✅ RELIVES HEAT AND DISCOMFORT - With light 3D Air-Mesh, PU foam material, and holes through the added gel padding which allows airflow to regulate heat build-up quickly that causes discomfort to your horses, this half pad is a tacking essential.
  • ✅ SHOCK-ABSORBING AND LIGHTWEIGHT - Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Half Pad is uniquely designed with added lightweight gel padding that evenly distributes the pressure on your horse’s back relieving pain and promotes healthier and comfortable rides.
  • ✅ HELPS IN SADDLE BRIDGING - Provides ultimate fit! whether your saddle is too wide or your horse has a chronic muscle atrophy disease, this half pad is what you need to help fill in the gap and bridge your saddle, a versatile pad that conforms with your horseback and provides extra support.
  • ✅ EFFORTLESS MAINTENANCE - Remove hair, dirt and dried sweat with a stiff brush after every use. Machine wash at no more than 30C° after washing then straighten with a piece of cotton fabric. If you aren't satisfied in any way, Kavallerie offers a 3-month refund policy! Be one of the Kavallerians, Grab one for your buddy now!

How to Choose the Best Half Pads for Horses

Choosing the best half pad for horses will depend on your budget, your horse’s needs, your saddle fitting, and your personal preferences.

Do You Need a Half Pad?

brown half pads for horses

This is a question that often has two very strong opinions. Old school equestrian will say that you should never use a half-pad if your saddle fits your horse correctly.

I feel that providing extra protection for your horse’s back is never a bad thing.

However, you do need to consider a few things before picking your pad. If your saddle is narrow or fits your horse like a glove, adding a half-pad can actually cause more harm than good such as increasing pressure.

The best thing to do is to work with your saddle fitter to ensure your saddle will fit well with the use of the pad. Then you have the best of both worlds.

What Half Pad Do You Need?

Take a look at your horse to find what type of half pad is most suitable. Young horses are still developing and will change shape as they begin their riding careers.

For these types of horses, a shimmable half pad is a good option as you can adjust the saddle fit.

Wool is one of my favorite choices, even though it is old-fashioned. The wool keeps its shape under the saddle and creates air pockets which are excellent at absorbing shock. It is breathable and soaks up sweat well. 

You can use them on any horse. The downside to these pads is the cost.

Stay away from fleece, even if you think it would make a nice substitute for wool. It won’t. It does not have a good moisture-wicking benefit and does not help even out pressure.

They are pretty poor at absorbing shock as well. Synthetic material fleece just doesn’t work in the same way as the real thing.

Memory foam is a good choice but is not as effective at shock absorption as some other materials as it is limited to as far as it can compress.

Gel is one of the best materials, especially if you want a durable, thin pad. The only issue with these types of pads is that they are heavier than the other materials.

FAQs

To help you decide if getting a half pad is for you, I’ve answered some common questions for you here.

What do half pads do for horses?

Half pads help distribute pressure evenly on the horse’s back. They also help reduce concussions which can lead to soreness. You can also use a half pad to help a saddle fit better and prevent slippage.

Are half pads good?

Yes, half pads are an excellent piece of equestrian gear. But you must make sure to use good materials and that it improves the fit of your saddle. Using a pad wrongly can actually cause harm and not good.

Do horses need half pads?

Old school thought will tell you no. But I feel that if used correctly, it can only benefit the horse making it happier and less likely to suffer discomfort.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve found the half-pad for you and your horse on my guide. Every type is represented here and there are some good value options.

Final Recommendation

My winner is the ECP Air Ride Shock Absorbing Half Saddle Pad because it is made with good materials and comes at a reasonable price.

However, all of the pads here are excellent choices, and if your budget can stretch I would choose any one of them.

Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Fleece Half Pad, for Impact Protection & Therapeutic Gel Padding for Maximum Support and Stability, Best for Horses Under Saddle, Dressage, Jumping & Training
  • ✅ HOLDS THE WHOLE SADDLE IN PLACE - It is important to properly tack your saddles before riding. Kavallerie Half Pad can help keep your saddle in place by providing a gel surface that sticks to your saddle and saddle pad to keep your horse tack secured and sturdy.
  • ✅ RELIVES HEAT AND DISCOMFORT - With light 3D Air-Mesh, PU foam material, and holes through the added gel padding which allows airflow to regulate heat build-up quickly that causes discomfort to your horses, this half pad is a tacking essential.
  • ✅ SHOCK-ABSORBING AND LIGHTWEIGHT - Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Half Pad is uniquely designed with added lightweight gel padding that evenly distributes the pressure on your horse’s back relieving pain and promotes healthier and comfortable rides.
  • ✅ HELPS IN SADDLE BRIDGING - Provides ultimate fit! whether your saddle is too wide or your horse has a chronic muscle atrophy disease, this half pad is what you need to help fill in the gap and bridge your saddle, a versatile pad that conforms with your horseback and provides extra support.
  • ✅ EFFORTLESS MAINTENANCE - Remove hair, dirt and dried sweat with a stiff brush after every use. Machine wash at no more than 30C° after washing then straighten with a piece of cotton fabric. If you aren't satisfied in any way, Kavallerie offers a 3-month refund policy! Be one of the Kavallerians, Grab one for your buddy now!
horse half pad

What are your favorite half pads for horses? Please share with us below!

Reference

1. Peachey C. Product Review: Fleeceworks Perfect Balance System in Therawool – Eventing Nation – Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary [Internet]. eventingnation.com. [cited 2022 Mar 22]. Available from: https://eventingnation.com/product-review-fleeceworks-perfect-balance-system-in-therawool/

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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