Y’all were exceptionally helpful last week when I asked for suggestions for fuzzy pads to help with Henry’s random and sporadic saddle pad rub issues. There were a lot of options, and I was really overwhelmed, but I appreciate you guys reaching out with your own experiences and product feedback. It helped tremendously. I did finally make a decision, after much hemming and hawing, and then ended up adding another purchase a couple days later. Safe to say, I think I covered all my bases. I hope. Come on Henry.
I ended up getting three pads, from two different brands. I started out with two Merino Wool lined pads from Premier Equine in the UK. Several of you recommended these, and Premier just happened to be in the middle of a 25% off sale, plus I found a coupon code that stacked, plus VAT is removed from the price. I ended up paying $108 total for both pads with shipping, which seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. I was bummed that they didn’t have a style that was shimmable, but theirs are half lined on the bottom, and they came in colors I liked (ie navy), and they have both a jumping style and a dressage style. That ticked most of my boxes, and I didn’t have to spend $500 to do it. Sold.
I ordered those on Friday night, and then on Saturday Hufglocken reached out to me because they had gotten a lot of traffic from my site thanks to the links that were left in the post comments. I ended up getting a Mattes pad from them – a half pad with sheepskin bottom and the correction system. That should tick all the other boxes that the Premier pads didn’t cover, giving me something that can go under a regular pad, or be used by itself, and something I can use on Presto to help Henry’s saddle fit him better as he’s growing. Ta-da – all boxes checked! The Mattes will take a while to get here since it’s a custom order, but in the meantime I have the Premier pads, so… I think it worked out perfectly.
I have to give two huge thumbs up to Premier for their ordering and shipping process. Like I said, I ordered the pads on Friday night (my time) and they shipped out from England on Monday, arriving at my door in Texas before lunch time on Tuesday. It was crazy fast, especially considering that shipping was only $15 and they were in the middle of a huge sale. Like… if this was SmartPak my order wouldn’t have even been in a box yet. (I know this because I recently ordered a gallon of fly spray in their summer sale and it was 6 days before they even shipped it, calm down SmartPak fans)
Both pads also came with zippered carrying cases, which is a nice bonus. Much easier to tote around and keep clean for shows, especially if you have white.
It’s too early to give an opinion on the pads themselves aside from the initial positive first impression. They aren’t as super fluffy and soft and plush as Mattes, but a) they’re Merino Wool not sheepskin, and b) they were literally 1/4 of the price. They are definitely really pretty, and appear to be well made. They fit my saddles well, which is sometimes a rarity given that one of them is an extra forward monoflap. It was too hot to do anything but a quick hack yesterday so it’s tough to gauge Henry’s opinion for sure, but he acted completely normal so we’ll call that a positive for the princess. His back did seem to get less sweaty under these than usual, for whatever that’s worth. We’ll see how it goes with more time, and how they wear/wash.
So, many thanks for all of the input and for helping me make a decision. As usual, y’all came through. Hopefully we’ve found a solution! I’ll circle back and give all the pads a proper review once I’ve had time to use and abuse them.