BY BLOG EDITOR LAUREN MAULDIN
When it comes to choosing tack, the most important thing to consider is my horse’s comfort. Sure, I love beautiful pieces with stunning custom details as much as the next person, but none of that matters if the equipment makes my horse at all uncomfortable.
This is especially important when picking out a half pad! My equine partner in crime, Simon, is your typical high withered Thoroughbred who has trouble building muscle over his topline. The right half pad is extremely important for him to ensure his comfort as we work those butt and back muscles during our rides! And for that, I turned to the Acavallo Gel and Memory Foam Half Pad.
Being a local shower with a limited budget, I can be slow to learn about some European based brands. However through Country & Stable’s extensive collection of products, I discovered Acavallo, makers of gel and memory foam products for the equine athlete.
The Gel and Memory Foam Half pad is a thick, luxurious saddle pad for your horse. The memory foam is substantial. Well over an inch thick, it squishes down to fill the curve’s of your horse’s back without disappearing completely, providing an excellent blend of support and comfort.
On top of the memory foam are bands of a super grippy, gel rubber where your saddle goes. If you’ve ever had a problem with your half pad wanting to slip away from your saddle, the Acavallo pad will absolutely stop this! The gel is super, super sticky. Once you place the saddle where you want, that thing isn’t going anywhere thanks to the half pad’s design. No amount of jumper turns or equitation snafus will ever move this half pad.
Under saddle, the pad provides shock absorption with its memory foam while maintaining a close contact feel. I’ve tried other memory foam half pads in the past, and felt like there was a thick pillow underneath my saddle. Not so with the Acavallo pad. It’s a great option for giving your horse a layer of comfort while still being able to feel their back.
The pad is covered in a beautiful suede, available in black, brown and navy. It’s easy to clean, and looks really sharp!
At $179, this pad is a worthy investment for a sensitive backed horse. It will completely eliminate slippage problems, as well as potentially help with saddle fit on a slightly too big saddle, or with a horse that’s working on developing his topline to fill out the tree.
About the Author: Lauren holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of California Riverside, and is a lifelong rider and writer. Beyond equestrian journalism, she explores body positivity, mental health and addiction through personal narrative. She enjoys showing on the local hunter/jumper circuit in Austin, Texas.
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