A great saddle pad can help distribute pressure more evenly from the saddle/rider to the horse, reduce friction, absorb shock and improve the balance of the saddle. Keeping a horse comfortable while riding is of utmost importance me and if a great saddle pad can help, I am all in. Garrett and I have both been riding with Impact Gel Saddle Pads for years on the recommendation of our horse trainer. We love the technology behind them, their durability and how well they perform.
Impact Gel Saddle Pads actually began as technology used to keep race car drivers safe. The gel technology was integrated into head and neck restraints and race car seats. Eventually it was used to create saddle pads that help relive pressure points.
The proprietary, non-toxic gel (created from soybeans) is made of interconnected energy dissipating molecules. These structures, called cross-links, allow the gel molecules to move freely around one another while remaining linked. The Impact Gel absorbs and dissipates force of impact and pressure points associated with inconsistencies of saddle fit. It has incredible shock absorption properties because the energy flows horizontally through the gel away from the impact location, similar to ripples on the surface of a pond. It also disperses heat horizontally thru the gel and it is antimicrobial.
Impact Gel makes a few different styles but I am a fan of the Contour Classic and the Woven Saddle Pad. The Contour Classic is what Garrett rides in every day and what we both use under our show saddle pads. The gel is shaped and placed strategically to fit the placement of the saddle and is crafted from a wool blend that allows for good airflow and is non-slip. It is also cutout at the withers to help with range of motion. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes and you can even custom make one.
The Woven Saddle Pad is my newest addition and I am not going to lie, I purchased it solely because it came in a hot pink, woven pattern named for Dolly Parton. The Woven Saddle Pad comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns (some named for famous country singers) and is available in a straight back with fleece or contour cut with felt. All styles incorporate the Impact Gel for superior fit and energy absorption. This is the pad that I ride in everyday at home. I chose the fleece underside and it is so thick and fluffy. It is too thick to use under a show pad but perfect for non-show rides. All the Impact Gel pads are made incredibly well and are super durable.
If pink is not your cup of tea, there are lots of beautiful colors and patterns to choose from.