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Hi there!

I am making the switch from showing western to showing english only. I have seen some people use sheepskin half pads. I have seen both under the show pad & over. Which is best to do?? Suggestions on which pads to get? And does anyone who currently shows the AQHA HUS have any other suggestions on things I will need.


It really depends on your horse, his comfort level. Some horses are “princess and the pea” types and riders will use a baby pad (thin pad) with a half pad. Keep in mind a sheepskin half pad can take up to a tree width making your saddle fit snugger so be cognizant of that (some riders know this and that is exactly why they use it to help with saddle fit). Some hunt riders use square all purpose pads and others use contoured fleece pads. I run an all English tack store so you may want to browse through there to familiarize yourself with some of the options. Happy to answer any questions.

I have a Pessoa saddle and for showing was going to use pad http://www.sstack.com/english_saddle-pads_all-purposeclose-contact/e-z-view-pad-pin-on-style/
would the thin pad/and or half pad go under this?

Most people put the half pads on top of the QH square number pad, but half pad or foam or gel pad or whatever must be white. I use a very thin baby pad or no-slip liner under the QH fleece pad to keep it cleaner, then a very thin, very old white foam half pad under the saddle.

If you are going to be showing hunter classes in English land, that pad with the square for your number is a no no. You want a shaped pad of fleece or sheepskin that just shows under your saddle, buy one that fits your horse best. Wear your number on your back. For schooling a lot of people use a thin baby pad or regular saddle pad with anything you actually NEED to ensure your saddle is comfortable on your horse, not just whatever your BFF or whole barn does. Your horse comes first.

Oh, n/my I thought you were leaving the western world totally. My mistake. Carry on.

The pad you posted is appropriate for aqha hus, Eq, and hack. That style is actually required. For working hunter and Eq o/f you need a shaped pad. For me, I do not use anything over than the pad. My saddle fits well enough that it isn’t needed.

Oh, n/my I thought you were leaving the western world totally. My mistake. Carry on.[/QUOTE]

She is leaving western. Riding a quarter horse doesn’t equate to riding western… It’s a breed circuit. Has nothing to do with style of riding. It’s style for that breed

Fwiw I understood what alittlegray meant. I hate hate the square number pads but you do get used to them if everyone is wearing them.

The decision to require those square number pads in english rail work classes was driven by the judges - they love them as they can see the numbers easier while standing in the ring.

Those pads are ugly, but I can see the advantages.

Disclaimer, I have never shown AQHA, only hunter shows.

I have always used my half pad over my fitted show pad. It is probably best to ask your trainer how they want it done in your specific situation.

The trickiest part if you are layering pads is to make sure everything is smooth.

OP, As stated above, the pad you posted is not only acceptable, but required. I show AQHA up through the Congress level. You HAVE to use this pad. Obviously over fences you will need a shaped pad and wear you number on your back.

As far as half pads, I have used a handful of different combinations, depending on the horse. To reiterate what has already been said, using half pads will take up tree space on your saddle so exercise some caution. It depends on what you are trying to achieve. I always use some time of non-slip pad underneath as all my horses have very nice pronounced, deep set withers that tend to ride my saddle backwards throughout a long day. I have used a mild front riser on a downhill horse to get myself rocked back a little more. I have used a sheepskin/gel half pad (one that I ride over fences with and use nothing else with it) both underneath (which is a little tight and mildly uncomfortable looking) and on top. It does not have white sheepskin but rather a very light off white, and I’ve used it on top even at Congress. I have a friend who uses a similar off white pad on top. No idea if any of the judges are actually offended by it. If they’re offended by my off-white sheepskin, they damn sure better be offended by the pink pinstripe Oglvy pad that I saw last year.

I’ve also shown some just the number pad with a non-slip pad and nothing else.

Bottom line, make sure it’s not offensive to look at (black, eccentric colors, etc) and fits the purpose in which you want a half pad for.