Back Comfort U/S - Thinlines worth the dough?

I have an older horse who I suspect has pretty bad back pain due to a lifetime of being ridden in a false frame, having a few foals, and now some arthritis in her hind hock is making her gait asymmetrical…She’s an angel on the lunge, but as soon as you get on she either balks, bolts or bucks. Anyway, I’m planning to take her to a really good chiro in my area and see what he suggests, and whether the pain is fixable/manageable or wether it’s time to turn her out to pasture.

So, my question is, in the event that I can start riding her again, are there any half pads like the Thinlines I see everywhere that would actually make a significant difference in her comfort? Has anyone had luck with them? Or anything else that might make her comfy?

Thank you so much! I’m definitely on the desperate side. XD

Well, I don’t know if a Thinline will be enough for her, given what you’ve explained about her issues, but I have used a Thinline for many years and for multiple horses and really think it makes a difference. Mine is an older pad that is just the Thinline material itself, shaped to conform to a dressage saddle. I just put it on top of my normal saddle pad.

I believe it does help to protect the horse’s back. I am able to use my saddle on a number of different horses (the saddle fit is certainly ok on them but perhaps not optimal since the saddle couldn’t be tailored precisely to one horse…) and I have no evidence of back issues. And I do check before every ride. (I do also have a saddlefitter out regularly to check and he also is pleased with the “system” I have (pad, Thinline, saddle). Good, considering he might prefer to sell me a new saddle!

So I am kind of a fan, with the caveat from the beginning that your mare’s problems may be more than can be totally solved with the pad. Maybe if you know someone who has one you could do a trial test and see if it really helps before investing.

Best of luck! (And you will no doubt have to deal with hock issues separately.)

The Vet/Acupuncturist/Chiro I use said she loves the Thin Line pads when she asked to see my saddle fit. I, also, have the plain Thin Line material pad.

My horse and I can both feel the difference when using a Thinline pad. He has mild lordosis, and it’s hard for him to build as much back muscle as a normal-backed horse. I got a big square Ultra Thinline pad and cut it with scissors to fit inside my saddle pad. Without the Thinline, his trot is much more jarring to me, and he is much more tense along his topline. With the Thinline, we’re both more comfortable.

I have been using Thinline pads for years with no problems. My saddlefitter gives them a “thumbs up” when used with a properly fitted saddle to help keep the horse comfortable.

Another thumbs up for thinline. I do think it makes a difference. I also have the plain one not attached to a pad. Check their website, sometimes they sell discounted ones.

O/P I’ve been using the thinline for about 6 weeks. It’s the ‘rubbery textured’ pad that goes in between the saddle and the regular pad. I can’t say that it’s made a noticeable difference, but I like it because it’s thin and keeps the saddle in place. My saddle fit’s pretty well, but I like the idea of keeping the saddle as quiet as possible as my horse does develop soreness in the loin. A saddle fitter, and or your chiro/vet should be able to give you good input. As for back soreness- the single most helpful thing I’ve done is change my horse’s diet. I can’t believe how much difference it has made over the past year. Lot’s of long and low at the walk, stretching over the back, walking over poles and cavaletti. Strengthening exercises. Good luck!

I am a fan of the thinline with the cotton quilt under. It has openings so that you can insert shims. I modified a thinline front shim to accomodate my horses scapula, and he seems very happy with this arrangement.

I have used the Back on Track Saddle Pads and they work really nicely.

I have used Thinline for years. Mine is built-in to my saddle pad and makes a huge difference I think, in the comfort of my horse. Love them!

I use the Thinline pad on top of my sheepskin dressage pad. (My joke is that the mare can’t feel a thing with all that padding.)
But I think the Thinline really makes a difference for her back and general comfort level. I’ve been using it for years.