Best Low Profile Half Pad

Any suggestions for a half pad that won’t alter saddle fit? I am looking for a very thin saddle pad that will still offer some nice cushion for my horse’s back. I tried the Ecogold Memory Foam Triple Protection half pad, but the thickness made my saddle too narrow through the shoulder.

Right now I’m riding my mare in a very basic thinline ( but ideally would like something both with a little more cushion and with a gullet (I find her current pad without a gullet end up pressing onto her withers during the ride no matter much off her withers I set it when I tack up.)

This is for a very sensitive OTTB mare who is coming off of some back soreness secondary to foot issues. She just turned 5 and is still growing and filling out - there may be another saddle in her future once she’s done, but my current saddle fits her really well. I’m not looking for saddle fit advice right now :slight_smile:

Thinline Trifecta?

It will have a little more cushion than the plain thinline, but shouldn’t alter the saddle fit. There’s also a shimmable version, which was what I used while my OTTB was developing muscle through the shoulder.

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I have that same untrimmed Thinline as you and am also starting to feel annoyed that it sort of sinks onto the withers as you ride.

Acavallo has a new gel pad with a wither cutout that looks interesting:

I had the same Thinline as the OP, got annoyed for the same reason, bought the Thinline Trifecta linked upthread, and like it way better.


The Acavallo gel sheepskin half pad is hands down my favorite. In fact, I might as well toss all my other pads because I never use them. The gel keeps my saddle from slipping and protects my horse from my terrible riding. My saddle fitter likes it as well because it doesn’t add bulk or cause pinching.

Everybody I know who rides in a regular ThinLine makes a cut in the center front so that it lays along the sides of the withers rather than pressing on the top.

Longtime Trifecta user here, too (I use the shimmable version.)

Not a half pad but since you mentioned EcoGold, their contoured pads like the Coolfit actually aren’t very thick at all. They look plush and dense but compress down to a much thinner profile when in use. I only stopped using EcoGold when I bought a saddle that doesn’t fit their pads.

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Another vote for the cotton Trifecta. I also had the original untrimmed Thinline, and the saddle fitter recommended the Trifecta as it has a channel along the spine.



Have you looked at the Invictus pad? I am waiting on delivery of one, but the one I tested out seemed to be a big hit with my opinionated mare.

Oh that is so smart!! And @Cabaret_SK, @Peggy, and @SolarFlare - I did look at the trifecta. It is definitely one I am considering and glad to hear you have all had such great experiences.

@173north and @Ceffyl_Dwr - I had also eyed an Acavallo gel pad. The wither cut out one looks interesting but I wasn’t sure it would stay in place. I do like sheepskin backed pads for that reason. @Ceffyl_Dwr, how you found its enough protection?

@shinyviolet I’m not a huge fan of full sheepskin pads. I’ve found they add too much bulk, personally.

@Spud_amp_Saf, I have not. I wish more saddle pads give their thickness - it is hard to tell from photos! How thin/thick was it? What did you like about it?

Thank you everyone :slight_smile:

My horse seems to prefer it over other pads I’ve tried. I bought a gorgeous saddle tan Ogilvy leather pad that’s not made for the withers of a haflinger. I ran the Acavallo by my saddle fitter and he gave it the thumbs up. He’s of the belief that a properly fitted saddle doesn’t need padding. I don’t necessarily disagree, but if I was in my horse’s position, I’d appreciate some distance - by way of squishy gel - between us. The gel is rather substantial without being bulky, which I like. My horse is on the rounder side, and my saddle does not move an inch (though I don’t use a baby pad underneath).

I very much like my Invictus shimmable pad


Get the 3-way shimmable one and take all the shims out. It’s 1/4" thick as a base.

Hands down the thinnest halfpad I’ve ever used.


Where did you purchase your Prolite pad? They look very interesting, as does the girth. Thank you!

I purchased mine from Pelham saddlery, I believe. They’re a little hard to find, I went with whoever had it in stock.

Note that the pad that only has two shimmable areas per side is WAY thicker as a base. You need the one that has three shims per side.

Thank you!

I don’t think I know the withers of a haffie - yes withers or no withers? I have had my eye on the acavallo gel pads (same situation as OP). I am shopping for a shark fin withered horse and I don’t know if a regular gel pad will lay nicely over high withers, or it they tend to pull down on the withers like the OG thinline. I saw their wither cutout line but those appear to be thicker and also don’t come with the pretty wool rolls!

He’s more of a mutton withered horse. The Acavallo sheepskin gel pad molds to the shape of the horse and lies flat. I believe I bought mine from Smartpak, so you could always try and return. I can try and take photos this afternoon, if that helps.

Maybe these photos can be of some use…

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These photos are super helpful! I wish more pads have photos showing thickness (or measurements of thickness).

And thank you to everyone else for the recommendations as well - I have am definitely going to look into these.