Pros and cons? Likes and dislikes. I’m looking for a pad that will give my horse a bit more padding vent the 58 wool pad I’ve been using. The pad I’m looking at is all wool looks to be about 3/4 to an inch thick and has the SMX material inside of it.
The “Air Ride” part of the pad is actual bubble wrap. I had one and opened it up and took photos, then thew out the pad. Here’s the link to my post on here:
ETA: I kept the wool part (tossed the rest) and turned it into a cat bed, the cats love it.
I have a couple that I use on my horses on a daily basis. I use them and like them. But to each their own. I find that they offer shock absorption without added bulk. My performance vet approved their use with my saddle fit when I had some soundness issues with my Appy gelding. But, again to each their own. Find what you like and go with it. I like the weight a feel of the newer ones, the older ones were kinda crappy and crackly. I’ve heard great things about SPH pads, but to me that’s alot of buly under my saddle.
Here is the Happy Appy with his little dude, Circle Y and SMX Air Ride pad at the Cowboy Dressage Regionals last fall.
I’m personally not a fan of all the different/gimmicky materials in saddle pads. I get 100% wool for my horses, everyone gets their own. I like the Pro Choice tan wool pad. They’ve got a similar feel to the 5 star pads, but are about half the cost. They form well to my horses and last me years. I use the 1" pads so if I need to do high impact work there’s plenty of padding. For shows I use a John 3:16 pad that’s all wool as well.
I have a 3/4" Impact Gel that I’ve had for over ten years that I just love. I bought a 5 Star 1" with the same cutouts ('cause, purple) and I don’t care for it at all. Part of that may be my fault, I ordered a 30X30 and should have gotten a 32X32. And it turns out I don’t like the extra bulk after all, I cannot get my saddle secure with it. I’ll probably just sell it, and then buy another Impact Gel.