It’s no secret that I am a saddle pad lover and hoarder. Despite my love for saddle pads, I am not a big collector of half pads. The only half pad I have ever owned up until now was a ThinLine as my custom saddle never needed any extra padding. But with Diablo getting older and not as fit as he used to be, his saddle has gotten a tad too wide for him. While I start to rebuild his topline and get him back in shape, a half pad will help fill in the gaps between him and the saddle to help it fit him better in the meantime. Plus, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to have a nice half pad for my trainer to use when she rides Diesel in her saddle. It’s a win-win situation. 😉
In my search for a good half pad, my curiosity got the best of me when I saw an Equifit half pad for sale on a Facebook group for a really good price. I just had to try it out!
I am a huge fan of Equifit’s line of protective boots. Their T-Foam EXP2 Open Front Boots have been a staple in my tack trunk for the past four years. Yes, that’s right, they have held up to weekly wear and tear for four years and are still going strong. Since I love their open front boots so much, deciding to purchase one of their half pads was a no-brainer.
According to Equifit, the ImpacTeq Half Pad is “designed to absorb extreme impact” and “provides the ultimate protection for both horse and rider”. They also claim that the ImpacTeq Technology allows the pad to contour to the horse’s back to provide a custom fit while “an open-cell non-newtonian foam transforms from soft to rigid upon impact”.
The half pad itself comes in a variety of colors including black/black, black/brown, black/navy, black/green, black/red, and black/black ostrich. If you want to take the pad into the hunter ring, don’t worry, Equifit makes a fleece cover for it. The pad itself retails for around $259 and the cover retails for $86. While it is pricey, I do feel that you are paying for an excellent quality product.
The first thing I noticed about my Equifit ImpacTeq Half Pad in black/black ostrich was how sleek and simple the exterior of the pad was. I am the type of person that prefers my half pad to not stand out or clash with the saddle pad I choose to put under it. The black/black ostrich combination looks sleek and sophisticated and adds a bit of flair to the pad without becoming overbearing. It looks beautiful and doesn’t distract from the horse, which I love!
Not only does it look beautiful, but it fits my horse well! My biggest pet peeve when it comes to half pads are pads that lift the saddle way off of the horse’s back and cause it to perch atop the horse. I hate it with a fiery passion. When I first received the pad and pulled it out of the box, I was a little nervous that the thickness of the pad would do just that, but to my relief, it softened and contoured to my horse’s back allowing the saddle to rest as if the pad was not there. The pad seems a little stiff at first, but once it is on the horse, the horse’s body heat warms up the pad and softens the foam allowing for a more custom fit. I found that the exact same thing happens with their protective boots as well. If you are familiar with their boots, you know exactly how that feels.
While I didn’t notice any overly dramatic changes in Diablo’s movement, I did notice that he seemed a little looser through his back and warmed up a little quicker than he usually does without using the pad. He definitely seemed a little more comfortable than normal. The same thing can be said when I put it underneath my trainer’s saddle on Diesel. I can also say that I didn’t feel perched atop of my horse while riding in the pad. I actually felt that I maintained a close contact feel throughout the whole ride.
When the ride was over and I removed the pad, neither of them was overly sweaty underneath the pad which was a huge plus. It must be pretty breathable as Diablo has a tendency to sweat like a pig! He actually seemed quite cool despite the summer heat. Once off, all I did was wipe it down with a damp towel and it was good to go for the next ride. Plus, it has held up extremely well and looks brand new despite me buying it already used from its previous owner.
Overall, I can without a doubt say that Equifit’s ImpacTeq Half Pad is worth the money! If you are in the market for a half pad that is sleek, stylish, and has superb craftsmanship, definitely give this one a try!