We frequently receive questions regarding which ThinLine Western pad is the best. There is no better pad. It is all about the ThinLine. The textile the ThinLine is sewn onto differs to accommodate lifestyle, equine conformation and saddle style. Every single ThinLine product offers the same performance and protection.
Ultra ThinLine: Is sewn onto all of our saddle pads. It is the thinnest version of the famous shock absorbing material. Ultra ThinLine is the only product endorsed by Spinal surgeons for rider back protection. In addition to absorbing shock, it also reduces spine movement, which is why equitation riders love this product. When riders are able to sit quietly the communication with their equines is greatly improved. This is part of why horses love it so much.
ThinLine Plus: Some riders want the maximum in protection. This product is called ThinLine Plus. It is a 1/4 inch thick. When you purchase a Western saddle pad with Ultra ThinLine and want to create more protection you simply add a booster shim. This is a shim, made of the same ThinLine material, that will stack under the Ultra ThinLine pad. The booster shim will boost your pad to the ThinLine Plus thickness. Western pads with Ultra ThinLine all have a pocket where you can easily add a booster shim or saddle fitting shims.
Textile and Style Options:
Styles: All pads except the Pro-Tech have a 4 and a half inch wither profile. Most pad companies do not do this as it adds expense to the product; you actually throw away the 4.5 inches of all the material behind the wither. But we know this greatly improves fit and comfort for the horse. The pad will nestle nicely along their back and the wither will be free of pressure. All have the same topline.
Pro-Tech Felt is a half-inch felt pad with keyhole wither relief. We offer only half inch felt in our keyhole wither relief pad. When you add the amazing shock absorption of Ultra ThinLine, you do not need thick saddle pads. The top line of this pad is designed for mutton withered horses. It is available in a synthetic blend in brown or a full wool version in grey. Lengths 30, 32 and a rounded skirt. Our other pads with the 4.5 inch wither profile also work well on mutton withered horses so this is simply a style choice. We do not recommend a keyhole design for high-withered horses.
Single Pads or Liners? Most of our pads are designed to be used alone. But if you would like to place a show pad on top we do offer several liners: Cotton (in 3 sizes), felt (in a 30 x 30 square), and the ThinLine Back on Track Western pad.
Most pads come in squares: 30 x 30 and 30 x 32.
Rounded skirt options are available in Cotton liners, Pro-Tech Felt, Ranch Pads, Full sheepskin pads, Endurance Western Pads, Diamond Line pads.
30 x 32 and 32 x 32-inch pads are available in Ranch pads, black.
Saddles: ThinLine lies on either side of the spine, lifting it up, which is why it works well for all saddles, even treeless.
Saddle Fitting with ThinLine. One of the great features of your pad. ThinLine has saddle fitting shims made of the same amazing material for fit adjustment. Talk about comfort! They come in Front, Bridging (center) and rear in two thicknesses; you choose between Ultra ThinLine (the thinnest 3/16″) and ThinLine Plus (the thickest 1/4″). You may stack up to 3 sets in one area. The full ThinLine Plus Booster shim is also available for every pad.
Care of Saddle Pads. Your lifestyle will play a major roll in which saddle pad you select for your horse.
Machine wash, quick dry: Cotton Liners, Western Back on Track.
Machine wash, hang to dry 2-3 days: Full Sheepskin Western, Endurance Western Drop Rig, Contour Ranch Pads.
Hose wash with Ezall, hang dry – Felt; Pro-Tech, Diamond Line, Felt Liner.
Durability: Our most durable pad is the Contour Western Ranch Pad. It has synthetic fleece next to the horse. Don’t worry about heat, ThinLine vents laterally, meaning it draws the heat out from under your saddle. Cordura fabric and Ultra ThinLine will outlast just about any other textile on the market. Cotton liners, full felt pads and endurance pads run a close second. Dirt levels in your life may dictate how often you wash your pad. Full sheepskin pads are made of 100% Merino sheepskin. They are testy about being kept dry and require special soaps for washing but how horses love them!
Selecting the right ThinLine Western Pad:
Now you should have all the information you need. There is no real wrong choice, as long as your saddle fits on the pad. It is the ThinLine that makes all the difference for you and your horse. The other options such as textiles, shapes, and colors are just variations to suit your lifestyle. All pads create the extraordinary comfort and increase performance for both horse and rider. We hope to see you and your horse working happily together in a ThinLine soon.