When I got my new saddle, I knew it was a tiny bit wide. After several rides I decided I wanted to find a half pad to give a little extra padding and lift the pommel up off his withers a bit more.
My budget was not large; Ogilvy and Ecogold were out. I thought maybe a used Mattes pad would be good, but eventually decided I’d rather have new.
I really like Ovation products; they are good quality and not too pricey. So I checked out what they had and chose the Europa Sheepskin Plain Edge Half Pad with the wither relief cutout.
Review: Ovation Europa Sheepskin Half Pad (Plain Edge Style)
Order from: HorseLoverz.com, Equestrian Collections, or Amazon
Price: $99.95 full price; I found it on Amazon for $89.96
Star rating: 4.25 out of 5
Overall, I think this is a great value for the money. The sheepskin is soft and fluffy. I’ve been riding in it 4-5 times per week for about a month, and it’s holding up extremely well so far. I think it does help make the saddle a bit more comfortable for Drifter.
My only comment is that the wither relief cutout seems really far back. I think it is placed similarly to other half pads, but in general it just doesn’t really line up with his withers when its in position – the cutout is a bit too far back. I don’t think that’s a huge issue but it does slightly reduce the effectiveness of what I was looking for.
That said, I would definitely recommend this half pad as a good quality choice on a budget.
Update; September 13, 2016: I have washed the pad once now and it worked great! I used my normal washing machine and dryer at home. The pad took forever to fully dry out. Even after 4 cycles (air-only, no heat) alone in the dryer or with a clean towel, it was still damp. But after letting it air-dry the rest of the way, it came out white, fluffy and soft, just like new!