Half Pads Tested

1. Invictus Necesse Pad

Our tester was a big fan of this Invictus half pad—the thin, flexible, and lightweight design protected her horse’s back without adding bulk! She also loved how supportive the pad was while still allowing her to feel her horse. The half pad’s synthetic suede material prevented slippage, keeping her saddle in place for the length of her ride. Though the Smart Material protective layer does harden in cold weather, it softened and easily molded to the horse’s back after our tester’s warm-up. Keeping the pad in a heated area was a quick fix to the Necesse Pad’s only problem.
Buy it: invictus-equestrian.com; $189

2. Maxtra Plus Half Pad

This shimmable pad was a new product to our tester and she loved how well it fit her horse and saddle. The thin, open cell foam in the half pad provided great absorption of impact, thus protecting our tester’s horse’s back without adding bulk. Though our tester found the foam to be a bit on the stiffer side compared to some other more flexible pads, its affordable price makes the Maxtra Plus Half Pad a great option for those looking for something to cushion their four-legged friend’s back on a budget.
Buy it: horsetackco.com; $150

3. EquiFit ImacTeq Half Pad

This half pad is as effective as it is pretty and is approved by our tester’s sensitive-backed horse! Designed with EquiFit’s ImpacTeq Technology, this half pad absorbs impact while still supporting a rider’s weight. Our tester loved how comfortable her often-opinionated horse was in this pad and how it molded to his back during her ride. Though it isn’t hunter ring appropriate on its own, a white fleece cover can be purchased to make it show ring ready. For the jumpers looking to match their gear, the half pad comes in a handful of colors and can be customized.
Buy it: equifit.net; $259

4. ThinLine Trifecta Half Pad with Sheepskin Rolls and Booster Shims

Made with the classic Ultra ThinLine material layered over quilted cotton and trimmed with sheepskin, our tester, a longtime ThinLine user, wasn’t surprised she loved this half pad. A spine-free channel prevents the pad from pressing on the spine while still protecting the horse’s back, and the contoured front makes it easy to avoid contact with the withers. Our tester also loved that the pad is shimmable, so you can easily adjust it to get a perfect fit, and the Booster Shims gave extra protection by adding some cushion and thickness!
Buy it: thinlineglobal.com; pad $189.99, shims $69.99

Categories: Prepurchase Exam