Selecting the Best Half Pad for Your Horse

February 29, 2024

Selecting the Best Half Pad for Your Horse

In addition to being your competition partner, your horse is a member of your family, & you obsess over every aspect of her care & wellbeing. We get it, because we do the same with our own horses! Not only are you committed to protecting your horse’s legs from impact, interference, & over-reaching during exercise, you’re also committed to protecting her back. 

We all know that saddle fit is paramount, & working with a professional saddle fitter is the best way to ensure that your saddle supports – rather than inhibits – your horse’s movement & athletic ability. But horses performing in disciplines like hunters, jumpers, equitation, three-day eventing, & dressage may also benefit from an added layer of impact protection between their back & the saddle.  

Over a decade ago, we developed the first ImpacTeq® products, & this shock-absorbing material has been a cornerstone of our protective designs ever since. This low-profile open cell foam (the same found in sports equipment & technical footwear) absorbs concussion & helps reduce pressure points. After leading riders & trainers came to rely on ImpacTeq to protect their horses’ lower limbs via industry-leading boots like the D-Teq™ Front & Hind Boots, we wanted to provide the same technology for horses’ backs. This inspired the original ImpacTeq Half Pad, which has been the go-to for countless equestrians since 2014. 

Given the amazing impact (pun intended!) of the first ImpacTeq Half Pad, our R&D Team has worked hard to raise the bar even further. After extensive research, testing, & input from professional riders & saddle fitters, we found that the original ImpacTeq technology remains the best-performing, but we listened to feedback that riders & saddle fitters wanted a thinner version & the option of shims. So, we are proud to have expanded the ImpacTeq Half Pad Collection to include Thin ImpacTeq Half Pads (for a more close-contact fit), Thin ImpacTeq Half Pads with Shims (to correct saddle fit), & both standard (original thickness) & Thin ImpacTeq Half Pads with UltraWool® trim (for enhanced styling). 

Not sure how to find the optimal half pad for you & your horse? We’re here to help! 

Custom ImpacTeq Half Pad with Essential Square Pad in Grey

How to Determine if Your Horse Needs a Half Pad:

First, we recommend working with an experienced saddle fitter who has professional certifications such as the Society of Master Saddlers’ recognition of Qualified Saddle Fitter or Master Saddle Fitter. He or she will be the best resource for fitting your saddle properly & determining if your horse would benefit from a half pad.  

If your saddle fits well & does not need corrective padding, but your horse’s back does need additional protection against impact or pressure points, our standard (original, 0.75” thick) ImpacTeq Half Pad or new Thin ImpacTeq Half Pad (0.5” thick) are outstanding choices. For the closest contact fit & feel, we recommend the Thin option. 

If your horse’s saddle needs correcting to account for her conformation and/or muscling, one of our thin, shimmable half pads (Thin ImpacTeq Half Pad with Shims, Custom Thin ImpacTeq Half Pad with Shims, or UltraWool Thin ImpacTeq® Half Pad with Shims) are your best option. These shimmable pads have a discreet pocket design that’s thoughtfully placed to avoid unwanted bulk near the spine, & each pad comes with three pairs of shims, for the shoulder, center, & rear sections of the pad (6 shims total).


UltraWool Thin ImpacTeq Half Pad

Last Comes the Fun Part – Choosing Your Style!

If you can’t get enough fuzzy equestrian gear, you will love our three UltraWool half pad options: UltraWool ImpacTeq Half Pad  (0.75” thick), UltraWool Thin ImpacTeq Half Pad (0.5” thick), & UltraWool Thin ImpacTeq Half Pad  with Shims (0.5” thick). The UltraWool trim comes in Black or Natural.  

ImpacTeq half pads in our stock colors (Black, Black Ostrich, Navy & Brown) have the option to be personalized* with gorgeous etching of your name, your horse’s name, your monogram, or your logo. This gives a subtle personal touch & helps you keep track of your new favorite pad! 

We are also thrilled to offer ImpacTeq half pads with the option of customization*, where you can choose your colors, match your horse’s other EquiFit gear, & make your pad truly one-of-a-kind. 
*Personalization & Customization are available on the non-UltraWool half pads only. 

Need More Guidance? 

If you need additional help in selecting the best half pad option for you & your horse, visit our ImpacTeq Half Pad Comparison Chart or contact one of our experts today!  

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