Manufacturer: Impact Gel Equine (View all products by Impact Gel)
Model: Western Contour Pad (32" 3/4" thick) (View all Western Contour Pad reviews)
Category: Western Saddle Fittings/Pads
Purchase: I ordered from my local tack store for $140.00
Likes: I custom ordered the pad through my tack store with black wear leathers. The company shipped very quickly, and I had my pad in a week. It helped with both saddle fit and my mares' comfort level. Also, it seems to absorb shock so I (my back) am more comfortable. I have no trouble feeling what she's doing, thought I worried about that because of the thickness. My mare has completely even sweat marks, and is a much happier horse, even when she's in season and tends to be touchy. Downward transitions, which are not easy for this horse, seem to be much more fluid since using this pad. So far, I love the Impact Gel. I still have a few days to return for another model or refund, but I think it's a keeper!
Dislikes: My only complaint is how heavy the pad is, but I am used to the very light Professionals Choice pads. The Impact Gel is not heavier than other felt pads, just comparatively heavy to me. I also wish the company made a pad with a fleece bottom option, as I think that would be more comfortable for the horse. To my knowledge this option is not available.
Quality: Pad is nicely made, and so far seems easy to maintain. It has felt top and bottom, and the gel insert is sewn in between. The 3/4" thickness is just right for us. To clean, I just brush off the underside of the felt with my jelly scrubber after our ride. Wear leathers are a nice quality, and well-stitched. They are not stiff nor blemished leather remnants. Company even put a matching black label instead of the standard tan one for me. I use the pad under a show blanket, but could just as easily go without. I did see one used one on ebay that pilled somewhat on top.
Summary: I called and talked with several manufacturers, as well as looked at numerous pads before I bought the Impact Gel. Although I had been disappointed in the longevity and protection in my 1-yr-old Professionals Choice SMX pad, I considered buying one of their HD pads until I talked with other company reps. I am very happy with this pad, and so is my horse. Will write in a few months to follow up on the wearability of this product.
Author: Trail 'n' Pattern Lover
Usefulness Rating: 2.2 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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