I recently had a new saddle fitter out to check Oh So’s Albion jump saddle. When she saw the set-up I had (which included a ThinLine half pad with double shims in all pockets and three yoga-mat type squares that the last saddle fitter had cut to raise the seat up a bit), she recommended the Prolite Relief Pad. I’d never even heard of the brand, so I checked it out online and saw that the company was based in the UK.
I’ve grown unhappy with my Thinline sheepskin half pad because it’s starting to come apart in places, less than two years after buying it. I’ve been washing it with Thinline’s special sheepskin soap and taking care of it the best I can, but it’s starting to flatten out a bit too. Whenever I use it with my jump saddle, I have to attach the keepers to the D-rings on the saddle so it won’t slip out the back (which has almost happened).
The saddle fitter let me try to Prolite pad this past week and I’m hooked. I got the wide relief version to use under both of my saddles because it seems to fill in the slight hollow that Oh So has behind his shoulders and withers. She also reflocked the saddle, which was originally custom fit for Sam, but I’ve been trying to make it work without having to buy a new saddle.
With the combination of the Prolite pad and a little readjustment, my saddle doesn’t slip anymore when we jump big fences and the pad stayed in place without having to use the keepers.
Another feature of the Prolite pad that appeals to me is the three pockets for the shim pads. My Thinline one only had two pockets, so being able to have more options is nice. For now, I’m using one shim in the front and middle pockets, and two in the back, which eliminates the need for the yoga mats that I used to use. The channel for his spine is wider, so I think that help the whole pad fit better under his saddle, and since it’s a bit wider, it seems to distribute the pressure over a larger surface.
The shims themselves are a bit thicker than the Thinline ones. Time will tell if they flatten out, but so far, this pad has been a great investment.