By Ariane Schirmer
A little over a year ago, I was tasked with the lovely puzzle of trying to figure out why my lease horse was being a jerk. He had started a bucking habit that I was less than thrilled about, but determined to work through. So instead of becoming a regular at the ER, we went back to the basics, evaluated any possible sources of pain, and made adjustments to tack – including the decision to add an Exselle half pad with wither relief. Thankfully we were able to work through his stint as a trick pony, going on to happily compete in local dressage shows and horse trials before retiring after years as a fox hunter.
In my own personal quest, I had three things that I wanted to keep in mind while hunting for the ideal half pad which ultimately lead to the purchase of the Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief
Finding an affordable pad was essential for me because it was an investment in tack for a horse I was leasing while saving up to buy a horse of my own. But I also didn’t want my budget to mean sacrificing fit or quality. I couldn’t find many reviews online but an out of town friend had been faced with a similar budget-friendly half pad search and was able to recommend the Exselle. My friend had recently picked up the pad with her new saddle. With a price point under $35, it was worth it in an effort to solve the pony puzzle.
If I’m headed into the show ring or to a clinic, you can bet my whites will be fresh. In looking for an affordable half pad, I didn’t want something that would fall apart after 1 spin cycle. I can attest that the fleece and cotton twill top of the half pad wash well and reshape nicely. Washing white numerous times after enduring the sweat and dirt of a grey draft cross that would much rather be a bay.
Exselle Half Pad
I am making my way back into the show ring and although only competing at the local level, I like to make sure my horse and I present a put together look for the judge. I wanted a half pad that would fit my saddle well and had clean looking fleece edges. Many of the higher end pads I found looked like they had seen better days and the cheap pads used cheap fleece. The Exselle half pad features tightly rolled, fluffy fleece edges along the wither and cantle that trim my saddle perfectly.
Encountering a problem with a horse can be like solving a puzzle. Trying to work through it involves a lot of guesstimating and making trial-and-error decisions (many costly) on behalf of a four-legged teammate that can’t talk. If your pony puzzle leads you looking for a half pad, check out the Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief; over a year after purchasing, I’m still equally pleased with the quality and durability (and planning to add the black version to my collection of dressage tack very soon.)