The Battle of Wither Relief v. Half Pads

I absolutely love my Engel half pad. It is fluffy and beautiful and perfect in every way a sheepskin saddle pad should be. Oh, and only like $100. I lesson and do jumper shows in that + my Back on Track square pad (also in love with this. If you have a horse who has a sore back and doesn’t like to put their head down, grab one of these babies. Problem basically solved, just add proper eq). Picture of fluffiness below:


Anyways, my question is, under what circumstances would I want to use a wither relief pad instead of a fluffy, beautiful half pad? Is there actually a difference? How can you tell?



  1. You’ve asked a pretty big question here! 😉

    What type of padding you use under your saddle depends entirely on how the saddle fits the horse. I use a fluffy fleeceworks pad on my pony because he has a bit of a dip behind his shoulders that needs filling in, but the saddle fits him very well in the wither with plenty of clearance. I would use a wither relief pad (are you talking the kind with a keyhole cutout?) on a horse that needed more wither clearance because the saddle was too wide or the pommel was too low. Whatever type of padding you use should IMPROVE saddle fit and not just be for looks or ‘cushioning’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i’d echo Allison – the wither relief pad might be useful if you need a little extra clearance up front, but the rest of the saddle fits pretty well. and yea i also love my BoT saddle pads (tho sadly they don’t quiiiite fix my mare’s back soreness all on their own…

    Liked by 1 person

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