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Saddle Pad Customer Review: ThinLine English Half Pad – Ashley Eve

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My name is Ashley Eve, and I grew up competing mainly in dressage. I currently work within Equine Assisted Therapy, as a program coordinator and facilitator as well as a barn manager.  In my free time I retrain polo ponies and OTTB’s for second careers.

I went through two years of saddle fit issues with my gelding, Monty. We started Monty’s show career in 2015; however, saddle fit issues plagued us, forcing us to cancel the season early and required time off for Monty.  I met with Julia, from Schleese, at the end of 2015 and spring 2016 we received our new saddle, and I finally found a perfect fit with the Schleese Merci. Monty just came back into work about 3 months ago and even with a great fitting saddle he struggled to relax through his back and seek contact.

Before ThinLine

The first picture below is before ThinLine.  We just had the saddle fitted, and I KNEW it fit, but he was very fussy.  He was either above the bit, behind the bit or chomping so hard on the bit it was concerning.  He struggled to lift his back and step under himself. I even struggled with my position because he was so fussy and hollow. I literally would go home in tears, gutted that I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my horse.  I even debated just retiring him because I refused to work a horse that was in pain.

Before ThinLine Pads

After Using ThinLine’s English Half Pad

Julia, from Schleese, had suggested trying to add something shock absorbing.  I tried a ThinLine pad and have not looked back. Thinline products have been the answer for my gelding, and I spread the word as much as possible. From the moment I put the ThinLine English half pad on he started developing a top line,  raising his back, stretching down and seeking contact.
The following pictures are from the days after starting to wear the ThinLine half pad. At first my goal was just for him to accept some kind of contact, even if well above the bit.  Nearly immediately, he was seeking contact, lowering his head, moving better, his back was more supple, and even in our stretches his back started to achieve a lot more flexibility.  An added bonus is my saddle STAYS PUT, which is a huge relief considering this is a struggle with his mutton wither!  He has continued to improve, and is moving even better, but I haven’t had anyone out to take pictures.
After using ThinLine Pads
After using ThinLine Pads

 

After using ThinLine Pads Monty became soft and supple.

The video below is me working Monty with his ThinLine pad. Right now I am working on properly rebuilding Monty’s strength and fitness, without set competition dates in mind for this year.  His health and longevity is my main priority and when he is ready we will start competing again. My roots are in Classical Dressage, and when I find my mind wandering that our training is “uneventful” thus far, I remember that solid basics and fitness will build the foundation for a sound, happy and successful partner. I am so happy Monty can now enjoy work and have a long career! I am now working on saving up for the Thinline/Back on Track English pad! With a developing youngster, I love the idea of the Contender II!

My long term goal is to purchase a small property to begin my own Equine Assisted Therapy program for PTSD, with the use of rescue horses.  I also just started a blog, “Super Paint in Training” as a way to raise awareness about “non-traditional” breeds in the sport of eventing, as well as a way to track Monty’s, progress!  This has been a lot of fun so far and I have already heard from Paint owners all over the world about the wonderful things their Paints have been accomplishing!

My focus is currently on eventing with Monty (FSG Montana Dust, APHA).  Growing up around eventers, I was always drawn into the sense of community and inclusiveness within the discipline.  This atmosphere brought me back to the sport, and I couldn’t be happier!  Monty has everything you could want in an eventing prospect and I am confident he has the potential to move through the levels with ease.  Our big goal is the completion of a 1*.

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