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A Buyers Guide to Mattes Half Pads

Mattes Half Pad

8 Reasons you should purchase a Mattes Half Pad

There are so many different brands of half pad for horses all claiming to be the best, how do you know if you have chosen the right half pad for your horse? Mattes horse half pads are simply streets ahead of the competition and we are delighted to be able to offer them alongside our range of horse tack. If you want to know why Mattes make the best horse tack, here are eight reasons why you should choose a Mattes half pad over other brands.


Functional Half Pad horse design – Mattes have been manufacturing anatomically fabricated half pads for many years. Anatomic half pads sit perfectly on the horse’s back, whether it is being used on its own or in combination with a shaped saddle pad.


Manufacturing with quality materials – All Mattes half pads feature a double layer of POLYFLEX® a polyester non-woven felt fabric and either 180g/m² blended cotton twill or 400g/mm² velvet quilt that does not fade, even after the pad has been washed or cleaned many times. In addition, Mattes only uses the top 5% of merino lambskin in their pads. Natural wool ensures even pressure and temperature over the horse’s skin.


Patented Mattes Correction Half Pad System – Mattes half pads include the option of shims, a correction system consisting of two or four pockets, that allows you to add shim inserts which assist with maintaining balance and straightness for horses that may change their shape throughout the year, or to correct irregularities in a horse’s build, such as age-related back issues, or compensate a horse with unequal sides.


Trademarked Features – Customers can choose from several clever systems that have been designed to assist both horse and rider, such as Saddle Fix, SPINE-FREE®, EWWA Spine, PM System and the Mattes CORRECTION® system.


Mattes Half Pads for horses are bespoke – A correctly fitting half pad is the number one priority, but why not enjoy a choice of 39 different shades of cotton and cotton sheen quilts or 16 colours in velvet. Bindings in a choice of over 40 different colours, as well as 33 different colours of sheepskin.


A half-pad design to fit all – Mattes offers half-pad patterns to fit a general purpose, jumping or dressage saddle, and in four sizes small, medium, large and extra large.


Mattes half pads are the cost-efficient choice – Mattes horse tack is not as expensive as you think. The price for a Mattes dressage half pad starts from under £50.00. If looked after these pads will not only retain their colour and shape but will last for years, making them an extremely cost-effective purchase.


Mattes make the most comfortable half pads for your horse – Whilst fashion and style are important, comfort for your horse is king! Mattes prioritise fit and form over everything, so why look anywhere else?

Show Jumping Half pad
Dressage half pad
All Purpose half pad

More reasons to choose Mattes

The half pad is as the name suggests half the size of a normal pad and can be used in addition to a standard saddle pad for a number of reasons. A half pad may be required when a horse has changed shape, or lost or gained muscle, all common issues in older horses, competition horses and those recovering from injury.

The Mattes anatomic half pad has a clear gullet and the sheepskin can be trimmed even further to accommodate extra wide withers. Some horse riders use a half pad as another layer of cushioning for the horse and this is supported by a recent study which has shown that the use of a natural sheepskin half pad actually reduces the impact of pressure on the horse’s back and has a positive impact on the horse being ridden.

What about Gel Half pads?

The same study found that Gel half pads did not perform as well and in fact created pressure points as opposed to spreading the pressure evenly over a horse’s back. In addition to the likelihood of causing the horse unnecessary suffering, the gel pad was also found to move around rather than stay in the correct position beneath the saddle.

Mattes half pads are clearly helpful to horses that need more cushioning and support but are not as bulky as using two normal-size pads together. For riders who use a combination of half pad and saddle pad, the velcro straps on the saddle pad can be replaced with slits on either side. The straps on the half pad can now be fed through the buttonhole slits in the saddle pad, securing the two pads together.

Half Pads

What makes a Mattes Half Pad Unique?

As well as the clever design, there are three additional factors that make Mattes half pads unique and they are the manufacturing process, the use of Merino Lambskin and the integrated systems designed to assist horse and rider.

Mattes half pads are available in cotton, cotton, sheen or velvet quilts. The cotton and cotton sheen are made from a quilt manufactured using a superior cotton twill fabric, the kind used in heavy-duty work clothing. The velvet is made from hard-wearing but luxurious velvet fabric. The cotton quilt is 180g/m2 and the cotton sheen and velvet are 400g/m2. Both cotton twill and velvet fabrics are blended to ensure that the colour does not fade, even after the pad has been washed or cleaned many times. The shape of each pad is also anatomically correct, with a high wither cut, so that there is no pressure on the wither area.

Underneath the quilt is a double layer of POLYFLEX®, a polyester felt fabric that is created especially for Mattes using a more technical felting process. The felt is punched with a specially designed felting needle, one that has small barbs on the end. The barbs catch the polyester fibres pulling them through on themselves and inter-tangling the fibres together.

The result is a felt fabric more flexible, durable and superior to other materials, such as memory foam, neoprene or gel, because of its ability to reduce friction and retain shape under continuous pressure. The end product is a high quality naturally breathable pad, firm enough to keep its shape over time and one that does not create pressure points for the horse.

Why do Mattes use only Merino Lambskins on their half pads?

Merino Lambskins are generally recognised as the superior material used in horse products. Merino wool is renowned for its fine fibres that are extremely dense and resilient. Mattes have strict criteria and only the best skins are selected by special Mattes-trained pickers. Unlike synthetic sheepskin on inferior half pads, natural wool has a very open composition, which means that air can flow easily between the fibres and regulate the temperature evenly over the skin, making it ideal in both summer and winter.

The wool can also absorb up to eight times its weight in moisture before it feels at all wet and as proved in a recent study, the resilient nature of the fibre is perfect for even pressure distribution.

E A Mattes has spent years improving their half pad designs, enabling customers to choose from several clever patented systems that have been designed to assist the horse and rider, such as Saddle Fix, SPINE-FREE®, EWWA Spine, PM System and the Mattes CORRECTION® system.

Half Pad Saddle Fix

Measuring your Pads

The shape and size of your saddle will determine the size and cut of your half pad. Half pads are available in dressage, all-purpose and Jumping styles to match your saddle.

The key measurement is the length of the contact area of the saddle (including the saddle’s padding) on the horse’s back. The easiest way to do this is by turning over your saddle and using a flexible tape measure (such as a dressmakers tape measure) to measure along an imaginary line down the gullet, starting at the front edge of the padding (marked A on the diagram), all the way back until you reach the rear edge of the saddle padding (marked B on the diagram).

Ensure that the tape is taut and add at least 6cm to the measurement. This is the minimum back length for your half pad. Compare your measurement with our measurement table and choose the closest matching size (Please bear in mind when choosing a pad that quoted sizes for saddle pads may vary by +/-2cm and that pads may shrink by up to 5% when washed).

Mattes half pad with shims

half pad with shimshalf pad correction system

How to order a half pad from Pink Equine

It is very easy to order products from our online shop. Using our configurator software, decide on the style, all purpose, jumping or dressage. Choose the quilt, binding, top tape and sheepskin colours, the size, and any accessories, such as “Saddle Fix” or the half pad correction system. Once you are happy with the design and all the features you require, add your composition to the cart.

As well as the UK and Europe, we sell saddle pads all over the world and regularly ship to the USA, Canada and Australia, where currency exchange rates make purchasing from us very economical. We are always happy to assist with any queries, in any timezone, or in any language if you need more information on your purchases.

Caring for your half pad

A Mattes half pad is an investment and with proper care and attention, you will be able to enjoy your pad for many years to come. You should only need to change your half pad when you fall in love with another colour scheme because let’s face it, you can never have enough!

There is no getting away from the fact, that your half pad works hard to wick away horse sweat and pick up dirt and horse hair. To ensure your pad continues to function correctly and looks great for many years, you will need to take care of it and wash it regularly. Mattes encourage you to wash your pad as they benefit from a routine washing regime. All Mattes sheepskin half pads include a bottle of their special detergent called MELP. The ingredients help the removal of dirt and horsehair and are even used in the lambskin production process.

Regular washing not only removes detritus but also sebum and ammonia content, which if not cleaned can break down the sheepskin fibres. Thorough drying, preferably in a tumble dryer, ensures that your fleece is fluffy and your pad is clean and dry.

Bespoke Horse Tack