From Endurance to Dressage
Review: Union Hill Dressage Pads
I wish I could remember who suggested this dressage pad. I am pretty sure I saw it on a Facebook page moderated by Sprinkler Bandits. In any case, I was in need of a dressage pad for Izzy that is show legal. Everything legal that I own is Speedy-sized. The other white pads that I own have some kind of logo or monogram which is not allowed at rated shows.
I am sure the Union Hill Dressage pad is available from a variety of vendors, but I found mine at SmartPak. When buying dressage pads for Speedy, I have to be very selective about the pad's dimensions as most dressage pads are made for BIG horses. I am finding that I have to be nearly as careful when buying pads for Izzy. In his case, the bigger the better.
The Union Hill dressage pad is an excellent fit for Izzy's large, but shorter backed frame. It has a moderate spine length at 23", Speedy sized actually, with a generous 22 1/2" drop. And like any good dressage pad, it is nicely contoured along the spine with a small amount of extra padding at the withers.
I don't know what most riders prefer, but I like a pad with some substance. I find that the thinner pads tend to wrinkle and bunch up. This pad has a solid weight to it, but it's not too heavy. It seems to be sturdily constructed, but I won't know for sure until it's gone through the wash a few times.
While I haven't actually girthed up my saddle with this pad yet, I think it should fit okay. I compared it to the pad I used at last weekend's schooling show, and it has the same drop.
The pad retails for $20.95, but if you're a regular SmartPak shopper, you can easily get it for less with a Smart Perks, USEF, or similar discount. If my girth ends up fitting too closely to the edge of the pad, it can easily become a schooling pad, and I can never have too many of those!
Overall, for around 20 bucks, the Union Hill Dressage Pad is a pretty smart purchase - inexpensive, but more than serviceable. I think I am going to break it in today.
99% sure that was me. I use these almost exclusively. Cheers from another extremely short backed horse owner! They wash up pretty well. I have been known to scotchguard my white ones, but even when I haven't done that they tend to come white again very easily.
4/22/2016 07:32:13 am
It probably was you, so thank you! The price just can't be beat. :0)
4/22/2016 06:51:48 am
Speedy sized and Paddy sized are the same... I got mine based on your recommendation! Brego sized is something ENTIRELY different, so I feel your pain!
4/22/2016 07:34:20 am
Izzy is much easier to fit than Speedy, but still, finding a pad that I like the weight and feel of and that ALSO fits is quite a challenge. Oh, and finding it in a price range that I like makes the struggle even worse! One thing about having two totally different horses is that you get to own twice the tack. :0)
4/22/2016 07:31:36 am
I have found a few great pads that are Speedy-sized. This one is my favorite show pad: http://www.bakersfielddressage.com/home/the-problem-with-pads-and-ponies
4/22/2016 12:49:05 pm
I actually bought one last fall from Smartpak as our new show pad during a free embroidery promo and haven't gotten to yet use it. Looking forward to actually using it and seeing how it holds up!
4/23/2016 07:29:30 am
Did you at least try it on? I hate not being able to use brand new stuff. :0)
Comments are closed.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: