PONY'TUDE Approved: Lettia ICE Saddle Pad
I'm a little bit of a saddle pad 'ho. So you can trust my opinion when it comes to square AP pads, as I am the reigning queen of such.
That said... the Lettia ICE pad is my new favorite thing, ever.
I picked one up at the Rick's Heritage Saddlery tent sale a couple weeks ago. It was priced at $15, and since the pad generally retails around $50, I snapped it up. There were a few shades of blue and green available, but I went with classic white. Now that I've used it a few times, I want it in every color.
The ICE pad is lined underneath with Coolmax fabric - a material that's become wildly popular in show shirts and other rider apparel. Coolmax wicks moisture away from the skin like none other, so I was intrigued as to how this pad would perform on my sweaty beast of a pony. I also really liked the zig-zag quilt pattern - just a little different - and was intrigued by the slots at the bottom of the pad instead of traditional girth loops.
When I first saddled up with the ICE pad, my first impression was that it was shaped very nicely. The spine of the pad is sturdy enough to keep it up off the spine of my horse, and the front is shaped perfectly to tuck up into the gullet of the saddle and provide excellent wither clearance. It's just the right size for my 17" saddle, and big enough that my half pad wasn't hanging off the back. The girth slots were also easy to use, and seemed like they'd do their job nicely. They helped to create a very neat, clean look.
Post ride, the Lettia ICE pad had not moved a hair. No shifting, no bunching, nothing. It was right where I put it. Points for the excellent shape and girth slots! The underside of the pad was also miraculously NOT WET after a sweaty ride in the hot sun. It was really amazing - the Coolmax lining certainly did its job to keep my pony from getting clammy! Color me impressed.
I used the pad 3 or 4 times before washing, as the Coolmax fabric delayed the development of Saddle Pad Crusties. I popped it in the wash on warm - regular - extra rinse with my other pads, and it came out sparkling, with just minimal staining by the girth slot on one side. It retained its shape very well through the wash, and the only thing I can complain about is that the pad did pill a bit in some places on the underside and near the girth slots where there had been friction, but other than that it washed up great.
While I'm not sure that I would pay full price for the Lettia ICE pad, I'm very pleased with its performance overall. The Coolmax backing actually made a big difference in how the pad wicks sweat away from my pony, the shape is perfect, and I love the look. The next time I see them on sale, I'm definitely going to grab some more colors! If you're looking for the perfect AP pad for schooling, or even jumper shows or eventing, the Lettia ICE pad is it.