ThinLine is one of those brands that inspires admiration and appreciation. ThinLine saddle pads and other horse tack were created by a dressage rider to solve a saddle slip problem. By chance, the rider, Elaine Lockhead-Castelao, discovered a thin shock absorbing material designed to protect athletes. Elaine tried this foam on her Lipizzan horses and was amazed to see there was no more saddle slippage. What's more, her horses moved better, were more comfortable and quieter. Elaine also noticed her ride was more comfortable and it was easier to sit the horses' gaits. A pretty remarkable result for a sheet of foam!
The deceptively simple look of ThinLine belies the amount of testing and technology that created it. ThinLine has an open cell structure that has the ability to dissipate shock, weight, and heat along the pad, resulting in 95% shock absorption. The honeycomb structure pad does not compress or slip and creates no pressure points. This technology does not interfere with muscle action and is 100% breathable to prevent moisture and heat from being trapped against the horse's back. The ThinLine material is very durable, often much more so than other therapeutic saddle pads.
The ThinLine company began quite small, with Elaine cutting out saddle pads in a rented barn, often with a baby strapped to her back. She traveled to shows and asked riders to try out the new pads. Her hands-on strategy and sacrifice and commitment worked. ThinLine does not advertise heavily, preferring to channel their money into their products. They have benefitted over the years from non-paid professional endorsements and enthusiastic word of mouth from their customers. ThinLine gives back to the horse community, including donating pads to therapeutic riding programs. Mary's has carried ThinLine for many years and we are still impressed with the quality and performance of these saddle pads. Available in styles like simple pads or with merino sheepskin trim, or as a hybrid dressage square pad with Back on Track technology, ThinLine has many options to choose. There are English and Western pads as well as leg boots and cinches. ThinLine products are made in the USA and the North Carolina-based company supports American manufacturers for assembly of most product lines. ThinLine says, "We work hard to support USA families and manufacturing."