Friday Fashion Forecast: Acavallo Respira Air Release Gel Pad

Acavallo Respira Air Release Gel Pad. Photo courtesy of Acavallo

I’m pretty sure I have about 8 million half pads, wither-relief pads and assorted other accoutrement in my collection. But I recently had the opportunity to try the Acavallo Respira Air Release Gel Pad, which has me wondering why I haven’t tried it sooner! It is a low profile, discreet half “pad” that provides airflow to your horse’s back, extra cushion and saddle grip.

I tested it on my fussy Prelim OTTB and he seems to really enjoy the comfort. It definitely kept my saddle in place extremely well, which allowed me to sit quietly in position while working on dressage. In jumping and cross country rounds, this type of cushion and security would be a game-changer. Your horse’s comfort over fences plays a huge role in her performance. Every detail matters.

Amy Nelson & Hummingbird’s River with the Acavallo Respira Air Release Gel Pad. Photo by Amy Nelson

Aside from the practical use, the look was one of my favorite features. This sleek gel pad is much more low-profile than many of the other half pads that I have in my arsenal. To me, a portion of the game is looking the part. When it comes down to it, that last little half of point in dressage is your turn out. When everything looks clean and tucked in where it belongs (including your “secret weapon,” the Acavallo Respira Air Release Gel Pad) you present a professional picture. Your competitors may take notice of this has-it-all-together-look, and shake in their boots just a little as you enter the ring for stadium.

Also, as a permanently filthy individual I greatly appreciate the fact that this type of pad can be hosed off outside and hung on my fence to dry. This way I don’t have to wait until my husband goes out of town to wash all of my saddle pads in our washer! That being said, because of the material, I would definitely keep this stored in a somewhat climate-controlled environment. As we are heading into winter I have not had the opportunity to leave it in the tack room of hot trailer in a scorching truck … but I would imagine it would be better off riding in front with you in the AC. More research is needed on this, but my guess would be you should not leave it in a hot vehicle during a 110 F degree day.

Take a look at my demo video here — including my ride on my horse Hummingbird’s River using the Acavallo gel pad!

It’s so squishy. I just want to squish it. Acavallo’s website explains the science behind it, but this squishy squishy could double as a “stress ball” at a difficult show. They explain, “a multitude of little bulges with lateral holes permitting an even more effective, horizontally directed air circulation and increased shock absorption. Besides creating a cushion effect every time they are compressed, the bulges generate a flow of refreshing air that keeps the back of the horse perfectly dry. Moreover, the new open bulge structure will enable us to use less material, resulting in a substantial decrease of the gel pad weight (almost 20% less compared to previous Air Release pads).” I can attest to this — it is very lightweight and cushioning.

The neat thing about this product is that Acavallo has a variety of air-release gel pads, therapeutic pads, riser pads, massaging pads, and even those with sheepskin trim. You can find these in North America at your favorite tack retailer thanks to Frantisi (Facebook & Instagram), and all over Europe and many other regions as well. If you need help finding what you’re looking for, just message them!

Final Review

Cost: $$
Excitement: *** 3 Stars
Durability: *** 3 Stars
Variety: *** 3 Stars

Acavallo Respira Air Release Gel Pad. Photo courtesy of Amy Nelson.