I got a question in email: When should I use pads? How would I know if I should use them on my horse?
I thought I would post my answer.
"Always!!! On every horse! No questions, they can do no harm.
The real reason, to prevent peripheral loading of the hoof wall. If your hoof wall is raised above the sole, and is put into a flat boot, there is no way for the hoof wall to sink into the hard rubber of the boot. Therefore, it is just as good as using a rim shoe - the sole and frog and bars are not getting the impact because the hoof wall is not sinking into the boot, like it would on dirt naturally. If you put the pad inside the boot, then the hoof wall can sink into the foam, and the sole, bars, and frog will get stimulation from the pad. It is also more shock absorbing, and creates a perfect insole for a better fit of the boots. I have also found that horses that have very sore heel areas because of thrush or under developed digital cushions move out superbly in comfort pads.
I don't use Epics/Bares without comfort pads. I personally like the thick flat pads, but some prefer the thin flat pads whereas others like the Dome shaped pads. Play around with them, I love the effects that pads have. Navicular horses benefit greatly from the frog support pads, and this comes in a system that owners can play around with.
For $8 a set, your horse receives so much benefit, that it is a no-brainer to use them.
Check out Pete Ramey and Dr. Bob Bowker's work on blood perfusion and how much greater the blood goes into the hoof when you introduce a pad into the boot."
I love comfort pads. These can be ordered directly from Easycare's website, or I carry them with my all the time. www.easycareinc.com