Here’s my findings on using a single layer of memory foam under an orthoflex saddle with booties.
I am currently 2500 miles into a 5000 mile solo unassisted horse ride.
At the 1000 mile mark I switched from using my big horn endurance saddle with thin wool blanket and memory foam to a refurbished orthoflex traditional saddle.
I first used the traditional saddle with a very thin wool blanket. For 350 miles without booties. Then I used it with the booties and the thin blanket for 550 miles.
After about 700 miles with the orthoflex set up like this I got loin rubbing, almost raw.
Then I used it without the blanket but with the booties for 100 miles.
This didn’t make the rubbing worse, but it didn’t heal either.
Then finally, I used the saddle with the booties and a single layer of memory foam for the last 6 weeks and 585 miles. After a few weeks the hair started growing back on the left side, then later, on the right side. This is all while riding 20 miles or so almost every day.
I heard about using memory foam from Long Rider Filipe Leite, who rode from Calgary Alberta to Brazil, then from Brazil to Patagonia. On his second journey he heard about using memory foam from another long rider. Filipe noticed how it make 80% of his horses back problems disappear.
I can confirm that it truly does work. It compresses from 1.5” to 1/10 it’s thickness, or ⅛”. It can be washed. I use it as a sleeping pad. They are fragile though. Be gentle.
When using them with the Orthoflex, you snug it up in between the panels.
One side effect is that the saddle doesn’t slide as much front to back. A twin size pad costs about $40. If it was made out of hemp I would be happier. Don’t get the waffled one.
Here’s my pad almost worn out. After 585 miles, I should get another week or so out of it.