It's the same concept as the contoured pad, but with the neoprene in-set within the pad. This benefits the rider and the horse in different ways. It benefits the horse by allowing the D rings of the saddle to fit naturally and securely. It lightens the load that the horse has to carry because of the neoprene not extending all the way across the pad. The rider benefits from the design of this pad because he gets a better feel of the horse with his legs closer to the body.