How to Pick the Best Saddle Pad for Your Horse’s Needs

To ensure the safety of your horse and saddle the right saddle pad is crucial. Generally, a saddle pad refers to a pad that serves as a comfortable support for sitting on your horses’s back. In addition to the comfort of your horse, a good saddle pad guards the back of your horse and aids in maintaining your saddle. However, it’s important to note that the best saddle pad for you is dependent on many factors. Luckily, it’s not a problem should you spend the time to determine the ideal saddle pad for your horse and yourself.

Below are the essential tips for looking for the right saddle pad for your horses’s needs:

Tips for Finding the Right Saddle Pad

  • Find the Equipe’s Curvatures

Matching the contours of the back of the horse and its contours on the bottom of the horse’s saddle are crucial for an appropriate saddle pad that doesn’t exert pressure on the spine of the horse or the withers. There are pads designed specifically for horses that are high-withered, or mutton-withered.

That’s why before you select a saddle pad for your horse, make sure to know and understand its curvature. Remember, protecting your horses’s back is one of the primary purposes of saddle pads. So, you should always think about your horses’s needs to ensure optimum comfort and avoid irritation.

  • Find the best style

There are three types of saddle pads that are common: shaped, half and square pads. When in the show rings riders performing Dressage usually utilize square pads, whereas the shaped pads are popular during Hunter/Jumper shows. Eventers usually have or style pads that are customized to match their color. Half pads are commonly used across all disciplines and can be used as a stand-alone or with the square or shaped pad. This means that whether you ride in Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, or Eventing shows, you may use an English half pad from a reliable supplier to provide proper back protection for you and your horse, while maintaining the best style.

  • Select the Correct Size

Be sure to ensure that the pad you choose to use is compatible with your saddle. Pads are usually designed with different saddle styles in mind. The dressage saddle is designed with an elongated cut, and have a wider flap, whereas close contact pads will feature a forward cut as well as a shorter length. All-purpose pads are between the two and are likely to differ somewhat in terms of size. Pads for children or pony are also offered for saddles that are under 16 inches. Make sure the pad extends beyond the saddle’s edge but not over the horse’s last rib.

  • A Pad to Improve Saddle Fit

Saddle pads shouldn’t be used to fix a saddle that isn’t fitting. Always seek out the right saddle for your horse in the most efficient way possible. However, there are situations that saddle pads that may aid in improving the fit of your saddle. For instance, a poorly developed horse might need a custom-fit saddle pad to guard against the pressure that causes pain. A weak horse following an extended break from work is a different example of a scenario where the use of a special pad is an effective alternative to enhance the fit of the saddle. This kind of situation can be addressed with an equilateral pad or a pad that has shims.

  • Choose the Best Material

Saddle pads are available in a range of selections. Cotton and fleece are among the most well-known options due to they are wicking properties. The fleece can be made of synthetic or could be genuine wool or sheepskin. Synthetic fleece pads and cotton tend to be less costly and easy to take care of. Wool pads and sheepskin pads are costly and require special care, however, they can absorb as much as three times their weight in water, whereas cotton will just absorb its weight. Foam, gel and batting are often employed in the pad’s inner to increase comfort and cushion shock. Make sure that your saddle is perfectly fitted but you don’t have enough space to put a thick pad without altering how the saddle is placed against your horse.

Tips for Saddle Pad Use and Care

Alleviate Pad Pressure. When the pad for your saddle and saddle are in place on your horse, make certain to pull up your pad’s front. Perform this action in a manner that it is moved up the channel (gullet) of your saddle. The flat surface of the pad rubs against your horse and could affect the horse’s movements by putting tension on its spine. By doing these care steps, you can ensure the saddle pad is placed under the saddle without compromising your comfort and that of your horse throughout the ride.

  • Clean your pads

Dirty pads can cause saddle sores to your horse. The pad should be hung upside down so that it can dry out after riding. Here are some helpful tips to care for the saddle pad:

  • Don’t set your pad on surfaces that could cause it to collect additional dirt or other debris that could get transferred onto the back of your horse and cause possible irritation and other health issues.
  • Use a nice brush to scrub your pad between the wash to avoid damage.
  • Clean your pads regularly to wash away the sweat as well as dirt. Wool and sheepskin pads typically require special soaps specifically designed for these products. It is important to dry your pad to prevent its size from changing or shrinking. in size.
  • Follow the cleaning guidelines on the pad to ensure the most effective results.
  • Make sure you’re in good shape regularly

Similar to the human body’s changes as we age and wear out the horse’s body can also alter. It’s possible that the saddle you’re currently using could be the best for your horse however it may be different. Be aware of the shape and muscling of your horse as he matures, as well as your saddle’s fit to make sure you use the correct pad. It is possible to alter the pad you are using during different periods of the year. A more thick pad might not be ideal if your horse is shedding hair, or after a winter of inactivity and when your horse could be a little heavier and less flexible. Check the saddle pad reviews regularly from expert’s like: topratedbuyerguides and aware of your horse’s physique to ensure maximum security and comfort of your animal.


As a horse rider, you certainly understand the importance of a saddle pad during rides. Aside from your comfort and stability, it’s also essential to think about your horse’s comfort and overall well-being. Therefore, you should make an effort to pick the best saddle pad for your horse’s needs. By keeping the information mentioned above in mind, you’ll know exactly what to do to make the selection process more straightforward and faster.