Riding horses can be a fantastic experience that not everyone has a chance to go through. And even when you never ride a real horse, you are probably familiar with saddle which serves as a seat on the horse’s back.
Between the saddle and the horse’s back, you will find saddle pads that prevent aggressive friction from irritating your horse. In addition, it also protects the saddle from possible effects of excessive perspiration.
With all comfort and support they provide, let’s find out the best horse saddle pads so that you can have the best riding experience!
Best Horse Saddle Pads Reviews
1. Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad
One of the best horse saddle pads you cannot skip is Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch pad. It is simple and suitable for people with limited budget. The brand Diamond Wool is well-known for saddle pads. They have dedicated years to producing high quality wool products on the market.
The manufacturer used thick wool felt to cushion this saddle pad. It is super effective at absorbing shock; as a result, the level of pressure on your horse is much lower and you can push your horse to reach his full potentials.
Thanks to its contoured spine, distressed leather, and a wither relief notch, the Diamond Wool pad is a perfect choice to use in rough terrain or heavy work.
In terms of breathability, wool seems to surpass most other materials. However, it also has drawbacks as air can be trapped between fibers. Consequently, it may trap the heat and cause discomfort in hot climate.
Besides, other disadvantages of this pad are that it can have unpleasant smell and contain dust or dirt. Some users also had difficulties cleaning the wool pad.
- Reasonable price
- Minimum risks of slippage
- Most breathable among materials to create saddle pads
- Not suitable for hot conditions
- Can be smelly and hold dust or dirt
- Cleaning troubles
2. ECP Western Saddle Pad
If you are looking for the best horse saddle pads for small horses, it is a great idea to consider ECP Western saddle pad. It offers contour correction features to improve safety for your horses.
Because its material – memory foam – is shock-absorbing, you can be certain that the horse’s back is not damaged during the riding experience. Some studies illustrate that in terms of impact absorption, memory foam is an excellent choice.
This material is also breathable and soft, which explains why you can have amazing moisture-wicking ability.
In addition, its rounded edges can help avoid rubbing your horse’s hindquarters and causing irritation.
On the other hand, big or high withered horses will find this pad unsuitable.
- Memory foam that can adjust to your horse’s shape
- Excellent at absorbing shock
- Suitable for small or short backed horses
- Not working for large and high withered horses
- You may find switching between its layers quite suspecting
3. Classic Equine BioFit Wool Felt Saddle Pad
Fleece saddle pads are the most popular type on the market, and among them, the Classic Equine BioFit wool felt sad emerges as one of the best. Its outstanding features are cut-outs and contoured design.
This saddle pad is the mixture of fleece and wool. The manufacturer even claimed that it is made of pure virgin wool to improve the ability to wick moisture.
In addition, thanks to higher quality of wool, it enhances the breathability, so you do not have to worry about your horse getting sweaty. As the amount of sweat decreases, your horse is less likely to get sores.
In terms of cushioning, this pad is very great. In fact, its design provides comfort as well as pressure dissipation.
The durability of this saddle pad is also very good. It is not too challenging to clean it after use.
What are its disadvantages? Besides its quite high price compared to other products, this saddle pad may slide too far back because of its extra buildup.
- Suitable for high withered horses
- Great texture
- Good at dispersing moisture
- Contoured pad
- Quite expensive
- Possibly too far back
4. Derby Originals
Whether you ride a horse for play or work, it is a great idea to get a good saddle pad, and the Derby Originals is one of the best horse saddle pads you should consider.
In case of long rides, it is useful to have some additional storage space to keep something important, such as car keys or afternoon snack. Fortunately, this saddle pad has a small pocket you can find in the back for that purpose.
The inside part of the pad is made of fleece, which has great influences on preventing excessive sweating. Besides, there is an additional level of comfort to make your horse feel cool and comfortable all the time.
- Lined with fleece
- Available storage space with pocket
- Padded with foam
- Various color choices
- The seams have poor construction
5. Back on Track Horse Back Pad
Riding experience can be great for most of us, but in many cases, horses suffer. We also want to give the horse therapy when we ride them. That’s why you need a saddle pad like the Back on Track pad.
As regards muscle support, this product can have heating therapeutic impacts on your horse. It contributes to enhancing the horse’s muscle health and reducing the level of soreness.
Besides, it even has warming influences to make sure that the blood pumps constantly inside the horse. As a result, the recovery will take place faster and soreness also decreases.
With these qualities, you can be relieved to know that the horse will feel much more comfortable and healing even when you are on him.
The only disadvantage we find with this product is that it may be too thin.
- Enhance the flow of blood
- Help the horse avoid soreness
- Simple cleaning
- Great durability
- Probably too thin
6. Southwestern Equine
Another wool saddle pad you can rely on is the Southwestern Equine, which offers much comfort for a long time.
The wool material guarantees that your horse benefits most from its cooling qualities and also abilities to wick the moisture. His temperature will be monitored regularly during the whole time you ride.
What’s interesting about this product is that it comes in various sizes. You can get the most suitable pad for your horse based on the thickness and size.
Even though the price is a little higher, you will find out that its outstanding features can help you enjoy the ride to the fullest extent.
- Various sizes and thickness
- Made from high-quality wool
- High price
- Quite hard to sit on
How to Choose Horse Saddle Pads
Many people hold the belief that saddle pads are nothing more than a piece of cloth to keep animals’ sweat from damaging the saddle. However, skipping the advantages of choosing the right horse saddle pads not only makes animal suffer from pain but also makes our experience lackluster.
Therefore, it is imperative to take saddle pads into serious consideration and learn some tips on how to choose the most suitable horse saddle pads.
The very first and also most important factor to consider is size. Western saddle pads usually have various sizes, while English pads are suitable for all.
In average, the size of Western saddle pad is about 30 x 30 inches. If your horse is small or a pony, you should choose a suitable saddle before calculating the pad size. Typically, it is usually 20 x 20 inches for small horse’s saddle pads.
Another essential thing to consider is the shape. There is a wide range of shapes to choose. Rectangular and square pads are usually the most economical. If your horses have low average withers, you should go for these kinds so that your horse gets enough support for his head and neck.
Besides, round pads have a similar size, but with rounded corners which can reduce the risk of rubbing your horse’s back and causing irritation or soreness. They are a perfect option for horses which have low average withers and short backs.
In case of high withers, cut-outs are the best horse saddle pads. High withers often have great impacts on the horse’s performance and lengthening their strides.
Nevertheless, when it comes to saddling, they are responsible for many problems. Your horse has to suffer from much pressure if you use traditional pads. And the riding experience can turn into a nightmare. So, a cut-out padding will provide a relief for your horse to avoid these issues.
Materials of the saddle pad have significant influence on its efficiency of removing moisture and giving support. Fleece is the most common material of Western saddle pads, making sure that you benefit from its effective aeration.
Besides, you can also find more information about Neoprene, which is rubber-like and able to absorb shock effectively. It allows your horse to feel cooler and also, it can be cleaned easily.
Foam pad is also common, but remember to choose breathable one so that your horse does not suffer because of excessive heat. Foam pads are the most suitable option when your horse participates in hard sports.
On the market, you find cotton or wool as other common materials as well.
In general, English pads are less thick than Western ones. Thickness is important because you want to protect your horse from getting too much pressure on the back. If the horse works so hard, it is imperative to have a thicker pad.
How to Clean Horse Saddle Pads
If you know how to take care, the saddle pads can last for a very long time. And you can save a lot of money. Proper cleaning is the ultimate solution against wearing. Here are some tips to help you clean horse saddle pads more effectively.
- A curry comb: Grooming with a curry in circular motions can help you eliminate hair and dirt quickly from the pad.
- Vacuum: This is the best way to remove everything lodged among fibers which can degrade the saddle pads.
- Machine wash: Most products on the market, except for wool, are machine washable. You should try cold water and low heat because they may shrink or curl up with too much heat.
- Hose down: As long as the pad is completely dry after cleaning, you can use water to wash it. It is possible to use pressure wash or spray. In case of wool pads, you should dip them in cold water and avoid using soaps.
Why do you need a saddle pad?
The saddle pads have many important effects on the horse’s skin, back, and hair. It fights against friction as well as pressure. Besides, your horse also avoids sweat, grime and dirt.
How often do you need to get a new saddle pad?
It depends on the frequency of riding, the amount of weight your horse has to carry, or the thickness of his coat. The recommendation is to have some pads available so that you can rotate seasonally.
Pay attention to the saddle pads regularly to see whether they should be replaced or not. Wearing is a sign that you need to change.
Should you choose natural or synthetic materials?
Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Natural materials, like wool or sheepskin pads, usually come at higher costs, but they are better at wicking moisture naturally and circulating the air. Besides, cleaning is usually a problem when it comes to natural materials.
On the other hand, cotton is more economical and easier to clean. But its absorbent ability is less effective.
No matter how hard your horse has to work on a daily basis, getting a good saddle pad is an imperative task. Only when your horse is comfortable can you expect him to reach the peak performance.
We hope that our reviews of the best horse saddle pads are helpful for you to choose a satisfying product. Do not forget to share your experience with us!