Best Saddle Pad Reviews 2018

Saddle pads come in different sizes, types and shapes and, owing to the important role they play in the use and care of the horse, it goes without saying that you’ll need to select one with the best fit for your horse. To help make the selection process easier for you, we conducted an in-depth research into several brands with saddle pads in the market and have here 5 top brands sporting the best saddle pads currently in the market. Please note that although this review is based on one product per brand, all the featured brands have other great saddle pad models that you could check out in the rare event that you don’t find your choice among the reviewed products.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Shape
Material
Saddle Size
Weight
Color
Our Top Choice
Roma Diamond Dressage Saddle Pad
Roma carries an assorted selection of popular products that are trusted to care for our equine buddies.
Comfortable and classy. Beautiful color patterns. Its lush fabric is breathable, thick, absorbent and easy to clean. Made of 35% polyester and 65% cotton.
There might be pads with off-center top stitching.
Straight
Polyester, Cotton
26 x 22 inches
4lbs
3 colors
Best Value
Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad
Weaver Leather employs its wealth of experience in the production of quality and innovative equine care gear.
It’s a beautiful, reasonably-price saddle pad that’s easy to maintain, sturdily built and durable even with everyday use.
The colors may not seem as they appear online.
Contour
Herculon Material
32 x 32 inches
1lbs
4 colors
Southwestern Equine Laredo Navajo Pad
Southwestern Equine describes itself as a family of horse people that appreciate the value of quality riding gear.
Beautiful pattern. Made of high quality wool. Wear leather protects saddle from cinching. Available in 4 different patterns. Made in USA.
It might be tight at the withers.
Straight
Tan wool, Leather
36 x 34 inches
4lbs
3 colors
Centaur Airstream Corona Pad
Centaur makes an assorted array of sensible products for horses at sensible prices for the riders.
Budget-friendly price. Breathable, waffle-weave fabric. Shaped to the contours of your saddle. It’s beautiful, easy to clean and provides comfortable cushioning for the rider.
It might slip off horses with high withers.
Cutout
Heavy foam
22 x 21.5 inches
1lbs
White
TuffRider Basic All Purpose Saddle Pad
TuffRider creates the ultimate collection of rider apparel and horse clothing for every equestrian.
Simple and elegant. It has a soft lining at the bottom. Made of a cotton-polyester blend. Easy to maintain.
It’s big for an all-purpose saddle.
Contour
Spandex, Polyester
34 x 26 inches
1lbs
10 colors

(Updated )
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Watch Our Saddle Pad Review

How Do I Choose the Best Saddle Pad?

Every horse lover will appreciate the fact that a well-kept horse is a joy to behold and ride, in addition to being a great asset. The fastest way to injure a horse is to ride it barebacked, which is riding it with just the saddle without any form of cushioning between the hard undersurface of the saddle and the back of the horse.

Saddle pads and saddle blankets are used for the purpose of cushioning the horse’s back against the friction from riding and the saddle. Although both terms are used interchangeably, there’s a world of difference between the two. A saddle blanket refers to a folded piece of wool or cotton that’s placed underneath the saddle. The blanket can be used for other purposes like keeping warm on wintry days. A saddle pad, on the other hand, is specially designed for the sole purpose of protecting the horse’s back and hair.

The saddle pad serves to protect the horse’s back from direct contact and pressure from the saddle’s hard surface. It also absorbs heat from the horse, thereby increasing its riding comfort; this also prevents the saddle from absorbing the heat and thus prolongs its use. Having a saddle pad on your horse’s back also helps in correcting minor fit problems between the horse’s back and the saddle, which may have been caused by your horse having higher than normal withers or sore spots on the skin or the saddle is just plain ill-fitting. Some sore spots on horses could be eliminated by using the right shampoo on your horse. If any of the above mentioned is the case, then you’d be needing a special contoured saddle pad to compensate for any ill-fit. On the other hand, if your horse has normal physiology and is healthy, then you’ll be needing a simple saddle pad designed for the sole purpose of wicking off sweat and reducing friction between horse and saddle.

There are many features and factors that determine the performance of a saddle pad. Some of them include type of saddle pad, material, size, color, shape and the cost. All these features are adequately discussed in this buying guide so you’ll do well to stay with us.
Price
Having a well-defined budget range that you’re comfortable with is a very good way to start your quest for any item you need to purchase. Due to its importance, a saddle pad is one item you’ll need to invest wisely in so as to save you and your horse from future and totally preventable expenses that may arise due to a poorly performing saddle pad.

Although there are ridiculously cheap saddle pads which we came across during our research, it’ll be well worth your while to make up the extra few dollars and pick a saddle pad that’ll protect and last for a long while as against those cheap ones that are made from flimsy, inadequate materials that are likely to fail or even cause injury to the horse.

The prices of quality saddle pads range from about $20 to $100, a broad enough range that makes it extremely easy to get a great saddle pad from well-respected brands featured in this review who are renowned in the equine care industry.
Features
Choosing and buying great saddle pads may not be an easy feat, but once you know the key features to consider then your selection process becomes very simplified.
Here are some of the important features to look out for:
  • Type of saddle pad
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Extra features
  • Material
Construction and Design
A saddle pad can either be a simple or contoured saddle pad. These two different types differ in their purposes and design. The simple saddle pad is often referred to as a square saddle pad and features a rectangular shape with straight sides. It has a variety of stock colors and pattern stitches you can choose from. And to accommodate the knee rolls of jumping and all-purpose saddles, many square saddle pads have slightly shaped fronts. The square saddle pad is often used on horses with a nice-fitting saddle and well-proportioned back. A contoured saddle pad, on the other hand, is shaped to follow the contours of the saddle. It’s mostly used on horses with issues of extremely high withers, ill-fitting saddles or pressure sore-spots to compensate or at least alleviate these conditions.

Saddle pads are made with either genuine sheepskin or synthetic fleece. A genuine sheepskin has better wicking action through its ability to naturally mold to the horse’s back and improve air circulation, which is good for the horse’s hair and skin. The genuine sheepskin with the hide still attached has an inimitable way of reducing friction that remains unmatched by even the most advanced synthetic material. Its major drawback is that it’s difficult to clean, and over time the chemicals released in the horse’s sweat may begin to breakdown the sheepskin saddle pad if proper care isn’t maintained. A synthetic fleece on its own part has the advantage of being compatible with machine wash and laundry detergent which makes it easy to clean and maintain; it’s also much more durable, and more economical pricewise.

Other materials used in making saddle pads include felt, which is an extremely good absorbent and wicking material with high insulating and shock proofing properties. Another one is foam, which comes in either open or closed cell form; the closed cell foam is generally preferred because it’s denser and mimics the contours of the horse form better; gel inserts are great for cushioning sore spots but they’re heavier than other materials. Finally, we have neoprene, a waterproof material often called waffle bottom. It’s super easy to clean, breathable and doesn’t slide around uncomfortably on the horse. Whichever saddle pad you choose to buy, you should check the material and be sure it’s exactly what your horse needs.

Different saddle pads are shaped differently, especially the contoured saddle pads which are designed for specific purposes and for correcting certain defects on horses. A built-up shaped saddle pad is best for horses with high withers as it comes with extra paddings along the center to raise the saddle up, reducing pressure on the withers. A cutout saddle pad might be best for a horse with extremely high and prominent withers. The saddle pad features cutouts at the top so the withers are exposed and un-pressured. Round-shaped saddle pads are commonly used for short-backed horses or under saddles with round skirts. The swayback shape saddle pad has extra paddings in the center and is specially designed for a horse with a dipping back, correcting uneven pressure points on the back.
Performance and Ease of Use
A saddle pad is, for the most part, designed to be lightweight, easy to use and to maintain. Most of the materials used in designing saddle pads are lightweight, which ensure that they don’t become an added burden to the horse, especially as they contain the sweat of the horse through wicking. Apart from the natural sheepskin saddle pad, every other saddle pad made from synthetic material is quite easy to maintain, as most of them are compatible with machine wash and normal laundry detergents. Using the saddle pad isn’t rocket science; one needs no coaching to do that. All you need to do is make sure that there’s at least 1 inch of the saddle pad showing underneath both sides of the saddle. You should also ensure that the seams are positioned in such a way as not to chafe or rub against the horse the wrong way during rides.

One of the most important tasks of the saddle pad is to wick sweat from the horse’s back. This process involves movement of the sweat from the horse’s back into the saddle pad lining through the surface. This ensures that the horse’s hair and skin remains dry and comfortable and also prevents the sweat from getting to the saddle. Some saddle pads have high wicking properties due to the nature of their manufacturing materials, so if keeping your horse dry is a major concern, then you should pay closer attention to the saddle pads in the product review section with natural sheepskin material.

The saddle pad is a major means of showcasing or displaying team, club or stable color. Square pads especially come in a variety of colors and event riders or cross country competitors are allowed to choose their desired saddle pad color. For competitions involving dressage riders, competitors are required to ride with a white or conservatively colored saddle pad like black or cream.

What is the Best Saddle Pad?

Choosing the right saddle pad can be daunting as there are many important factors that have to be considered. To make short work of the task, we listed and treated all the features of saddle pads in our individual product reviews you’ll find below. Now, you should be able to make an informed choice of the saddle pad that best suits you and your horse from the following unbeatable options.
Our Top Choice
The Roma Ecole Double Diamond Dressage Saddle Pad features beautiful color patterns and detailed craftsmanship, and is made of 35% polyester and 65% cotton. If you’d prefer a saddle pad with circular details that’s competitively priced we suggest you check out the Roma Circle Quilt Pads; it comes in no fewer than 18 sizes!
Roma F.C. Ecole Double Diamond Dressage Saddle Pad – Available in 12 Color Combinations

Roma Saddle Pad – White/Black/Silver


Features
Roma is a popular brand and one-stop-shop for everything equestrian. It has a vast product range that will delight any horse lover which includes grooming kits, saddle pads, stall guards, leads, leather concealment bags, pouches and lots more. Its products are of high quality and are found at retail outlets nationwide.

The Roma Ecole Double Diamond Dressage Saddle Pad features a specially designed micro tricot lining that’s well-cushioned and wicks the moisture away from your horse leaving it dry and comfortable. This saddle pad measures 25 inches along the spine and a 21 inch drop length; it has polyfill and foam padding combination that provides soft, comfortable cushioning against your horse while still retaining the shape of the pad. This saddle pad is made of 35% polyester and 65 % cotton.

It has a reinforced girth guard that’s coated with vinyl over the piping at the girth area that provides resistance to wear and tear; the result? Your saddle pad keeps looking elegant and new for a longer period of time. When choosing a color, please note that the first color mentioned is the pad’s main color while others are the colors of the trim. It’s quite easy to clean; you can remove any hair that may have been transferred onto it with a soft brush or curry comb, hose it off and allow it to dry.

Roma makes more elegant and functional saddle pads which include:
  • The Roma Reversible Soft Saddle Pad- It features a polyester/cotton outer layer and a polyfill inner layer. It’s extra-padded, comes in beautiful color combinations and is machine washable
  • The Roma Sheepskin Half Pad with Full Rolled Edges- It’s a 22-inch-long saddle pad with synthetic sheepskin and full rolled edges. It has a long-lasting quilted cotton pad
  • The Roma Miniature Quilt Shaped Saddle Pad- It’s got a high withers deign and fleece covering. It has an extended girth panel for extra protection
  • The Roma Patterned All Purpose Saddle Pad- An all-purpose pad with cute butterfly patterns. It has nylon girth straps and touch-tape billet straps. It’s made of polished polyester and cotton outer layer and lining
  • The Roma Protek Saddle Pad with Lift Front- It’s lightweight, ultra-thin and should fit all saddles. It’s made of closed cell foam that is non-absorbent
Best Value
Weaver Leather’s All Purpose Contoured Saddle Pad has a contoured design that gives a better fit and less saddle roll. It’s made of mildew-resistant Herculon material with a 1-inch insert and maize fleece base for extra cushioning and comfort. If you’re interested in a 30 x 30 inch variation, you may want to check out Weaver Leather’s All Purpose Contoured Saddle Pad with felt insert and merino wool fleece bottom.
Weaver Leather All Purpose Contoured Saddle Pad 32-Inch X 32-Inch Pad - Available in 4 Patterns

Weaver Leather Saddle Pad 35-9307-H10 - Coffee


Features
Weaver Leather began as the Fryburg Shoe Shop in 1973 with its founder Harry. A. Weaver. His focus was on shoe repair until he realized the potential offered by an expansion into other markets, upon which he began making crafting horse and cattle halters by hand and selling them to the local harness and tack shops. His halters became popular and demand for them rose, leading to more leather halters being manufactured and the eventual renaming of the company to its present name. With many of its products handcrafted in the U.S, its products feature the highest quality materials, expert American workmanship and finishing touch to ensure years of reliable performance. Creating high-performing products and provide exceptional customer service are only a few of the philosophies upon which this brand is built and intends to continue on in the years to come.

Weaver Leather’s All Purpose Contoured Saddle Pad is a 32-inch x 32-inch pad is covered in a long-lasting Herculon material that’s designed to stand up to years of use without wear or tear. This saddle pad features a contoured design to provide better fit on your horse as the raised portion provides space to accommodate your horse’s withers. This design also lessens the occurrences of the unpleasant saddle roll so that both horse and rider have a swell time. The Herculon material doesn’t allow the formation or growth of mildew and mold, dries quickly and cleans easily, translating into stress-free maintenance.

This saddle pad has a 1 inch felt insert and a maize fleece bottom; the combination of these two gives an added cushioning effect and comfort that you’ll find welcoming. The distressed top grain leather with a ‘ride-the-brand’ insignia adds a beautiful accent to this saddle pad.

Other beautifully functional saddle pads from Weaver Leather include:
  • The Weaver Leather Contoured Memory Foam Saddle Pad- It’s got a 100% New Zealand woven wool top and felt bottom. It measures 33 x 38 inches and features a ½ inch impact-absorbing memory foam
  • The Weaver All Purpose 28-inch x 34-inch Contoured Barrel Pad with Herculon Top- It has a 5/8 inch felt insert and maize fleece bottom for added cushioning and comfort
  • The Weaver Leather All Purpose Contoured Saddle Pad- It’s got a tacky-tack bottom with ½ inch felt insert and a closed cell PVC foam bottom that is breathable, non-slip and easy to maintain
  • The Weaver Leather Contoured Layered Felt Saddle Pad- It has a gel insert, orthopedic felt bottom and 3/8-inch wool top
The Southwestern Equine Wool Horse Laredo Navajo Saddle Pad measures 36 x 34 inches with a hand loomed 100% wool top and an all-wool pad base; it’s available in 4 different patterns. If you’re interested in a pressed wool variant, we recommend Southwestern Equine’s "The Texan" Saddle Pad; it measures 32 x 32 inches and is made of 100% elite pressed grey wool.
Southwestern Equine Wool Horse Show Blanket Laredo Navajo Saddle Pad with 100% New Zealand Wool Top Blanket — Available in 4 Patterns

Southwestern Equine Saddle Pad — Blue/White


Features
Southwestern Equine is a family-owned and managed brand that’s based in Temecula, California. It describes itself as a family of horse people (horse lovers and owners) who actively participate in competitive Reined Cow Horse, Trail Riding, Roping and Cutting. Seeing as it’s an active player in these activities, it understands and appreciates the importance of horse tack and gear that are dependable and durable. Most of its pads and cinches are produced or put together in the U.S with materials of the highest quality such as New Zealand wool, 100% wool fleece, fine grade alpaca and mohair cinches and stainless steel buckles.

The Southwestern Equine Wool Horse Show Blanket Laredo Navajo Saddle Pad consists of a 100% New Zealand wool top and an all-wool pad. It features a Laredo-style, elegant design and took a total of 4 days to be hand loomed into a blanket top and wool pad base with a thickness that measures ½ inch. The wool fibers have hollow centers that draw away the sweat from the horse’s body and their corkscrew shape create air channels that allow the free passage of air through the saddle, thus releasing the absorbed moisture into the air and cooling the horse.

The corkscrew shapes of the wool fibers make them particularly resistant and will retain their thickness; they also act as tiny springs and provide more comfort for horse and rider as it’ll require less cinching pressure than synthetic wool. Another benefit of the wool pad is that it doesn’t slide when the horse begins to sweat; rather, its twisted fibers usually act as a form of Velcro and will remain in place, a feature which has made wool pads the pads of choice for racers and ropers. One more benefit worth mentioning is that the wool begins to take on the shape of your horse’s back after a few rides, offering more comfort.

This saddle pad measures 36 inches x 34 inches; to clean it, rinse stain spots with cold water and mild detergent. For a more thorough cleaning, soak blankets in cold water and Wool Light for 15 minutes, rinse with cold water and hang to dry.

There are more saddle pads from this company, including:
  • The OrthoRide Correction Saddle Pad - It’s a 1-inch saddle pad that’s made in USA. It’s designed to solve saddle fit problems, young horses with shoulder muscles that are under-developed, and high-withered horses
  • The 100% "Extra Fine" Wool Saddle Pad - A ¾ inch or 1-inch-thick saddle pad that measures 32 x 27 inches
  • The Classic Equine BioFit Correction Saddle Pad - For strategic muscle build-up of your horse’s shoulders; it has a contoured design and comes in two sizes
The Centaur Airstream Corona Pad features a breathable, waffle-weave fabric that allows the flow of air with a soft fleece corona. It’s shaped to the contours of your saddle and has a dense, shock-absorbent ¼ inch thick foam. For an all-purpose saddle pad that will cost even less, have a look at the Centaur Imperial AP Saddle Pad.
Centaur Airstream Corona Pad in White - Available in 2 Sizes

Centaur Saddle Pad 400778WHT A/P


Features
The Centaur brand was named after the mythical creature with the head and torso of a man and the hind quarters of a horse. It creates a wide range of products that include travel gear, stable equipment and horse gear. It draws its inspiration from its horse person mind for the safety, comfort and improved performance of your horse. It combines the strength and resilience of the horse with needs and fashion sense of the modern equestrian to create sensible products at sensible prices. Its products include saddle pads, fly masks, lycra horse clothing, stable sheets, dog blankets and much more.

The Centaur Airstream Corona Pad features a super dense, ¼ inch thick foam that’s designed to absorb shock from even the most intensive of riding competitions or training. It can give your horse a comfortable fit without your having to worry about chafing, bunching or blistering which can result from an ill-fitting saddle pad that doesn’t fit the horse.

It also features a unique airflow waffle weave that prevents your horse from over-heating during practice or at a game. Its fleece corona, the fluffy material that lines the edge of the pad, provides added security and comfort to the rider. This saddle pad comes in two sizes: close contact and all purpose. The close contact option is best suited for close contact saddles while the all-purpose option can be used with any saddle of your choice.

Centaur has more saddle pads on offer; here’s a few of them:
  • The Centaur All-purpose Poly Formed Saddle Pad - A black saddle pad with the spine running up along the saddle’s gullet to ensure the pad stays in place
  • The Centaur Double Fleece Pad - With super dense heavy foam, special airflow lining, fleece lined with Velcro billet straps and nylon girth straps
  • The Centaur EVA Wither Saddle Pad - A thin saddle pad that conforms to your horse’s back. It has high contoured withers and air vents to keep your high withered horse cool and comfortable
  • The Centaur Baby Pad Pack - A pack of 3 white 23.5 x 34-inch saddle pad; they’re to be washed after use. It has a polyester outer layer with polyester padding
  • The Centaur Heart & Horseshoe AP Pad - A tasteful, embroidered quilted pad with matching braided trim
TuffRider’s Basic All Purpose Saddle Pad is a multipurpose, cotton-polyester blend schooling pad with cotton flannel underside and diamond quilting. It has a reinforced center seam to hold the pad in place. If you’d like a solid color saddle pad in many different options check out TuffRider’s Basic All Purpose Pad. It measures 45 by 38 inches long and 20 inches across the spine.
TuffRider Basic All Purpose Saddle Pad With Trim And Piping — Available In 4 Sizes And 10 Color Combinations

TuffRider Saddle Pad 100558-258 — Lilac/Purple/White


Features
TuffRider is one of the JPC brands and it describes itself as the brand with the final word when it comes to horse rider apparel and horse clothing. It stocks premium, first rate equestrian products that promise to meet the need of the horse lover and horseman. JPC, the parent brand of this company, was founded in 1992 by an expert sportsman, Varun "Timmy" Sharma. His had second thoughts about the uncomfortable synthetic clothing he and other riders had to wear decided to make a more comfortable riding apparel that would be affordable as well. He travelled to New Delhi, brought his ideas to life and returned to the US where he sold them at affordable prices. Soon, demand rose and he set up JPC-USA in Pennsylvania.

The TuffRider Basic All Purpose Saddle Pad is a combination of stylish taste and comfort in a lightweight saddle pad. It’s made of 96% polyester and 4% spandex to offer great stretch and long-lasting durability even with regular use. It has a soft flannel lining at its bottom that makes it comfortable for your horse. It also stays in place and doesn’t slide or slip off, even on horses with high withers.

The diamond quilting, jumping horse crystal applique, a rollover waistband with TuffRider embroidery at its rear makes this a fashionable saddle that’ll get heads turning in your horse’s direction and send compliments your way. It has a nice amount of thickness and is well-constructed. It has Velcro-billet straps that can be fastened for added safety on your mount and the coordinating piping and trimming adds to the overall beauty of this saddle pad. Its fleece lining is soft and can be brushed off when horse hair gets on it. It has reinforced center seam with nylon girth to secure the pad in place. To clean, easy-care is recommended and its machine-washable using mild detergent or pad wash.

Other saddle pads from TuffRider are listed below:
  • TuffRider Trail Riding Pad - It’s an extra-large saddle pad with pockets for storage. It features girth loops and billet straps and comes with sturdy buckles for closure
  • TuffRider Fleece Contoured Saddle Pad - A 22 x 20-inch saddle pad constructed from fleece and polyester. It has a solid white finish
  • TuffRider Horse Thermo Manager Baby Pad - Absorbs the moisture from your horse, keeping horse and tack moisture free
  • TuffRider Set of 3 Baby Saddle Pad - Each measures 27 x 18 inches and are made from cotton

Get the Best Saddle Pad of 2018!

Now that you’ve taken the time to go through our detailed review of the best saddle pads out there today, we’re sure that you will be able to choose a saddle pad best suited to your needs. So go ahead and place that order now.

Our Top Choice
Roma Diamond Dressage Saddle Pad
Best Value
Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad
Southwestern Equine Laredo Navajo Pad
Centaur Airstream Corona Pad
TuffRider Basic All Purpose Saddle Pad