10 Best Saddle Pads for Horses: English & Western (2024)

What are the top 10 best saddle pads for horses? Best saddle pad brands?

I’ve saved you the struggle of digging through hundreds of different options by putting together this simple review guide.

02/21/2024 07:54 pm GMT

Let’s get started, so you can get riding!

FYI, this post contains affiliate links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

10 Best Saddle Pads for Horses (Review Guide)

There are literally hundreds of different pads to choose from. That is certainly enough to give you a headache! But finding the best horse saddle pad doesn’t have to be hard. 

My saddle pads reviews below include some of my favorite options for both English and western riders.

#1 TuffRider Basic All Purpose Saddle Pad (WINNER)

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/15/2024 01:09 am GMT

For everyday schooling you need something that holds up to lots of use, fits your horse comfortably, isn’t too bulky, and doesn’t cost a lot.

TuffRider’s basic pad fits all of these requirements. It has a wither relief notch that allows a little extra room. I love how there are loads of fun colors to pick from and the price means you can buy a few.

Physical Attributes

  • Diamond quilting
  • Cotton & polyester fabric
  • Billet straps
  • Soft flannel underside

Quantitative Measurements

  • One size
  • 20-inches long along spine
  • 21-inches from wither point to bottom edge
  • 8-inch billet strap
Not expensiveThe soft flannel underside can be very hard to clean horse hair off
Lots of color choiceInconsistencies among different colors (some fabric is slicker than others)
Comfortable material
Not too fluffy
Budget option

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is one of the most budget-friendly English saddle pads you can find. It is too small to use with a western saddle. Also, it doesn’t have upper straps that loop around your girth straps.

Some people like these. Personally, I and many other experts don’t like them as they can create uncomfortable saddle pressure points.

Expert Tips

Use a stiff dandy brush to brush as much hair as possible off the pad before you put it in the wash.

#2 Dover Saddlery Quilted All-Purpose Piped Saddle Pad

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:29 pm GMT

Like the TuffRider, this is an all-purpose pad. It is a little fancier because it has piping, making some color combos suitable for the jumper ring.

Physical Attributes

  • Light polyfill
  • Diamond quilted
  • Thin layer for foam
  • Cotton fabric
  • Girth loop

Quantitative Measurements

  • 10 color choices
  • One size
Durable designCould use more wither room
Nice cushioning without bulk

How it Compares to Others and Why

This equestrian pad is great for using with English saddles. It is more expensive than the cheapest options but for this, you get a fancier-looking pad.

Expert Tips

Before you attach your girth always put your hands under both ends of the pad at the top and pull it up into the gullet of your saddle. This will avoid putting lots of pressure across your horse’s spine.

#3 Tough 1 EquiRoyal Square

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:32 pm GMT

The Tough 1 EquiRoyal Square is a nice size pad that comes in a few color choices. It has white piping, which always makes saddle pads look fancier. You could get away with the black, green, or navy competing in showjumping.

Physical Attributes

  • White piping
  • Diamond pattern stitching
  • Nylon billet and girth straps

Quantitative Measurements

  • One size
  • 8 colors
100% cottonSome people find it too thin
Affordable price

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is an inexpensive pad that is great for schooling. It’s not nice enough for the show ring, like some of the others but good value for the price.

Expert Tips

Have more than one saddle pad so you can rotate them every couple of days or if one gets too wet or sweaty.

#4 Roma Circle Quilt Pad

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 07:54 pm GMT

Instead of the usual diamond shape quilt, this saddle pad uses a circle. It doesn’t really make much difference what pattern you use, but if you want something a little different consider this option.

This saddle pad is a school pad only. It comes in some really fun colors, but not colors suitable for the jumper ring. It has a nice thickness and comes in a smaller pony size as well as a full size.

Physical Attributes

  • Circle quilting
  • Nylon girth and billet straps
  • White piping
  • Different color trim options

Quantitative Measurements

  • One size
Wick easy liningExpensive for an everyday saddle pad
Soft and thick

How it Compares to Others and Why

This square saddle pad is a bit pricier than the other schooling pads on my list. However, it is a bit thicker, which some riders will prefer.

Expert Tips

Change your saddle pad every couple of days for a freshly washed one.

#5 Weatherbeeta Prime Jump Saddle Pad

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

A jumping saddle pad has a slightly different shape than regular schooling pads. The front is not straight down but cut with a curve at the front of the pad.

Instead of straps that attach to your billets, this saddle pad has a small strip of nylon the loops onto the D ring of your saddle. This places this strap higher on the pad and lessens the chance of uncomfortable pressure points.

Physical Attributes

  • Mesh spine
  • Wicking lining
  • Cotton pad
  • Girth patch

Quantitative Measurements

  • 6 color choices
  • Pony or full size
DurableA little expensive
Trendy and modern looking
The girth patch lessens wear
High wither design

How it Compares to Others and Why

This saddle pad is more expensive than the other options. However, it incorporated some modern design features that not only help make the pad last longer it also aid the horse’s comfort level.

Expert Tips

Consider using the best half pads with this or any other pad to help absorb shock to your horse’s back.

#6 Success Equestrian Deluxe Hunter No Slip Saddle Pad

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:38 pm GMT

If you compete in the hunter or equitation, you will need a saddle-shaped pad in white. You can’t use jumping or square pads.

One thing that always frustrated me about these pads is that they would slip or bunch up under the saddle panels.

This pad is designed to overcome slipping with its grippy top and underside.

Physical Attributes

  • Saddle shaped
  • Sure grip top and bottom
  • Shock absorption

Quantitative Measurements

  • 50% percent cotton
  • 30% polyester
  • 20% PVC
Easy to washSuitable for shows only
SoftGets dirty quickly

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is a specially shaped saddle pad for the riders competing in equitation or hunter classes.

Expert Tips

It is possible to use a half-pad with this type of western saddle pad. You just need to choose carefully. It must be discreet and the same color. A good choice is Thinline.

#7 Weaver Leather Contoured Wool Blend Felt Saddle Pad

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/15/2024 03:59 pm GMT

If you’re looking for a solid, best western saddle pad, this is a great choice! This saddle pad is made with wool which is one of the best natural materials to use on your horse.

It provides shock absorption, moisture-wicking ability, and pressure distribution.

Physical Attributes

  • Wool blend felt
  • Contoured design
  • Top grain leather on high wear areas
  • Beige in color
  • Brown leather

Quantitative Measurements

  • 30 x 30 inches
  • One size
Reputable western brandNot many color choices
Leather patches reduce wearSome feel it’s rather stiff and hard
Comfortable making for a happy horse

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is a saddle pad for western saddles only. Because of this is it bigger and thicker than the English products on this list. It is also one of the more expensive products, but you get good quality for the price.

Expert Tips

For a smaller horse or a pony, Weaver makes this saddle pad in a smaller size.

#8 Impact Gel Contour Felt Saddle Pad

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:43 pm GMT

I love how this western saddle pad integrates modern features in a discreet way. You wouldn’t know that this pad has gel buy just looking at it quickly. 

This is a premium quality wool blend saddle pad that has a hidden gel impact base layer. It has strips of leather over areas that take the most wear.

It helps to distribute pressure evenly and the wool improves breathability.

Physical Attributes

  • Gel lining
  • Wool blend
  • Leather strips

Quantitative Measurements

  • 30-inches long
  • 32-inches wide
  • 1-inch thick
Made in the U.S.AExpensive
Breathable and flexibleOnly two colors
Evens out pressure

How it Compares to Others and Why

Compared to other western saddle pads this is an excellent option despite its hefty price tag. The gel combined with the wool makes it one of the best saddle pads available for use in western riding.

Expert Tips

If you feel 1-inch is too thick, this pad comes in a variety of thickness options with the thinnest being ½ inch.

#9 Quilted English All-Purpose Trail Saddle Pad

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:50 pm GMT

Taking your horse trail riding is a fun way to relax and strengthen the bond between you and your equine partner.

However, when out on the trail you should always bring a few items with you to ensure the welfare of your horse and yourself.

This is one of the best saddle pads for trail riding options. It is ideal for carrying those extra bits with you without taking up your hands.

This English trail riding pad has a great pocket where you can store your phone and a bottle of water. It is suitable for most trail levels.

Physical Attributes

  • Diamond quilted
  • 2 side pockets
  • Girth and billets straps
  • Pocket buckle closures
  • White piping

Quantitative Measurements

  • 23-inches long
  • 22-inch drop
  • Comes in black
Big enough to use with some western saddlesOnly one color choice
Generous pocket size

How it Compares to Others and Why

Because this saddle pad has pockets it’s not really suitable for arena riding. It is a little expensive for a quilted saddle pad but not outrageous. If you want a school saddle pad consider one of the others on the list.

Expert Tips

If the pad doesn’t slip, which is should when everything fits correctly, and the billet straps don’t get used cut them off. This will help avoid creating unwanted pressure points.

#10 Reinsman Durable Square Contour Saddle Pad

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:53 pm GMT

This is another of my favorite western saddle pads. It is an ideal choice for casual riding or more intensive daily training. It also has two different underlayers that you can choose from.

The top layer is durable and designed to keep its color even with exposure to the sun and is stain resistant.

Physical Attributes

  • Internal comfort felt
  • Fleece or tacky bottom
  • Comes in black, brown, or desert sky

Quantitative Measurements

  • 32-inches long
  • 32-inch drop
  • ¾ inch thick
Absorbs shockMight slip on lighter built horses
UV protectionLimited color options
Resists stains
Fits most horse comfortably

How it Compares to Others and Why

For a western saddle pad, this is a good price. It has UV and stain protection, which not many others have.

Expert Tips

While fleece is lovely and soft, I suggest using the version that has a tacky bottom. Fleece is very hard to clean properly and you will never get all the hairs out. This can shorten the pad’s life.

How to Choose the Best Saddle Pad for Trail Riding

While most saddle pads will do the job you want for trail riding, you should consider looking for one that is designed with this activity in mind.

Durability and Quality

Trail riding is harder on your gear than riding at home in the arena. Your tack and pad can come into contact with branches and is more likely to get wet.

To survive this for a reasonable period of time, you need a pad that is of good quality and durable.

horse with saddle pads that needs washing

Check: What Size Saddle Pad Do I Need?


Traveling across varying and sometimes rough terrain can be tough on your horse. It is essential that a trailing riding saddle pad is comfortable for your horse.

A pad that has a good cushioning effect for the horse and rider is what you want to look out for. You also want a trailing riding pad that is breathable and has moisture-wicking qualities.

It is also important the saddle pad fits well and doesn’t slip. If it does slip it can cause pressure points which can make your horse very uncomfortable and even sore.

How to Choose the Best English Saddle Pad

Choosing the best English saddle pad will depend on a few different factors. First, what discipline do you ride? If you area dressage rider, you will need a pad cut in the right shape for this type of saddle.

How much activity you do with your horse will also affect the type of saddle pad you need. If you do intensive work use one the is good at pulling moisture away from the skin.

You also need to look at saddle pad sizes. The size must be suitable for your saddle. This means that it needs to be larger than the saddle so that pressure isn’t put on the edges pushing it into the horse. It also looks a lot tidier if it is the right size!

A breathable saddle pad is also non-negotiable. This is will help heat the builds up under the saddle escape.

Look for pads that are cut in a way to allow room for the withers and always pull the pad up into the saddle’s gullet. For high-withered horses, you will need the best saddle pad for high withered horses.


Check out this video on how to use a gel pad under a saddle.

Also, don’t forget to check our guide on how to store saddle pads, as once you bought the saddle pads, you will need to take care of and this guide will help you a lot.


Let’s take a look at some common and important questions the often come up about saddle pads.

What is the best thickness for a saddle pad?

The best thickness for a saddle pad depends on a few things. Some experts in western riding say that the pad should be between ⅞ to 1-inch thick. With 1-inch being their preference. For English riding, 1-inch is usually thicker than necessary. Keep in mind thickness can affect saddle fit.

How long do saddle pads last?

A good quality saddle pad should last you two to three years. Of course, how you look after it can shorten or lengthen its lifespan. Washing and use will break down the fibers making them less protective. It can also start to get grubby looking meaning it’s time for a new one.

How often should you wash your saddle pad?

horse wearing saddle pads that have zero horse air on it

Washing saddle pads are a necessary part of looking after your horse gear. You should wash your saddle pad anywhere from after one ride if it gets really sweaty to every couple of months. How often will depend on how dirty your horse is, how often you use it, and how much sweat gets on it.

What is the best saddle pad?

The best saddle pad is one that uses breathable material and fits well. Wool is one of the best materials. Cotton is one of the better material choices. Avoid fleece even though it is initially appealing. It isn’t very good at absorbing moisture or concussion. Plus it is really hard to clean.

Can you pressure wash your saddle pad?

This is not a great idea. The water pressure is too strong and will damage the fibers.

What do dry spots mean?

If you notice dry spots when your remove your tack it is an indication of a fit issue. When you see this I suggest getting a reputable saddle fitter out to look at all of your gear. Poor saddle fit can lead to pain and behavioral problems.


Choosing a saddle pad is certainly overwhelming.

There is tons of choice! However, make a shortlist of must-have criteria and then narrow down your options. Then it just comes down to personal preference, such as choosing the color you want.

Final Recommendation

For English riders needing a pad for daily training sessions, TuffRider is one of the best choices.

It is cheap and comes in fun colors, as well as being comfortable for your horse. If you ride western then I really love the Impact Gel saddle pad.

horse with saddle pad for trail riding

What are your favorite saddle pads for horses? Let us know in the comments below!

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
Find her on FACEBOOK
Read her latest ARTICLES.
Learn more about HER


Want The Best Care For Your Horse? Subscribe to our EXPERT RIDER Tips