8 Best Saddle Pads for Gaited Horses (Expert Review)

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If you’re looking for saddle pads for gaited horses, you’ve come to the right place.

For my guide, I’ve put together 8 of my favorites. 

There is sure to be one here that suits your saddle and horse.

Let’s get started!

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Also Check: The Best Saddle Pad Reviews

Our Favorite Saddle Pads at a Glance

Let’s start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for all the glorious details.

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

Editor's Choice
Preview
Classic Equine BioFit Correction Felt Pad
Top Benefit
Shock absorbing
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Preview
Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad 32X32
Top Benefit
Great at moisture wicking
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Preview
Weaver Contour 30x30 Wool Blend Saddle Pad
Top Benefit
Suits horse with high withers
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Preview
Professionals Choice 30X32 Equine Smx Air-Ride All Around Saddle Pad (Black)
Top Benefit
Breathable
Check Latest Price
Preview
triple E saddle pad
Top Benefit
Fun color options
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8 of the Best Gaited Horse Saddle Pads – Buying Guide

Choosing gaited horse saddle pads is a bit of a challenge. While there are many that suit the unique movement of these horses, horse owners need to take time to select the right type.

As a gaited horse rider, you know what comfortable riders these horses provide. You also probably know that they move differently than normal horses.

So when choosing a pad for gaited horse riding, you need to take extra care whether you go on trail rides or take part in endurance riding fit is very important.

To help you get on the track, I’ve put together some of the best saddle pads for gaited horses in one place.

So let’s take a look at some of my favorites!

#1 Classic Equine BioFit Correction Felt Pad: WINNER

Classic Equine BioFit Correction Felt Pad

While this is an expensive equestrian saddle pad, it is worth the investment. This saddlecloth not only has a cut-out in the wither area it also has built-up areas on either side.

These features allow for more freedom of movement and help prevent the saddle from pressing too much on the withers and at the top of the shoulder blade.

It is also a fantastic choice for an older horse that needs good support and cushion along its topline. The cut-out makes it suitable for high-wither horses as well.

This is just an excellent all-around choice of pad made with high-quality felt of the finest materials. It is good at distributing pressure evenly, thus avoiding uncomfortable pressure points.

It helps provide extreme comfort with your horse in mind.

Physical Attributes

  • Orthopedic grade felt
  • 100% virgin wool
  • With cut out
  • Contoured shape
  • Leather trim

Measurements & Sizes

  • 30 x 30 inches or 31 x 32 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Classic Equine BioFit Correction Felt Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Shock absorbingExpensive
Wither clearanceLack of color choice
High-quality material
Nice thickness for extra comfort
Wedge placements

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is one of the most expensive options in my guide. However, it is high quality and will last you many years if you take good care of it. It is ideal for casual trail rides or more intense horse training.

Expert Tips

Gaited breeds require a special saddle fit as they need more freedom of movement than a non-gaited horse. Check out this video from an expert gaited horse saddle fitter.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Classic Equine BioFit Correction Felt Pad

This pad is very popular, from happy horse parents of high with horses to riders of gaited horses. Victoria, one such horse parent, found that this pad helped her saddle sit more comfortably on her Tennesse Walker. 

READ MORE: Half Pads With the Best Support Reviews

#2 Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad

Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad

A fantastic all-around western saddle pad that is great at absorbing swear, made with quality material, and suitable for gaited breeds.

Physical Attributes

  • Contoured spine
  • Quality wool felt
  • Wither relief increases comfort level
  • Distress leather trims

Measurements & Sizes

  • 30 x 30 inches or 32 x 32 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Good price for the qualityOnly one color choice
Two size options
Great at moisture wicking
Wither relief

How it Compares to Others and Why

While this saddle pad isn’t cheap, it is a good price considering the quality. It is versatile, as you can use it on any horse, gaited or not.

Expert Tips

If you want to learn more about saddles for gaited horses, take a look at this video from an expert saddle maker.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About

Many horse parents who use this pad always comment on the great quality. There are many happy users like Storyman, who says: “Absolutely love this pad!!”

Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad 32X32
  • Handcrafted in the USA
  • Based on wool felt

#3 Weaver Contour Wool Blend Saddle Pad

Weaver Contour 30x30 Wool Blend Saddle Pad

If you’re looking for the best saddle pad for gaited horse, this is certainly one that fits the bill. This is great if you use a western saddle and want a high-quality saddle blanket.

Physical Attributes

  • Moisture-wicking
  • Wool blend
  • Leather trims
  • Wither cut out

Measurements & Sizes

  • 30 x 30 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Weaver Contour Wool Blend Saddle Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Great at wicking moistureOnly one color choice
DurableNot suitable for English saddles
Suits horse with high withers

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is a thick, durable pad but is only suitable for western saddles. The price is pretty good at less than $100. The thickness helps give your horse maximum comfort during riding.

Expert Tips

Wool blend saddle pads need specific care to keep them in excellent condition. Check out these tips from the experts at Weaver on how to care for a saddle pad.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Weaver Contour Wool Blend Saddle Pad

This is a highly popular pad for its price and durability. Happy horse rider, Charlene had this to say – “I’ve put a lot of miles on this pad in the arena and on trails. It still looks brand new.”

#4 Professionals Choice Smx Air-Ride All Around Saddle Pad

Professionals Choice 30X32 Equine Smx Air-Ride All Around Saddle Pad

If you prefer a modern, sleek look, I recommend checking out this great pad.

Physical Attributes

  • Shock absorbing helps provides additional comfort
  • Comes in black or chocolate brown
  • Breathable
  • Fleece lining

Measurements & Sizes

  • 30 x 32 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Professionals Choice Smx Air-Ride All Around Saddle Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Made in the USAExpensive
LightweightNo wither cut out
Easy to clean

How it Compares to Others and Why

This western saddle pad is more modern-looking than many of the other options. It is also one of the more expensive choices.

Expert Tips

Learn more about this modern saddle pad from the experts at Professionals Choice.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Professional’s Choice Smx Air-Ride Saddle Pad

Here is a helpful review from equestrian Barret Houser, who tells you all about his experience with this saddle pad.

Professionals Choice 30X32 Equine Smx Air-Ride All Around Saddle Pad (Black)
  • Made in USA.
  • Designed to create a smoother ride for both horse and rider, the breathable core of shock absorbing material disperses energy evenly throughout the pad while resisting breakdown so you and your horse can be comfortable for years.

#5 Triple E Cordura Square Trail Pad

triple E saddle pad

Saddle pads for gaited horses are easier to find than you think. If you want something with lots of wither room and non-slip, take a peek at this option. Oh, and it’s non-slip, which is a great feature!

Physical Attributes

  • Comfort grip bottom
  • Felt center
  • Durable cordura top
  • Wear leather trim
  • Comes in several vibrant colors

Measurements & Sizes

  • 30 x 30 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Triple E Cordura Square Trail Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Budget-friendly priceNot machine washable
Fun color options
Non-slip
Room for withers

How it Compares to Others and Why

This saddle pad has one of the most economical prices compared to others.

Expert Tips

What is one of the best-gaited horse saddles? Find out here from a saddle expert.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Triple E Cordura Square Trail Pad

Horse parents of all types of horses like this pad. Norma has this to say – “I am able to use this pad all day. Very breathable with a layered construction.”

#6 Mustang Free Fit Contoured Felt Saddle Pad

mustang saddle pad

With a specially cut gullet at the wither, this pad provides gaited horses’ flexibility.

Physical Attributes

  • Gullet cut back design
  • Open front
  • Contours

Measurements & Sizes

  • 32 x 31 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Mustang Free Fit Contoured Felt Saddle Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Shoulder freedomA little expensive
FlexibleOnly two color options
Doesn’t restrict movement

How it Compares to Others and Why 

This saddle pad has more flexibility in the wither area, making it one of the best options for freedom of movement.

Expert Tips

Saddle fit is crucial for gaited horses [2]. Learn how fit affects their movement.

What Other Horse Parents Are Saying About Mustang Free Fit Contoured Felt Saddle Pad

“I love this pad! The open withers front works great.” That’s what one horse parent has to say about this great gaited horse saddle pad.

#7 Oxbow SOLO 1in Saddle Pad

oxbow saddle pad

If you want a cozy saddle pad for your gaited horse, look no further. I just love how comfy this saddle cloth is.

Physical Attributes

  • EVA foam insert
  • Fleece bottom
  • Reinforced spine
  • Contoured leather spine

Measurements & Sizes

  • 30 x 30 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Oxbow SOLO 1in Saddle Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Wicks moistureExpensive
Shock absorbing for maximum comfortLimited color choices
Breathable
Durable

How it Compares to Others and Why

This saddle pad has a cut-out wither, which gives it extra flexibility. It provides excellent cushioning. However, it is one of the more expensive options.

Expert Tips

Learn how to shim a saddle pad for a gaited horse from an expert gaited horse equestrian.

#8 Tucker Tacky Tool Round Saddle Pad

tucker saddle pad

If you want a contoured pad that is non-slip and shock-absorbing, I recommend you take a look at this one.

Physical Attributes

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Non-slip material
  • Extra-long drop

Measurements & Sizes

  • 36 x 30 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Tucker Tacky Tool Round Saddle Pad

BenefitsDrawbacks
Shock-absorbingMight not fit all saddles
DurableA little pricey
Easy to clean
Soft and flexible

How it Compares to Others and Why

This pad is more contoured than many of the other options and will only suit certain types of saddles.

Expert Tips

Which saddle pad is right for your horse? Take a look at this video which shows what to look for with the guidance of professional western riders.

By the way, we have a separate guide discussing what is a gaited horse. Check it out to learn more!

How to Buy a Gaited Horse Saddle Pad

buckskin horses

When looking for the best pad for your saddle and horse, there are a few things to consider when making a choice.

I’ve put together a few tips here to help you out.

Fit

It is vital that the style and cut of the saddle pad fit your horse. You want a pad that easily molds the horse’s shape and doesn’t bunch up anywhere.

This is so that pressure is evenly distributed, and you can avoid any pressure points.

Of course, your saddle fit is also essential. Joyce Harman DVM talks about the importance of saddle fit and its effects on back problems in her paper, Tack and Saddle Fit.

She states, “An ill-fitting saddle contributes to direct and compensatory lower leg lameness, making it even more imperative to correct the fit.” [1]

Size

Make sure that the pad you choose is the right size for your saddle.

If it falls short anywhere, especially at the back of the saddle, you will create pressure points that are uncomfortable for your horse and can make the back sore.

In her tack buying guide. Sue Web has some excellent golden rules when choosing any piece of tack for your horse. There are:

  • “Buy tack that is suitable for your discipline
  • Buy tack that fits your horse
  • Buy the best you can afford” [2]

This applies to all tack, not just gaited horse tack.

Flexibility

For a gaited horse, it is essential that the saddle pad provides enough flexibility. These horses have a larger range of motion that creates their smooth gaits.

This can cause an inflexible pad to create discomfort and even soreness.

FAQs

Still, have some questions? Let’s take a look at some common ones I’ve come across and their answers.

Are Tucker saddles good for gaited horses?

Yes, some Tucker saddles are good for gaited horses. Tucker makes models specifically designed for gaited horses allowing for their different movements.

Best saddle pad for a gaited horse?

The best saddle page for a gaited horse is one that does not restrict movement. It must be particularly flexible around the withers. Cut-out saddle pads are good for this.

Conclusion

I hope I’ve helped you narrow down the best saddle pads for gaited horses. While many of these pads are not at the low end of budgets, they are the most suitable.

Plus they are durable, so if you take good care of them, they will last you many happy years of horse riding. Keep your horse happy and happy trails!

lady putting one of the Best Saddle Pads For Gaited Horse on her stallion

What are your favorite saddle pads for gaited horses? Please share below!

References

1. Harman J. Tack and Saddle Fit. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice. 1999;15(1):247-261. doi:10.1016/S0749-0739(17)30175-X

2. ScienceDirect.com | Science, health and medical journals, full text articles and books. www.sciencedirect.com. Accessed March 29, 2022. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/am/pii/S0737080615300411

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.
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