Searching for the right pad? We’ve got you(r horse) covered.
As equestrians our funds are pulled in many directions all of the time. Horse equipment, tack, care items, supplements, feed, medical expenses, and events, all jockey for our hard-earned money.
Knowing this, there is nothing more frustrating than purchasing horse equipment and finding it was not worth the investment, didn’t work for your needs, or doesn’t work for your horse.
Saddle pads are a necessary item for all horseback riders, regardless of your discipline. Many horseback riders find themselves with a pile of saddle pads, but only one or two that are regularly used. Why is that?
While all riders have their favorite equipment, one might assume the unused saddle pads don’t work for the horse and rider for one reason or another— the fit is wrong, the material doesn’t wash well, or the color is odd. We’ve reviewed the best English saddle pads to help horseback riders find the best English saddle pad option without building a pile of unused, unwanted saddle pads.
Saddle pads help protect your saddle from the horse’s hair and sweat. Sweat will cause the leather of a saddle to deteriorate and the moisture can result in mold. Saddle pads help to absorb the sweat and prolong the life of the saddle.
While some horseback riders believe saddle pads help to fit the saddle better to the horse’s back, a traditional saddle pad will not help a poorly fit saddle.
English saddle pads are rectangular in shape and are usually not very thick. They come in lots of fun colors, patterns, and materials. When you are shopping for an English saddle pad, these are the key items you should consider before buying.
- Discipline: What discipline are you riding and does this particular pad work for that discipline? An all-purpose saddle pad is ideal for jumping saddles and all-purpose saddles, but would not work for the longer flaps on a dressage saddle.
- Show or Pleasure: If you are showing there may be show rules regarding color, especially, style, and fit. If you are using the saddle pad for pleasure riding, you’ll have free rein to go with all sorts of fun colors and patterns.
- Comfort: Consider the type of material the pad is made from. Will this material and padding be comfortable for your horse?
- Design: Some saddle pads have a higher contour for high wither horses or are longer for long backed horses. If you have a horse with high withers or is sensitive, pick a design that will help accommodate these sensitivities. Keeper straps are another design consideration. Some riders love these, while others prefer to go without.
- Durability: No horseback rider wants to buy saddle pads every few months. Selecting a saddle pad made of durable material will help prolong its usable life. You want to make sure this pad will hold up to regular washings, too.
- Fit: Be sure to select a pad that fits your horse and saddle. Pony pads are designed for ponies or smaller horses and wouldn’t be appropriate for a warmblood in a dressage saddle.
Best english saddle pad overall
Roma Contrast Piping All Purpose Pad
The Roma Contrast Piping All Purpose Pad is the right mix of durability, budget friendly, and pretty! The contrast piping gives the pad an elegant look without breaking the bank. Made with a cushioned moisture-wicking lining to keep your horse cool. This pad is specifically designed to keep your horse dry, offer soft cushioning, and maintain its shape.
That is a lot to pack into one pad at a reasonable cost!
- Moisture-wicking lining
- Fun colors
- Keeps shape even after washing
Best dressage saddle pad
Dover Saddlery Quilted Dressage Pad
The Dover Saddlery Quilted Dressage Pad is the perfect combination of durability and budget friendly. The contoured fit gives wither clearance and enhances airflow, while the low-profile layer of foam provides extra cushioning. Many horseback riders compare this pad to the more expensive Weatherbeeta Prime option and find this one is a better fit and saves you money!
The adjustable keeper straps are long enough to fit a dressage saddle comfortably. This pad comes in a few color options, including white for competition.
This comfortable, durable saddle pad is also machine washable and dries quickly after a ride.
- Contoured fit
- Long keeper straps
- Machine washable and durable
Best all purpose saddle pad
Shires Performance All Purpose Saddle Pad
The Shires Performance All Purpose Saddle Pad is a great option for competition and pleasure riding. The durable material and girth guard are strong enough to stand up to frequent rides and are machine washable. It comes in a wide variety of vibrant colors or white if you are using it for competition. The contoured shape gives sufficient wither clearance for high-wither horses.
This pad also features touch close keeper straps to help keep your pad in place during your ride.
While this pad is a little expensive, you’ll find it is worth the investment due to the fit and durability.
- Lots of fun, vibrant colors
- Contoured shape
- Girth guard for durability
Best jumping saddle pad
Weatherbeeta Prime Jump Shaped Saddle Pad
If you are looking for amazing color options, you cannot go wrong with the Weatherbeeta Prime Jump Shaped Saddle Pad. This pad comes in beautiful ombre colors or with extra bling. Made from durable cotton and featuring a mesh spine, this pad dries quickly and allows for extra airflow and breathability.
This jumping pad features a contoured shape and the shape is designed to accommodate a jumping saddle.
The shape is ideal for a jumper but does not have the excess of material you normally see with a LeMeiux.
- Great colors options
- Breathable, durable material
- Contoured shape
Best english saddle pad for hot weather
ProChoice Ventech Saddle Pad
Designed initially for cross-country, the ProChoice VenTECH Saddle Pad is a great option for keeping your horse cool during hot summer weather. This lightweight, quick-drying saddle pad wicks moisture away from your horse keeping them cooler and drier during your ride.
The contoured shape gives the right amount of wither clearance in this stain-resistant quilted pad.
- Moisture-wicking, breathable
- Fits most jumping saddles
Best thick english saddle pad
Toklat ProQuilt High Profile General Purpose Pad
The Toklat ProQuilt High Profile General Purpose Show Pad not only looks great, but has a medallion fleece lining and rolled edges for wither relief and comfort. The built-in girth slot keeps your girth firmly in place and gives a clean loop.
The moisture-wicking material is designed to release heat and keep your horse cool.
- Extra thick for great support
- Fast drying and machine washable
Best english saddle pad with designs
Lettia Collection Printed All Purpose Pad
The Lettia Collection Printed All Purpose Pad is designed for horseback riders looking for a fun and different style saddle pad. These pads come in tons of funny designs and flashy colors from avocados and puppies to pineapples.
The soft lining is made from 100% cotton and is easily washed.
The adjustable keeper straps and girth loops help keep this pad in place under your saddle.
- Super fun, creative designs
- Cotton lining for easy cleaning
- Poly foam fill for cushioning
Best english saddle pad for high withers
Exselle All Purpose Wither Relief Fleece Pad
If you have a horse with high or sensitive withers, you know how challenging finding the right pad can be. The Exselle All Purpose Wither Relief Fleece pad provides clearance for high withers as well as additional support where your horse needs it. The 10mm interior sponge and comfortable fleece will quickly make this your horse’s favorite pad.
This pad, made from cotton twill, features a classic look combined with comfort. The extra cushion makes it ideal for long training rides or trail rides, keeping your horse comfortable the entire time.
It is also a fairly budget friendly option compared to some of the other wither support style pads.
- Plush fleece
- Interior sponge for comfort
Best english saddle pad for mutton withers
Dover Saddlery Quilted All Purpose Pad
Mutton withers or flat withers commonly seen in Quarter Horses, Arabians, and ponies provide a different type of challenge for saddle and saddle pad fitting. The Dover Saddlery Quilted All Purpose Saddle Pad is a fairly straight saddle pad which is ideal for mutton withered horses.
This quilted pad comes in multiple colors and is made from poly with 5mm poly foam and 250gms of poly fill. If you are a rider that does not like keeper straps, this is the pad for you—no keeper straps!
It is also super easy to wash and dries quickly.
- No keeper straps
- Many colors to pick from
- Machine washable
Frequently Asked Questions
English saddle pad size chart
English saddle pad sizing will vary a little bit depending on the brand, style, and cut of the pad. Most sizes are shown as Length x Height and a standard all purpose pad usually measures about 22” x 26”.
What is the best brand of saddle pad?
The best brand of saddle pad depends a lot on personal preference. There are some great saddle pad brands available for horseback riders now including Dover Saddlery, Kerrits, Weatherbeeta, Shire, Exselle, and LeMeiux.
How do I choose an English saddle pad?
Consider your discipline, saddle size, and horse conformation when selecting a pad. Make sure to pick a pad that meets your needs in terms of durability, color, drying, washing, and fit. Most riders prefer durable pads that are easy to clean and dry quickly.
What is an English half pad for?
English half pads are designed to give extra cushioning between the saddle and the horse. These are commonly used among English riders. Some half pads have removable shims to help alleviate pressure in certain areas or to correct minor saddle fitting problems. Half pads should not be used to try to make a completely incorrect saddle fit, just for minor adjustments. Poorly fitting saddles can cause significant damage to a horse’s back.
What are English saddle pads made of?
English saddle pads are usually made from polyester, cotton, or a blend. Several different materials are used for the interior padding, including memory foam, poly fill, poly foam, and quilt batting.
Saddle pad shopping can be frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. Rather than building a collection of saddle pads that do not work, take your time to consider size, style, design, discipline, and fit before making a purchase. There are lots of good options for horseback riders. You just have to do a little research to figure out what will work best for you and your horse.
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