English and Western non-slip saddle pads for slippery situations
Some horses are shaped in a such a way that it can be difficult to find a saddle that fits correctly. As a result, the saddle may move around, slipping to the side, sliding up the neck, or disappearing towards the tail.
In some instances, a non-slip saddle pad can help rectify this problem, but before spending money on a new saddle pad, check that your saddle fits your horse properly.
Once you have ruled out saddle fit as an issue, consider a non-slip saddle pad. These can be a great alternative to over-tightening the girth or being forced to use extra tack, like a breast collar or breastplate.
Non-slip pads help ensure a secure fit for a safer and more comfortable ride. They hold the saddle in position, reduce slippage, and protect your horse’s back. Non-slip pads come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, but usually include a gel component or grippy material, like silicone.
Features to Consider
Consider the following attributes to help find the perfect non-slip saddle pad for you and your horse:
- Discipline: Consider how you plan to use the pad. Do you need it for pleasure riding, or to show? English or Western?
- Features: Some non-slip pads are designed to act as a liner or additional layer to your existing pad. Others incorporate added features, such as gel for reduced impact on the horse’s back. Consider the contour of the pad as well as the presence (or absence) of wear leathers, or billet and girth straps.
- Price Point: Find a pad within your budget—some of these pads are highly effective without a huge price tag.
The Best Non-Slip Saddle Pads on the Market
|Best non-slip English saddle pad||Success Equestrian Deluxe Hunter Pro NO SLIP Saddle Pad|
|Best gel non-slip saddle pad||Impact Gel Felt 1-inch Contour Pad|
|Best non-slip pony saddle pad||Shires Airflow Anti-Slip Saddle Pad|
|Best non-slip saddle pad for showing||Professional’s Choice Non-Slip Pad Black|
|Best non-slip saddle pad for small budgets||Equine Couture Impulsion Non-Slip AP Pad|
|Best non-slip western saddle pad||Weaver Leather GettaGrip Saddle Pad|
|Best non-slip Australian saddle pad||Australian Outrider Air-Flow Trail Pad|
|Best non-slip bareback pad||Triple E Waxwear Bareback Pad w/ Grip|
|Best non-slip pad for jumping||ECP Grip Tech Eventing Pad|
Best non-slip English saddle pad
Success Equestrian Deluxe Hunter Pro NO SLIP Saddle Pad, White, Large
Success Equestrian aims to provide “an elegant alternative to solving everyday saddle pad fitting problems” (their words!). These no-slip pads provide stability while maintaining a show-ring appearance. Open cell foam adds shock absorption while the no-slip grip is built into the pad only where necessary, thereby minimizing unnecessary sweating.
An added bonus? These pads are machine washable!
The Hunter Pro Saddle Pad features a contoured spine for your horse’s comfort. It comes with a girth strap, but no billet straps as they aren’t necessary given the pad’s design.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: English, specifically hunters & jumpers.
- Features: No-slip grip on bottom of the pad and saddle area; contoured spine and machine washable
- Price: $$$ Price reflects show-ring quality
Drawbacks: This pad is hunter-specific—you’ll need something else for dressage or western riding.
Best gel non-slip saddle pad
Impact Gel Felt 1in Contour Pad
Impact Gel pads are made in the USA. This particular pad comes in two sizes, 30”x30” or 32”x32,” and in two colors, black or gray. At one inch thick, this saddle pad is crafted for the perfect fit, featuring a contoured design for high performance.
The gel technology helps absorb shock, and move weight, and heat laterally through the pad. Constructed from a unique wool blend, this pad improves circulation for non-slip performance.
An added bonus? Customers and their horses love this pad! It holds up over time and seems to help horses with sensitive backs or soreness issues.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: Western
- Features: Gel construction evenly distributes weight and shock to alleviate pressure points
- Price Point: $$$$ While this is the most expensive pad on our list, overwhelmingly positive customer feedback warranted including it!
Drawbacks: This is the most expensive option on our list and may not fit all budgets.
Best non-slip pony saddle pad
Shires Airflow Anti-Slip Saddle Pad
Shires Equestrian is a family-owned brand committed to quality and excellent value for the money. It can be difficult to find a non-slip saddle pad designed for ponies. This particular saddle pad comes in full and cob sizing. We recommend the cob sizing for larger ponies.
There’s a lot going on with this pad! It features synthetic fleece lining over the withers, anti-slip silicone for grip over the saddle/back area, and quilted cotton on the bottom for a polished appearance.
Girth and billet straps are included for extra security against saddle slippage. This pad is both comfortable and breathable, designed with air circulation in mind.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: English
- Features: Cob measurements-19.5” spine and 17” drop
- Price Point: $$ A good value for the money; customers highly recommend this product
Drawbacks: If a “full” pad is a large, a “cob” is a medium. This pad may still be too big for smaller ponies.
Best non-slip saddle pad for showing
Professional’s Choice Non-Slip Pad Black
Professional’s Choice is a trusted brand in the equine industry. Their philosophy “the more comfortable the horse, the better the performance” certainly fits this product category!
A slipping saddle is both uncomfortable for horse and rider, and a safety hazard.
This specific pad isn’t really a saddle pad—it’s a contoured foam pad designed to be placed directly on the horse’s back, under your saddle pad. Due to its small size, it will remain concealed while working to keep your saddle from slipping. The foam is perforated for ventilation.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: Any. This pad can be used under English or Western work or show pads
- Features: The lightweight foam measures 11”x16” and is contoured to fit over the withers
- Price: $ An inexpensive solution that can be used in conjunction with your current setup
Drawbacks: Customers reported increased sweating where the horse’s back contacts the pad despite holes for ventilation.
Best non-slip saddle pad for small budgets
Equine Couture Impulsion Non-Slip AP Pad
Equine Couture makes attractive schooling pads for any English discipline (this would also fit an Australian saddle!). They come in a variety of color options. This particular pad features extra grip in the saddle area and a quilted design to keep your horse comfortable.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: This pad is versatile and works for all English riding styles
- Features: Multiple colors, girth straps
- Price Point: $ This saddle pad is worth a try as it is pretty affordable compared to others on the market
Drawbacks: Grip is only added to the top part of the pad, where the saddle comes in contact with the pad. This may not solve slipping for all issues. Some customers said it was too thin by itself and needed a wither pad as well.
Best non-slip western saddle pad
Weaver Leather GettaGrip Saddle Pad, Black
Weaver Leather is another trusted brand in the horse industry. This pad is made from black neoprene, known for both grip and easy care. What do we mean by easy care? You can hose it off to clean it! Perforated material provides ventilation and dries quickly.
This pad is stain and tear resistant.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: Western
- Features: 31”x30”, this pad is contoured over the withers and has synthetic wear leathers
- Price: $$ middle of the pack in terms of price
Drawbacks: Some customers reported quality concerns regarding the longevity of the product.
Best non-slip Australian saddle pad
Australian Outrider Air-Flow Trail Pad
This pad is specifically designed for an Australian saddle and includes both billet and girth straps. The pad is designed with vented PVC rubber for reduced slipping and improved airflow.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: Australian
- Features: Measures 25” along the spine, 22” flap, and ½” thick
- Price Point: $ an inexpensive solution
Drawbacks: The saddle pad is straight across the spine; the lack of contour could cause rubbing across the withers or bunching under the saddle.
Best non-slip bareback pad
Triple E Waxwear Bareback Pad w/Grip
Triple E specializes in bareback pads that offer comfort and stability when riding bareback. This rugged pad has a wax cotton top, felt in the middle, and a grip bottom that prevents slippage.
This simple pad comes with a non-slip girth, billet straps, and adjustable ralide stirrups that provide strength and durability.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: Bareback
- Features: Measurements- 26 1/2″ spine and 16” drop
- Price Point: $$$ While this pad is more expensive than many non-slip pads, it’s designed to replace the saddle rather than improve the fit, making it good value for money
Drawbacks: Stirrups are on the long side and difficult to fit for shorter riders.
Best non-slip pad for jumping
ECP Grip Tech Eventing Pad
ECP, or Equine Comfort Products, engineers products specifically aimed at improving comfort and performance, and this pad exemplifies that intent. Layers of shock absorbing foam and non-slip foam mesh keep the saddle in place while reducing impact and improving breathability.
Not only will this non-slip saddle pad prevent saddle slippage, but the extra layers of shock-absorbency help to prevent injury to your horse’s back. Outer mesh ventilation flaps allow for close rider contact, making this pad ideal for jumping, although it’s just as effective in a dressage arena or out on trail.
What’s to Love:
- Discipline: Jumping
- Features: Measurements- 21 1/2″ spine and 19” drop
- Price Point: $$ A high-quality product with a mid-range price tag
Drawbacks: Some users report problems with the inner padding moving and bunching up after washing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I keep my saddle pad from slipping?
Some materials are more “slippery” than others. If your saddle doesn’t fit perfectly or your horse has a rounder shape or less prominent withers, these factors can lead to slipping.
Initially, get your saddle checked by a qualified saddle fitter so you can rule out saddle fit as an issue. Next, consider adding a non-slip “under” pad or swapping out your saddle pad for something more secure.
Q: Will a breastplate stop my saddle from slipping?
A breastplate is designed to keep the saddle from slipping backward, but won’t help with any side-to-side movement. Always be sure to check that your tack fits properly—you want the breastplate to fit snugly, but it shouldn’t be too tight.
Q: Are gel half pads good?
Gel half pads are a great solution for shock absorption and wither relief. They can also help keep your saddle from slipping against the saddle pad.
A gel half pad can function as a riser pad, putting your saddle in a more correct position, which may also aid in reducing slipping.
Q: How do you use a Gel-Eze pad?
Gel-Eze pads were originally designed as a cold compress for horses’ legs, but riders found it to be effective as a non-slip pad as well. Made from a non-toxic gel material, this pad absorbs pressure while adding a non-slip surface under your saddle.
Q: Why do saddle pads slip?
There are lots of reasons your saddle pad can slip, including a lame horse, a loose girth, or poor saddle fit.
Make sure you’re putting the girth on correctly so that at least one of the straps goes through the girth holder on the saddle pad.
After placing the pad in the correct place on the horse’s back (just a touch in front of the withers), put on the saddle, then lift the pad up into the tree (creating a path for airflow and helping to secure the pad in place).
Also, make sure the saddle fits your horse correctly.
Q: Why does my saddle bounce at the back?
Most of the time, this comes down to saddle fit and design.
Usually, the culprit is the panel. If it’s poorly flocked (stuffed with various materials), doesn’t sit comfortably against your horse’s back, or lacks enough flocking (too little material), the saddle won’t conform to the shape of your horse’s back and can move around when you ride.
Call out a saddle fitter and have them assess the saddle and your horse. The saddle will have to get shipped off, but adjusting the flocking is a relatively simple fix.
Q: How do I keep my Western saddle from slipping?
First, check your saddle’s fit to ensure it is appropriate for your horse. If your saddle isn’t to blame, consider your saddle pad. A non-slip saddle pad might help. Consider a quality wool felt pad or neoprene saddle pad to help fix the issue.
When I was growing up, I had a very round Paint horse with what seemed like no withers. Saddle slipping was a real problem, especially when mounting! Several things helped with this situation:
-Re-tighten the girth several times before mounting. This particular horse was notorious for blowing up her belly, so what seemed like a snug cinch would later be too loose.
-Avoid using products that will make the hair slick. I learned the hard way to avoid Show Sheen in the saddle/girth area!
-This particular pony needed to go on a diet—she was a bit overweight, which combined with less prominent withers made for a slippery situation.
-I switched to a neoprene Western pad to increase the grip.
-Use a mounting block! Trying to mount from the ground didn’t help with my saddle-slipping issues.
Q: Why does my saddle pad slip forward?
Your saddle pad should stay put, not slip forwards (or backwards!) If your saddle pad keeps sliding forward, check your saddle’s fit. Improper fit can cause things to slide around, as well as discomfort for your horse.
Switching to a non-slip saddle pad can help keep things in place. Some materials are more prone to slipping!
Last, make sure you’re not using grooming products in the saddle area. Things like Show Sheen can cause problems with tack staying in place! I generally avoid using shampoo in the saddle/girth area for this reason.
Q: What do you put under a Western saddle?
You should always use a saddle pad or saddle blanket under your Western saddle. The pad helps better distribute the weight of the rider and saddle, providing cushioning and protection from fatigue. A quality saddle pad can also help absorb moisture (sweat) and provide ventilation.
Western saddle pads are commonly made from fabric, wool felt, synthetic fleece, and neoprene. Proper fit is critical to keep your horse comfortable and your saddle from slipping.
Check out this article for some of our favorite Western saddle pads tough enough for all-day trail rides.
A saddle that slips is no fun and can be a safety hazard. Fortunately, there are a lot of great non-slip saddle pads (or other solutions!) out there that can help solve the problem.
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