Best Saddle Pads For Trail Riding

In order to ensure which horse saddle pad could be considered as the best equestrian gear, we’ve tested 16 pads and figured out that the Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad grabbed the 1st place. Being highly durable and mold-resistant, this blanket is top-notch.

Comfort is an integral part when you do equestrian sports both for the rider and his horse. If something goes wrong, you might be injured badly and give up horse riding. To avoid this, high-quality equestrian gear must be chosen. That’s why a saddle pad could bring more coziness and protection. This piece of equipment (also known as saddle blanket) is not just a fleece blanket laying on the horseback. In fact, this gear protects your horse from friction so the saddle doesn’t slip or rub the skin.

Thus choosing a proper horse saddle pad will enhance your comfort and safety. Straight down to business, check out 5 best saddle pads that are different in sizes, shapes, and materials used to fit any taste.

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Top 5 Horse Saddle Pads Comparison

Editor's Choice
Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad

Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad

  • High-quality top fabric
  • Easy to clean
  • Thick wool fleece
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Tack Set
Best Friend Western Style Saddle Pad

Best Friend Western Style Saddle Pad

  • Synthetic cover design
  • The lining doesn't slip
  • Thick foam filling
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3TuffRider Basic Saddle Pad

TuffRider Basic Saddle Pad

  • All-purpose design
  • Flannel inner lining
  • Easy to clean
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4Diamond Wool Contour Ranch Pad

Diamond Wool Contour Ranch Pad

  • Soft wool felt used
  • Wither-relief notch
  • Flexible design
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Ergonomic design
Kavallerie Saddle Pad

Kavallerie Saddle Pad

  • Solid gel material used
  • Back-relief design
  • Highly ventilated
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Best Horse Saddle Pads Detailed Review

Still not sure which saddle blanket you should choose? No probs, we’ve prepared a detailed review of top 5 equestrian saddle pads outlining their major features and perks. Let’s go!

1 Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad – Thick-Cushioned Universal Pad

The Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad features high durability and easy maintenance. Thanks to Merino wool fleece padding, the product sits still and softly to assist the horseback. The blanket which is 32″ x 32″ also dries quickly and cleans easily so it’s perfect for daily riding.

Key Features

  • The Merino wool material controls absorption.
  • Soft fleece inside is non-irritating to the skin.
  • Mold and mildew resistant Herculon material for durability.
  • Countoured design to suit well and wither relief.
  • The pad is easy to clean and brush off.

Bottom Line

The Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad is a thick cushioned blanket that will keep you still in the saddle for a long time. The product is easy to maintain and handle. A big range of vibrant colors won’t definitely remain you indifferent!


  • Thick soft padding
  • Sits great on the withers
  • Absorption feature


  • The leather piece might be sticky
  • The color could differ a bit

2 Best Friend Western Style Saddle Pad – Bare Back Saddle Pack

The Best Friend Western Style Saddle Pad is a fascinated option for bareback riders. It has a suede soft cover for the horseman comfort. And the inner side is non-slip and breathable to keep the horse cozy. Furthermore, the pad is filled with thick foam for extra convenience.

Key Features

  • Synthetic suede cover on the top.
  • Non-slip breathable material inside.
  • Contoured high-density foam design to stay comfy.
  • It comes with a girth and a water bottle.
  • There are pockets on the sides to keep your stuff.

Bottom Line

The Best Friend Western Style Saddle Pad is an awesome gear for bareback riding. It’s quite versatile so it could be used on horses of different breeds and sizes. There’s extra cushioning on the withers so not only you will be satisfied but your horse as well.


  • Perfect for bareback riding
  • Wither relief feature
  • Non-slip design


  • No protection for legs
  • The girth should be improved

3 TuffRider Basic Saddle Pad – Great Lightweight Pad

The TuffRider Basic Saddle Pad is a light pad that is quite versatile. With the dimensions of 20″ x 21″ it’s quite wide and soft. The pad is made with micro-polyester material that is silky-like and sturdy. The flannel underlying is highly convenient to put on.

Key Features

  • The pad is made with 84% polyester and 16% cotton.
  • Diamond quilting curved design for a classy look.
  • The flannel underside keeps the horse comfy.
  • It comes with a loop strap to hook your stuff on.
  • A huge range of colors is available.

Bottom Line

The TuffRider Basic Saddle Pad is a great equestrian gear that is easy to tack and maintain. It’s made with quite soft materials to make your ride extremely comfortable. This product will be a great addition to all-purpose close-contact saddles like English equestrian saddles.


  • Lightweight design
  • It fits flat saddles well
  • Perfect for schooling and competitions


  • The cushion should be improved
  • Not good for hot weather

4 Diamond Wool Contour Ranch Pad – Wither-Relief Felt Gear

The Diamond Wool Contour Ranch Pad is made with high-quality ranch-tough wool felt. This helps to stay the pad still and also improves the airflow to keep the horseback cool and dry. It features a notch on the spine to relieve the withers and distressed leather spots.

Key Features

  • It’s made with wool contour felt to stay cozy.
  • Very thick padded design for better comfort.
  • It’s quite flexible and fits the horse perfectly.
  • It comes with a cutout on the withers.
  • Perfect for ranch roping and riding.

Bottom Line

The Diamond Wool Contour Ranch Pad is a perfect choice for ranch works as well as trail riding. It’s extremely thick and soft that helps reduce sweat and friction immensely. The pad comes in two sizes – 30″ x 30″ and 32″ x 32″ – so you could choose one for the better fit.


  • Flexible soft design
  • Doesn’t slide around
  • Thick and durable


  • It takes much time to dry it out
  • Not good for high-wither horses

5 Kavallerie Saddle Pad – All-Purpose Protective Gear

The Kavallerie Saddle Pad is actually a half pad designed for extra comfort. So if you’re looking for a gear to add cushion and avoid overheating and soreness, this saddle pad is a must. The Kavallerie brand provides its customers with a big variety of equestrian pads for different needs and purposes.

Key Features

  • The flexible gel design prevents horseback issues.
  • The pad aims to reduce uneven pressure on your horse.
  • It’s designed with numerous vent holes for better airflow.
  • The gear is easy to maintain and clean up.
  • 4 different pad types available for improving specific conditions.

Bottom Line

The Kavallerie Saddle Pad is a wonderful option for those who are searching for versatile ergonomic equestrian gear. Being made with Reiter gel material, the pad is shock-absorbing, pressure dispersing as well as back supporting. Moreover, it’s easy to customize by cutting the edges through the scissor lines.


  • Great for high-wither breeds
  • Perfect for swaybacked horses
  • Easy to adjust and cut off


  • Too thick for a dressage saddle
  • Not good for a hot climate

Frequently Asked Questions

horse equestrian competition

Why Do I Need a Saddle Pad?

A saddle pad is a part of tack equipment that is used to add extra comfort when you sit in a saddle. The gear provides better cushioning between a saddle and a horse in order to avoid friction. The thick lining improves the grip so the saddle doesn’t wobble on a horse. Besides, as pads tend to have a sweat-absorption feature, they help keep the saddle cleaner during a long ride.

What Are the Main Types of Saddle Pads?

Depending on the style you ride a horse and equestrian sport you choose, there are various saddle pad styles you should take into consideration before purchasing it.

  • Shaped saddle pads – the common type of design, it resembles the shape of a horse saddle. Popular in hunting and showing.
  • Square saddle pads – they have typically a larger design than shaped pads. Perfect for eventing, jumping, and dressage.
  • Western blankets – tend to have a big and rectangular shape like a blanket. Good choice for trail riding and showing.
  • Sheepskin half-pads – these are thick-lined pads made with genuine or synthetic sheepskin. Well-known in jumping and dressage.
  • Corrective half-pads – such tack is made for horses with special needs. They have fascinating ergonomic and shock-absorption features.

What Are the Fabrics Used in Saddle Pads?

The modern market offers a huge array of options in terms of materials used as well. Here’s a list of the most popular fabrics for horse saddle pads.

  • Cotton. Lots of English saddle pads are made with cotton. Usually, they are thin and lightweight. Great for beginners.
  • Neoprene. It’s a solid synthetic fabric in terms of flexibility and moisture resistance. Such pads are rather breathable and they don’t slip.
  • Foam. Foam pads are loved by their enhanced shock absorption feature. The gear is extremely flexible as well to fit the shape of the horse’s spine.
  • Wool or Felt. These are typically thick-lined pads made with natural or synthetic wool. They feature great sweat absorption and heat control.
  • Fleece. Fleece pads are also thick-cushioned and absorb well. But it may lose some padding over time.

How to Choose the Right Size of a Saddle Pad?

The major measurements you have to take when choosing a new horse saddle pads are the length, width, and thickness. First of all, you’ll need a soft fabric tape to measure your saddle which you want to tack up a pad underneath. Measure the length of the saddle’s skirt. The proper saddle pad should be a few inches longer than your saddle so it shows up from both sides of the saddle. So if your saddle is 25” long, you’ll need a 27” saddle pad.

APPad Size Chart example

How Thick is a Horse Saddle Pad?

When choosing a brand-new saddle pad, you should also consider its thickness as it might be different in various pad styles.

  • ½” – great for showing, not too thick not too thin.
  • ¾” – suitable for everyday use.
  • ⅞” – good for trail riding.
  • 1” – perfect for long rides.
  • 1 ⅛” – designed for team and calf roping.

What is a Half-Pad?

As it names says, a half pad is a tack gear two times smaller than a regular horse pad. The main purpose of half-pads is to add extra cushioning, so the product is used in addition to a regular pad, not instead of it. The half-pad is placed between the saddle and the common pad. Some of these pads are designed to support some problematic body areas of a horse like withers. Many brands produce gel half-pads with an ergonomic design and improved shock-absorbing features.

half pad size chart


white horse posing on camera

As you can see, there’s a big array of horse saddle pads available on the market. All of them aim to satisfy the riders’ particular needs. But the common thing is that a solid equestrian pad must be comfortable, durable, and protective like our winner Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad.

The best pad should be a perfect match to your horse riding saddle or considered as a sturdy blanket for using alone if you’re a bareback rider. In addition, keep in mind that the saddle pad should also keep your horse cool and cozy while providing effective relief and avoiding health issues.