The best saddle pads will draw away moisture from your horse’s back, keeping him dry and comfortable even when he’s working hard in hot weather. It will also fit your saddle well, offer a good amount of cushioning and spine clearance, and it shouldn’t move while you’re riding. It’s also important that your saddle pad washes and wears well as you’ll need to put it through the wash regularly to keep it clean and smart.
Here are some of the best saddle pads available right now…
Equestrian Stockholm GP saddle pad
Colours: Grey, navy, black, white, brown, champagne, pink, Bordeaux or emerald, with new colours added regularly | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £72
Designed to stand the test of time, this saddle pad also has a luxurious look. Made with a glossy, dirt-repellent material that breathes well and contains quick-dry technology to wick away sweat on the underside. Matching items available. This Equestrian Stockholm saddle pad scored 10/10 and awarded Horse & Hound Approved status when reviewed as part of our independent testing scheme – read the full review.
View at equestrianstockholm.com
Equiport bespoke saddlecloth
Colours: Black, navy, red, light grey, bottle green, burgundy, brown, mid grey or white, with a choice of 31 piping colours | Sizes: Pony, cob, full or extra-full | RRP: From £48
If you’re after a specific colour combination, this cotton saddlecloth with sheepskin with pad could be the one for you. With such a wide range of piping options you can create an individual look to complete the matchy-matchy look. Embroidery options also available.
View at equiport.co.uk
Equitex velvet GP saddle pad
Colours: Diamond, silver, emerald, onyx, chocolate, champagne, sapphire, ruby, mint, flamingo or azure | Sizes: Standard or pony | RRP: £220
This saddle pad, which is handmade in Italy, has been designed to fit both forward-cut jump saddles and GPs. The technical velvet material that covers the shock-absorbing foam cushions is described as extremely hardwearing, yet soft and breathable. The pile of the velvet, does not rub or pull the hairs , while allowing freedom of movement for the skin and muscles under the saddle. The non-slip graphics mean no girth straps or fixing loops are required.
View at thesaddlepadcompany.com
Eskadron cotton saddlecloth
Colours: White, cream, dark brown, anthracite, black, nightblue, racing green, blackberry, ice, banana, powder rose, white/navy/red, navy/white/red, red/navy/white | Sizes: Pony or full | RRP: From £29.95
This cotton saddlecloth has a slim polyfoam inlay, with pure cotton quilting on each side. Ideal for embroidery, the cotton saddlecloth comes in a wide range of plain colours; and with the option of gold or silver cord; or contrast trim.
Griffin Nuumed HiWither half-wool GP saddle pad
Colours: Black, white, brown, cream, green, navy or red | Sizes: M, L or XL | RRP: £76.35
Cut to follow the contours of your horse’s back, this high-wither design ensures the saddle pad sits correctly. It features half British wool to alleviate pressure and aid comfort and is fitted with long Velcro girth straps.
Hy Sport Active GP saddle pad
Colours: White, black, red, navy, orange, spearmint green, port royal, regal blue, Aegean green, pink or grey | Sizes: Cob/full | RRP: £32.99
This traditional and classic-shaped cotton saddle pad is designed to fit a wide range of saddles. It has a moisture-wicking lining and features the signature HyWither cut to provide clearance and prevent rubbing. It also features a durable anti-rub girth cover protection, complete with double touch-tape girth loops for a secure and precise fit. Matching items available. This Hy saddle pad scored 8/10 when it was reviewed as past of our independent testing scheme – read the full review.
LeMieux suede GP square
Colours: Ice blue, benetton, plum, peacock, navy, mulberry, chilli, hunter green, ink blue, mink, azure, musk or sage | Sizes: S/M or L | RRP: £44.95
This saddle pad has been updated and now features a super-soft suede binding and PU leather girth protection area. It also features a bamboo lining, which minimises friction and offer sweat-controlling properties. With its high-wither cut, it is designed to fit a wide range of GP saddles. Matching items available.
PolyPads Premier GP saddle pad
Colours: 141 combinations | Sizes: Pony/cob or full | RRP: From £53.99
This saddle pad offers the comfort of a traditional PolyPad but with a more modern design. It features a shaped spine and a high wither cut that allows it to fit neatly without bulk. The gently forward-cut front accommodates a knee roll with ease and the handy girth loops ensure a secure fit.
View at polypads.co.uk
Ponyo Horsewear saddle pad
Colours: Juicy watermelon, sleepy sloth, doughnut delight, monkey bananas or pink unicorns | Sizes: Mini, pony, cob or full | RRP: From £28
These adorable and unique GP saddle pads come in a range of fun patterns. The pads have Velcro on all the straps for ease of use and a high-cut wither for comfort.
View at ponyo-horsewear.com
Premier Equine close-contact European cotton GP/jump saddle pad
Colours: White, grey, navy, black, royal blue or red | Sizes: Full | RRP: £42
The wicking fibres in this saddle pad facilitate effective moisture wicking and sweat removal. It has a 600D girth panel to provide anti-rub protection and is complete with decorative twisted ropes, a cut away hem and double Velcro D-loop straps.
View at premierequine.co.uk
Protechmasta Infrared Airmesh GP/jump saddlecloth
Colours: White | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £77
This saddlecloth has a ceramic-infused lining that emits a safe and natural form of far infrared radiation, which aids blood circulation and can help to ease muscle tension. The 3D Airmesh outer fabric makes this saddlecloth extremely lightweight and maximises air circulation.
View at harryhall.com
Rhinegold Luxe faux-fur half-lined GP saddle pad
Colours: White/natural, black/natural, black/black, brown/natural or brown/brown | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £35.90
This anatomically shaped cotton saddle pad has an anti-rub panel and faux fur lining to help alleviate any pressure points. It is finished with quilting, soft bindings and touch-tape girth attachment straps.
View at rhinegoldequestrian.co.uk
Shires Performance Air Motion Pro saddlecloth
Colours: Black | Sizes: 15–16.5in or 17–18in | RRP: £57.99
Highly breathable, this compression-resistant saddlecloth uses 3D air motion technology to move moist air away from the body and keep your horse cool and dry. It also has shock-absorbing anti-slip panels to increase comfort and stability, as well as a hard-wearing girth guard. This Shires saddlecloth was reviewed as part of our independent testing scheme – read the full review.
Weatherbeeta Reflective Prime All Purpose saddle pad
Colours: Silver/pink or silver/yellow | Sizes: Pony or full | RRP: £55.99
This saddle pad is made of a durable cotton fabric with a wicking lining that helps to keep your horse cool, dry and comfortable. It is is highly reflective and features a breathable mesh spine for extra airflow and high-wither design to allow for extra clearance. Matching items available. A non-reflective version of this Weatherbeeta saddle pad scored 10/10 and awarded Horse & Hound Approved status when reviewed as part of our independent testing scheme – read the full review.
Why do you need a saddle pad?
A saddle pad provides a little extra cushioning between you and your horse, but it’s main function is to keep your saddle clean and wick sweat away from your horse’s back. Some saddle pads are anti-slip and provide extra security, while sometimes a saddle fitter will advise you use a particular shape or thickness of pad, such as a half pad, to temporarily improve the fit of your saddle.
What’s the difference between a saddle pad and a numnah?
A numnah is roughly the same shape as your saddle, whereas a saddle pad or saddlecloth is closer to a rectangular shape and you can see much more of it when the saddle is placed on top. Numnahs are commonly used in showing.
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