The best dressage pads are designed to boost your overall appearance and show off your horse’s movement, while ensuring he is as comfortable as possible to allow him to work correctly and perform at his best.
Most dressage riders prefer saddle pads to have minimum bulk between their dressage saddle and their horse’s back so that the seat and leg aids can be clearly felt, and the pads are traditionally square in shape. Some pads are part-lined with sheepskin, lambswool or technical materials to help distribute pressure or hold the saddle in place, while most also have technical wicking properties to help keep your horse cool and dry.
White is correct for competition, but many brands offer a wide selection of fun and more practical colours for everyday training as well as matching items to create a co-ordinated look. If you’ve got a GP saddle then we’ve rounded up the best saddle pads for GPs, too.
Here’s a selection of the best dressage pads (listed alphabetically) to feast your eyes on…
Cavallo Hanaya dressage square
Colours: Black, dark blue, petrol blue or otter brown | Sizes: Pony or full | RRP: £57 |
Made with a shimmering upper material and double cord detailing on the edging, this padded and quilted saddle pad from Cavallo has Velcro strap attachments. The base material is skin-friendly with a mesh lining.
Equestrian Stockholm dressage saddle pad
Colours: Grey, navy, black, white, brown, champagne, pink, Bordeaux or emerald | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £72 |
This saddle pad from Equestrian Stockholm has beautifully stylish details. It is made of a glossy, dirt-repellent material that breathes well and keeps your horse dry thanks to a wicking material on the underside. Matching items available. The GP version of this Equestrian Stockholm saddle pad scored 10/10 and awarded Horse & Hound Approved when it was was reviewed as part of our independent testing scheme – read the full review.
Equitex Classic dressage saddle pad
Colours: Diamond, azure, flamingo, mint, silver, emerald, onyx, chocolate, black, champagne, sapphire or ruby | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: From £189 |
This Equitex saddle pad is handmade in Italy with a technical velvet fabric that is extremely hard-wearing and will not rub or pull hairs from the coat. The saddle pad is moisture wicking, which helps to prevent localised overheating and reduces sweat. It also contains shock-absorbing foam cushions and protects that help to distribute pressure. There are no girth straps or fixing loops, but the graphic grips prevent slipping and hold the saddle in place.
Eskadron Glossy Wave saddlecloth
Colours: White, cream, dark brown, black, nightblue, powder rose or blackberry | Sizes: Pony or full | RRP: From £56.95 |
This eye-catching saddlecloth has a glossy yet durable outer fabric with a breathable, highly wicking underside. The voluminous padding has an attractive quilting pattern and there are anti-slip silicon patches in the saddle area. It is finished with binding, which can be individually customised from a wide range of cords.
View now at rideawaystore.com
Griffin Nuumed HiWither luxury gullet-free saddle pad
Colours: Black, brown or white | Sizes: M, L or XL | RRP: £101.55 |
This Griffin Nuumed saddle pad offers protection over key pressure points and the half wool design allows you to maintain a close leg contact. It has a high-wither design, short straps and is fully machine washable.
Hy Sport Active dressage 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 dressage pad from Hy is designed to fit a wide range of saddles. It has a high-with cut to provide clearance and prevent rubbing. Made from high-quality cotton with a moisture-wicking lining, this pad features a durable anti-rub girth protection area and touch-tape girth loops. Machine washable.
LeMieux Loire Memory dressage square
Colours: Navy, peacock, black, white, ice blue, hunter green, mulberry, french rose, ink blue, mink, azure or sage | Sizes: Large | RRP: £68.95 |
This classy dressage pad from LeMieux is made of a woven satin fabric, breathable bamboo lining and memory foam panel. The lining helps to regulate temperature and wicks away sweat. The pad also features a soft friction-free suede binding that helps retain the perfect saddle pad shape and binding profile.
View now at equus.co.uk
PolyPads Dressage Premier pad
Colours: 141 combinations | Sizes: Pony/cob or full | RRP: From £53.99 |
This pad from PolyPads has a cut-back shape at the wither that ensures a bulk-free fit under the saddle. It is available in two thicknesses if you require extra padding.
View now at ebay.co.uk
Premier Equine Armada close contact dressage square
Colours: Black, white, navy, wine, grey or brown | Sizes: Full | RRP: £67 |
With a quilted satin outer fabric, this Premier Equine saddle pad will catch the eye. The topside features a silicone print gel to prevent slipping along with adjustable Velcro straps for added security. The underside is made of a highly absorbent mesh lining that draws moisture away from the skin, helping to keep your horse comfortable. The soft satin binding contours to your horse’s shape to prevent rubbing, while the 600D girth protection panel also has anti-slip and anti-rub properties.
Protechmasta Lux dressage saddlecloth
Colours: Black or blue | Sizes: Full | RRP: £75 |
The sleek and shiny outer material used in this Protechmasta saddle pad is dirt repellent and finished with silver glitter piping. It has a 3D spacer mesh along the spine to maximise airflow and breathability as well as a ceramic-infused lining that emits a safe and natural form of far infrared radiation, which can aid circulation and blood flow. Matching items available.
Rhinegold half faux-fur lined dressage saddle pad
Colours: Black/black, black/natural, brown/brown, brown/natural or white/natural | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £35.90 |
With a half faux-fur lining for added comfort and support, this cotton saddle pad from Rhinegold is anatomically designed. It features rolled edges and soft bindings, an anti-rub panel, a padded wither and touch-tape attachment straps.
View now at ebay.co.uk
Shires Performance dressage saddlecloth
Colours: Black, plum, green, ocean blue, deep red, navy, brown, mustard or grey | Sizes: Full (to fit 17–18in) | RRP: £28.99 |
This Shires saddle pad is smart enough for competing yet hard-wearing and easy to look after for everyday use. It has a contoured shape to offer good clearance and features a wicking lining, touch-close straps and a hard-wearing girth guard. Machine washable.
Stübben Streamline dressage pad
Colours: Black, white, navy or grey, with optional lambswool | Sizes: Full | RRP: £79 |
This Stübben saddle pad has a clever Velcro strip on the spine that attaches to a Velcro component that slots into the gullet of your saddle to minimise friction and movement – this component is available separately but the saddle pad can be used without it. The pad itself has a thin profile, soft border, smart piping and reinforced girth panel. It also has adjustable popper fastenings on the front attachment loops, which allows you to create a personalised and secure fit. The white pads have a cotton border rather than velour to prevent staining. Also available in an Adjuster style with shims.
WeatherBeeta Prime dressage saddle pad
Colours: White, black, turquoise, royal blue, grey, navy, lime, bubblegum or maroon | Sizes: Pony or full | RRP: £36.50 |
This durable cotton pad from Weatherbeeta has a wicking lining to help keep your horse cool, dry and comfortable. The breathable mesh spine allows extra airflow to the back, while the longer shape is designed to sit with a dressage saddle and the high wither design offers extra space where needed. The covered girth patch provides durability and the touch-tape girth loops allow for a versatile fit. Machine washable. Matching items available. Also available in ombre, marble, bling or leopard print styles.
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