A saddle pad serves multiple purposes. It is designed to protect both the horse and the saddle. Additionally, it functions as an accessory that adds a touch of elegance to your and your horse's gear. For these very reasons, at Horseonline, we have gathered a wide range of stylish and luxurious saddle pads from a variety of renowned brands, ensuring that you find the perfect one, no matter the discipline you practice with your horse or pony.
Best Saddle Pads for You and Your Horse
The selection of saddle pads, both online and in physical stores, is vast today. There are countless brands and models to choose from, each varying in quality. It can be challenging to determine which saddle pad is the best fit for you and your horse. The saddle's design is crucial in selecting the appropriate pad. If you ride in a dressage saddle, opt for a dressage saddle pad, and if you ride in a jumping saddle, choose a jumping saddle pad. Even if you ride in an all-purpose saddle, it's best to go with a jumping pad or all-purpose pad, as the dressage saddle pads may not fit due to the saddle flap's shape. Apart from design and appearance, there are other factors to consider, including material, comfort, and functionality. We want to provide you with the best conditions to make an informed decision, so we'll guide you through various questions and considerations. In our range, you'll find saddle pads from established, reliable brands such as Back on Track, Kingsland, Eskadron, and Cavalleria Toscana, all of which share the common traits of tasteful design and excellent quality with thoughtful details.
Consider the Functions of a Saddle Pad When Making Your Purchase
A saddle pad is not an absolute necessity, but it can be a valuable addition to your riding gear. A high-quality saddle should ideally fit your horse or pony well and not require any additional padding. In most cases, riders use a saddle pad to protect their equipment from the horse rather than the other way around. A saddle is a significant investment, and using a saddle pad can increase its lifespan and prevent it from being affected by dirt and sweat.
To prevent trapping sweat, it's essential to consider your choice of material. A functional material that is quick-drying and moisture-wicking is generally a requirement unless it's an exceptionally cold day and you're only going for a gentle ride where the horse won't sweat much. Just as you wouldn't go for a run in jeans and a shirt that traps sweat, you shouldn't use a saddle pad that does the same.
In some cases, it's challenging to find a saddle that fits perfectly, and that's where saddle pads can be helpful in various ways. Saddle pads are often padded to provide extra cushioning, some more than others. They can also help keep the saddle in place, especially if they have a silicone coating or other anti-slip features. Additionally, a saddle pad can address both of these issues.
Matching Saddle Pads and Ear Bonnets for a Stylish Ensemble
The aesthetic aspect should not be underestimated, especially when it comes to competitions where presenting a harmonious image as a team is essential. You can match your saddle pad with your horse's leg wraps, your riding attire, or even an ear bonnet. Whether you prefer a sleek look with black or white saddle pads, typically seen in dressage, or colorful saddle pads in green, pink, orange, or red, which are more popular in jumping, you can easily find what you're looking for with us. We also offer a wide range of saddle pads with glitter and bling, including those from Equiline and their highly sought-after E-logo saddle pads. Another luxurious option is saddle pads with faux fur or sheepskin details, which can also be easily matched with leg protection in the same style for a coordinated look. Kentucky is an excellent example of a brand that offers these types of products, known for their vegan options made with synthetic fur.
How Should a Saddle Pad Be Positioned to Prevent Chafing and Pressure?
The withers are one of the most sensitive areas for a horse, and a saddle pad that isn't designed to alleviate pressure on the withers can cause discomfort. It's akin to pulling the saddle pad tight on either side of the horse. Well-designed saddle pads that provide ample room for the withers and the back are worth the investment. Nowadays, most saddle pads are constructed with this in mind, featuring wither clearance. However, a slightly more expensive saddle pad is often much more stable and stays in place better than a cheaper one that may fold easily.
The saddle pad should also be free from wrinkles under the saddle, as this can create chafing or discomfort. The saddle pad should lie flat under the saddle and be pulled up in the front so that it aligns with the front arch of the saddle, ensuring it doesn't put pressure on the withers—especially when you tighten your saddle girth. Always start by placing your saddle pad slightly forward of its intended position and then pull it backward into the correct position to ensure that all hairs lie in the right direction, once again minimizing the risk of chafing and discomfort.
Are Velcro Straps Necessary to Keep the Saddle Pad in Place?
This can vary from case to case. Traditionally, saddle pads have one fastening point at the girth area and one in the front. However, many modern saddle pads come with only one of these attachment options. The best way to determine if you need Velcro straps is to observe how your current saddle pads move while riding. If the straps don't provide any noticeable benefit, they may be rubbing against the saddle unnecessarily. In such cases, you might as well opt for a saddle pad without Velcro to minimize any potential irritation to your saddle.
How Often Should You Replace a Saddle Pad?
How often you should replace your saddle pad depends entirely on how dirty it gets. If you have a horse that is trained rigorously and sweats heavily, you'll need to replace the saddle pad more frequently as it becomes sweaty. If you are diligent about grooming your horse before putting on your equipment and the horse doesn't sweat much during rides, you won't need to replace the pad as often. However, it's essential to replace it from time to time because it can accumulate dust, hair, and bacteria over time, which can affect your horse's comfort. To avoid washing it too frequently, you can brush off the hair from the underside and hang the saddle pad to dry after a sweaty ride. It's a good idea to invest in at least two saddle pads so that you always have a spare while the other one is in the wash.