In addition to being an essential part of riding equipment, the saddle pad has become an integral part of the look and fashion statement in equestrian sports. So how do you choose the right saddle pad? Firstly, you should choose a saddle pad that suits your saddle and the discipline you ride. Saddle pads have a specific shape for each discipline, so they are more angular for dressage and usually a little shorter for show jumping. Saddle pads are also increasingly functional, offering breathability, thus guaranteeing maximum comfort for your horse even during hard training or on warm days. Some styles have a mesh strip along the spine canal where the saddle does not touch the horse, this ensures optimal ventilation at the back. Moisture-wicking materials such as bamboo absorb the horse's sweat well and dry quickly. There are different ways of preventing the saddle pad from slipping under the saddle. The saddle pads from PS of Sweden, for example, use so-called stop pads, while the classic variant is two Velcro strips that are attached to the girth straps. Eskadron, among other manufacturers, has equipped some saddle pad models with silicone in the saddle position to keep the saddle in place.
Some saddle pads already have an integrated sheepskin lining, which provides additional padding and protection for your horse's back. If this is not the case and you have a sensitive horse or you want to correct the position or fit of the saddle, sheepskin pads or gel pads are suitable as an additional layer. Gel pads also prevent the saddle pad from slipping due to their slightly 'sticky' surface. A sheepskin pad made of real sheepskin, e.g. from Christ, can also be placed directly on the horse's back (and thus under the saddle pad), because sheepskin has an antibacterial effect and absorbs sweat much faster than other materials. In our range you will find a large selection of different materials, each with its own advantages. With the help of these half pads you can avoid pressure points and protect your horse from chafing.
The classic saddle pad is small-stitched and single-coloured, but nowadays there are hardly any limits to the design of saddle pads. Those who want to shine in the stable or at the show like to reach for stylish dressage saddle pads with large quilting and colour-contrasting piping. The Eskadron Platinum Collection, for example, stands out with its elegant outer materials and details. Some styles also feature crystals and glitter. The colour choice is pretty much unlimited nowadays. With the great variety of saddle pads in our shop, you are sure to find the right one for your taste. You can choose a saddle pad to match your outfit or the boots your horse is wearing. Many manufacturers colour-coordinate their collections so you can outfit your horse and yourself in the same colour, from saddle pads, ear bonnets and bandages, to breeches and jackets. A must-have saddle pad is probably the classic white show pad, which is compulsory in dressage competitions.
Take a look around and discover our range of saddle pads from Horze and other top brands such as LeMieux, Eskadron, Spooks, Acavallo, PS of Sweden, Back on Track and HV Polo.
Saddle pads are a type of saddle cloth, alongside saddlecloths and numnahs. The saddle pad is usually rectangular and is placed between the horse's back and the saddle. It absorbs the horse's sweat and therefore protects both the saddle and the horse's back. Besides this function, the saddle cloth also serves as a decoration for the horse. As it is larger than the saddle, it will show and can be embellished for added style with, for example, embroidered names or club emblems.
To fulfill its function optimally, the saddle pad should be breathable, absorb sweat well, act as a damper between saddle and horseback and be easy to clean. Saddle pads are either made of cotton, a mixture of cotton and synthetic fibres, lambskin, polyamide or polyester. These materials each have their own specific advantages and disadvantages. You probably won't find a saddle pad that ticks all boxes perfectly. When buying a saddle pad, you must therefore first decide which characteristic is most important to you.
You can choose a saddle pad according to both material and shape. Cotton is very breathable, absorbs sweat well and is easy to clean. However, cotton saddle pads only have a slight cushioning effect. Similarly, saddle pads made of synthetic fibres are inexpensive, very breathable and also easy to clean. However, they hardly absorb sweat and also have no cushioning effect.
Saddle pads made out of a mixture of cotton and synthetic fibres are therefore highly popular. They combine the positive properties of both materials and are still comparatively inexpensive. Lambskin is extremely breathable, so lambskin saddle pads absorb sweat very well. They have a good cushioning effect and are easy to clean. Saddle pads differ in shape for dressage and eventing or jumping horses. Dressage saddle pads are longer in the saddle flap area. Saddle pads for baroque horses are often pointed at the front. For ponies, shettys and minishettys there are special size-adapted saddle pads.
To ensure that you can enjoy your saddle pad for a long time, proper care is essential. It's important to keep your saddle pad clean, but how often you wash it would depend on frequency, as well as type of use.
The sweat that the saddle pad has absorbed while riding must be washed out frequently.
Before washing, you must first remove any horse hair from the underside of the pad or numnah.
To do this, you can either use a special coat weeder or a hard brush. Always read the care instructions of the saddle pad carefully before washing. Many saddle pads can only be hand washed at a moderate temperature. Saddle pads made of pure synthetic material are also suitable for machine washing. For lambskin saddle cloths, manufacturers usually recommend a special cleaning detergent. When washing saddle pads, you should never use fabric softener as it reduces water resistance, makes the fibres stick together and can even cause allergic reactions in horses. After washing, saddle pads should be air dried. However, never leave them in direct sunlight, in order to avoid fading.
The saddle pad must fit the saddle and should not be too small. There should be no creases and it must not press or rub.
You should also make sure that the space between the saddle cushions is not reduced. Of course, the saddle pad should not disturb the movement of the horse. To meet these requirements, saddle pads are adapted to the shape of the saddle.
That is why saddle pads for all purpose, jumping and dressage saddles have different lengths at the back, as well as the saddle flap area.
When buying a saddle pad, you must therefore first know which saddle it is supposed to fit under.
When using the saddle, you should always pull the girth straps of the saddle through the corresponding eyelets of the saddle pad. Only then you can be sure that it will not slip out of place when the horse moves.