Gear Guide Tried & Tested

Saddle pads

Tried & Tested
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Find the perfect pad to fit your horse, your saddle and your budget, too

Our testers: These saddle pads were tested on hardworking horses on warm days, across all disciplines and with lots of washing.

The products

HRP GP Dual Square Wings saddle pad

HRP GP Dual Square Wings saddle pad

Designed to exert no pressure over the lumbar spine.
White, navy or black
Pony, cob or full

The verdict: “Expensive, but a worthwhile investment.”

“It fitted well, without bulk, and the padding at the girth was great for my sensitive mare. Even after long rides it didn’t make her sweat up and still gave clearance under the saddle. It washed very well and still looks like new.”

WOW Supercool saddlecloth

WOW Supercool saddlecloth

Thin, 3D fabric that wicks and cushions.
Black, white, grey, bright red, orange, blue or dark red
Full in dressage or GP/jump

The verdict: “Easy-care, thin cushioning with good wicking qualities.”

“Fitting the pad was quite tricky, so I appreciated the instructions, but it stayed in place well and didn’t make my horse sweat up, although I’d prefer the binding to be a bit softer. Hair brushed off easily and the pad was very easy to clean.”

PS of Sweden Preppy Charlie saddle pad

PS of Sweden Preppy Charlie saddle pad

Shiny white cotton with silver details and quick-dry lining.
Cob or full

The verdict: “Smart and well-fitting, but a magnet for loose hair.”

“It looked really smart and fitted well over my horse’s back. The fabric lost a bit of the gloss over time, but it’s still in good condition, with no bobbles or shrinking. It wicked away sweat well and kept my horse cool, but loose hair tended to stick to it, so it needed lots of washing.”

Schockemöhle Sports Dynamite saddle pad

Schockemöhle Sports Dynamite saddle pad

Cotton outer with a quick-dry inner.
Brown, black, navy, grey, stone or white
Full in dressage or jump

The verdict: “Good cushioning, but quite hot, so best for cooler days.”

“The padding is quite thick, so offered good cushioning under the saddle, but my horse was quite hot and sweaty on warmer days. It dried very quickly, but after a lot of washes it now doesn’t sit as flat to his sides. The hair didn’t stick and the colour hasn’t faded at all.”

MicroPerformance+ saddle pad

MicroPerformance+ saddle pad

Anatomically shaped with mesh for sweat absorption and breathability.
Black, white or navy blue
Full or cob

The verdict: “Smart and hardwearing, good for horses with low withers.”

“It was very good at wicking away moisture and keeping him cool, washed well and didn’t shrink or bobble. However, loose hair stuck to the inside and was difficult to remove. It was a better fit for my horse with low withers.”

Bucas Max saddle pad

Bucas Max pad

Layered with antibacterial fabric that helps remove sweat and moisture.
Black/silver, navy/silver or white
Full in jump or dressage

The verdict: “Smart and well-fitting for general use.”

“It’s really smart and fitted well without moving. It didn’t trap the heat, so was great for intense work. I was disappointed that the branding meant I couldn’t use it for competing at some events, so would like the option of a plain one.”

Shires Equestrian Performance SupaFleece Airflow Anti-Slip saddle pad

Shires Equestrian Performance SupaFleece Airflow Anti-Slip

Perforated anti-slip panels and neoprene mesh lining under the saddle area.
Cob/pony or cob/full

The verdict: “Good extra cushioning, but difficult to remove all the hair.”

“The neoprene cushioning was thick enough that I didn’t need to use a half pad and it stayed firmly in place. It washed well without the fabric shrinking and the fur is still soft, but it was quite difficult to get all the hairs off the fabric.”

Catago Diamond saddle pad

Catago Diamond saddle pad

Dirt-repellent fabric with a soft, wicking lining and Velcro straps.
Black, brown, navy, red, grey or white
Pony or full in dressage or GP

The verdict: “Quick-drying, cool and comfortable.”

“It was an excellent fit and didn’t slip, even when used for jumping. It was very breathable and quick-drying, so my horse stayed cool and comfortable under the saddle. It got a bit hairy, but washed well and still looks smart.”

Rambo saddle pad with vari-layer

Rambo saddle pad with vari-layer

Extra fill under the saddle with a high wicking inner.
White, black, navy or brown
Pony/cob or cob/horse

The verdict: “A good alternative to a half pad, but can slip.”

“It wicked away sweat well and the thicker padding in the saddle area meant I didn’t have to use a half pad as I normally would. Hair brushed off easily, it was washed well and dried surprisingly quickly. It could slip if I wasn’t careful with the placement.”

Caldene GP saddle pad

Caldene GP saddle pad

Satin fabric with wicking properties, ergonomically shaped with a reinforced girth section.
Pony, cob, full, extra-full

The verdict: “Great for high withers, with a stand-out design.”

“The fit was excellent for my very high-withered horse and it didn’t slip or move around. The material wicked away sweat well and loose hair brushed off easily. The design is quite striking, which I liked, but it may not be to everyone’s taste.”

LeMieux ProSport Suede saddle pad

LeMieux ProSport Suede saddle pad

High wither, elasticated D-ring tabs and girth protection, with bamboo lining.
Benetton blue, teal, navy, beige, burnt orange, green, black, berry red or grey
Small/medium or large

The verdict: “Smart, luxurious pad with a great fit.”

“It was a great fit, sat up in the gullet of the saddle and the D-ring tabs were easy to secure. The lining did a good job of wicking away sweat and I loved the luxurious feel of the tactile suede outer.”

Passier breathable saddle pad

Passier breathable saddlecloth

Quilted with an open-pore material to reduce accumulated heat and dampness.
Blue or white
Full in dressage or jump

The verdict: “Excellent wicking qualities, but tends to get hairy.”

“It didn’t move at all while riding. The material was brilliant at wicking away moisture and keeping him cool, even though it was quilted. It dried really quickly after washing, but it was difficult to get rid of all the hairs.”

Horze River all-purpose saddle pad

Horze River all-purpose saddle pad

Contoured shape with a cotton lining and foam polyfill inner.
White or dark blue
Pony or full

The verdict: “Good spine clearance and smart-looking, but can slip.”

“It sat well on my horse’s back and stayed up in the gullet. It didn’t make him particularly hot and the hairs didn’t stick to it. There is a slight shine to the outer fabric and if I didn’t do the girth straps up tight it could slip back while I was riding.”

HKM Porto saddle pad

HKM Porto saddle pad

Shaped to protect pressure points.
White, red wine, green, deep green, baby blue, corn blue or deep blue
Pony or full in dressage or GP

The verdict:  “Good value for a hard-working saddle pad.”

“It’s well-padded, but still felt lightweight and the cut sat well under my saddle. The lining was good at wicking away sweat, although my horse still sweated up a bit after faster work. Any hair brushed off really easily and it washed really well.”

WeatherBeeta Performance all-purpose saddle pad

WeatherBeeta Performance all-purpose pad

Mesh spine with a PVC girth patch.
Light blue or white
Pony or full


The verdict: “Good value and durable enough for everyday use.”

It was a really good fit under my GP saddle and sat well over my horse’s withers. The soft edges didn’t cause any rubs. It’s very lightweight and didn’t make him overly hot. It washed brilliantly, dried quickly and still looks really smart.

Fouganza Jump saddle pad

Fouganza Jump saddle pad

Honeycomb sponge padding to wick away moisture and sweat.
Burgundy, green, turquoise or blue
Full size

The verdict: “Cushioned fill with a good fit, but hair stuck to it.”

“It fitted perfectly under my 17.5in saddle and never slipped or moved while riding. However, my horse got quite sweaty and it collected a lot of hair, which was difficult to remove. It dried quickly and hasn’t bobbled or shrunk.”

Rhinegold Elite vented saddle pad

Rhinegold Elite vented saddle pad

Ventilated padding with a vented spine.
Colour: Black, brown, grey, navy, red or white
Sizing: Pony, cob or full

The verdict: “A well-fitting, good-value pad for everyday use.”

“It stayed in place well and left no marks or rubs on my horse’s coat. Even after fast work he wasn’t sweaty under the pad and the Velcro girth straps made it easy to fit. Loose hair tended to stick in the material, but it washed well, with no colour run or fading.”

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