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Proper Saddle Pad Sizing: Complete Guide

Saddle Pad Sizing

When riding horses, a saddle pad is an essential piece of equipment that stays underneath. It provides protection, comfort, and support to the horse and its rider. However, selecting the right size of the horse saddle pad is crucial to ensure that it fits properly and performs its intended functions efficiently.

See also: Pros & Cons of Horseback Riding

More so, here we will inform you about the saddle pad and its absolute size accordingly. Furthermore, you can read below and be assertive about the type of saddle pad you should buy. In short, we will provide you with a complete guide for the right saddle pad sizing.

Different Types of Saddle Pad

There’s a huge variety of saddle pads that comes in different materials and are useful for specific riding disciplines. In order to choose the right one, depending upon your riding style, you must be familiar with its various types.

Here they are –

  1. Western Saddle Pad: Buying a western saddle pad can be a huge requirement for those who go horseback riding occasionally. Likely to say that Western saddles are heavier in weight. So, in order to protect the horse’s skin from sores, it’s essential to have a thick saddle pad in between.
  2. English Saddle Pad: These saddle pads are lightweight in comparison with a Western saddle pad. Likewise, they are thin and do not add up to the weight saddle. Furthermore, these saddle pads have a larger area that more the ride is even more comfortable.
  3. Gel Pads: If your horse has a back sore, these saddle pads are a great option. However, not many equestrian riders know about these saddle pads, but they are highly comforting. These pads are not just only extremely thin, but they also help in reducing the pressure on the horse by absorbing the impact during the ride. In addition, these pads are the best choice for the summer and winter seasons as well.
  4. Full Saddle Pad: As the name suggests, these pads provide full padding and extra support. Riders use these saddle pads for riding disciplines such as dressage. Also, this type of saddle pad has a large area, which simply suggests they showcase their brand name.
  5. Half Saddle Pad: These saddle pads are half or less than the size of a full pad but are equally supportive. These pads are usually made of fleece and support your horse’s back. Moreover, riders mostly use these pads for disciplines such as dressage, hunting and recreational riding.

See also: Bridle Fitting Questions You Must Ask!

If you are looking forward to buying any of these horse saddle pads, it’s likely to first measure its size. Henceforth, it will provide more support and comfort to the horse when the size of the saddle pad is appropriate.

Proper Guide for Saddle Pad Sizing

Here’s a complete guide to saddle pad sizing to help you choose the right fit for your horse.

1. Measure Your Horse

The first step in selecting the right saddle pad size is to measure your horse. Start by measuring the length of your horse’s back, from the withers to the base of the tail. You can use a measuring tape or a piece of string to do this. Make sure that the tape or string is straight and snug but not too tight.

2. Determine the Pad Length

Once you have the measurement of your horse’s back, you can use it to determine the appropriate pad length. Most saddle pads come in standard sizes, ranging from small to extra-large. The pad length should be equal to or slightly longer than your horse’s back measurement to ensure proper coverage and protection.

See also: How to Choose a Saddle Rack?

3. Consider the Pad Shape

Saddle pads come in different shapes: square, round, and contoured. The shape of the pad you choose will depend on your horse’s conformation and the saddle you use. A contoured pad is ideal for horses with prominent withers, while a round pad is better suited for horses with a rounder back.

4. Check the Pad Thickness

Saddle pads come in different thicknesses, ranging from thin to thick. The thickness of the pad you choose will depend on the type of riding you do, your horse’s conformation, and your personal preference. A thinner pad is ideal for close-contact riding, while a thicker pad provides more cushioning and is suitable for longer rides.

5. Ensure Proper Fit

Once you have selected a saddle pad, it’s essential to ensure it fits properly. The pad should sit snugly against your horse’s back and must not be too big or small for their sizing. In general, you must not place the saddle on top unless the pad is not comfortable sitting on the horse.


If you are still not sure about the saddle pad size that your horse requires, it’s better to take the help of an expert. Likewise, they will suggest which saddle pad will be the most appropriate for the horse. In addition, buying the saddle pad as per the saddle size will be much of a help in the near future.

Related Source:-

Types of Saddle

What Do We Know About “Equestrian”?

5 of the Best English Jumping Saddles

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