If you want to improve your comfort level and performance during trail riding, you want to purchase the best western saddle for trail riding. Saddle pads’ design allowed them to be right between your horse’s back and saddle. These pads allow you to absorb sweat while cushioning your saddle and protecting your horse’s back.
Furthermore, a good quality saddle pad on the other end dissipates heat and wicks moisture during rides to keep your horse cool and safe from premature exhaustion. To make it easy on you, we’ve compiled the 10 top picks for the best western saddle pad for trail riding – to help you find the ultimate choice.
1. Best Friend Western Style Bareback Saddle Pad
The Best Friend Western Style Bareback Saddle Pad features a synthetic suede top, which provides a better grip. Its non-slip bottom on the other end offers a high grip performance, preventing the pad from slipping while maintaining adequate breathability.
For cushioning and ample shock absorption, the saddle pad is filled with high-density foam to provide you with a comfortable ride. Its contoured cut on the other end delivers a personalized fit, covering all the appropriate areas. Side pockets fitted to the pad add convenience for storing items such as your water bottles. Plus, to help maintain hygiene, the saddle pad features an easy to clean fabric.
- Non-slip bottom for increased grip
- Foam padding for added cushioning
- Synthetic suede offers a stable seating surface
- Side pockets for storage convenience
- It doesn’t offer leg protection from the mid-thigh area
2. ECP Equine Comfort Products Correction Half Saddle Pad
Available in a choice of up to 9 different color options, the ECP Equine Comfort Products Correction Half Saddle Pad allows you to match your outfit with your riding gear. The saddle pad comes with four pockets – two at the front and two at the back, providing ample space for all your equipment. Furthermore, each pocket features three memory foam shims.
The memory foam shims allow you to customize the fit independently, whether at the back or front. This mechanism allows you to achieve pressure point relief with more effectiveness. Additionally, the saddle pad shims are contoured at the front and back so you can easily fit the saddle on your horse.
- Dual front and back pockets for convenient storage
- Pockets fitted with three memory foams which allow you independently adjust them for precise pressure point relief
- Available in 13 different color options
- Shock-absorbing foam inserts to prevent injuries
- It might be too small for some horses
3. ECP Diamond Quilted Correction Support Western Saddle Pad
The ECP Diamond Quilted Correction Support Western Saddle Pad features an adjustable memory foam design, allowing you to reposition them where you are most comfortable on your horse for optimal pressure point relief.
The temperature regulating saddle pad uses a moisture-wicking and breathable material, ensuring your horse remains fresh and comfortable throughout your trail riding adventures. Furthermore, the trail riding saddle pad fabric is hypoallergenic, protecting horses with sensitive skin. Two billet straps are fitted to the saddle pad to attach your saddle for safe riding securely.
- Contoured memory foam for front and rear placement to guarantee a personalized fit
- Specially designed for horses with saddle fit issues and sore points
- Two neat billet straps to securely mount the saddle
- Hypoallergenic material to prevent allergies
- Shoulder pad shims are not machine washable
4. ECP Correction All Purpose Contoured Saddle Pad
Built with memory foam packs, the ECP Correction All Purpose Contoured Saddle Pad easily contours to the shape of your horse. Thanks to this design, the pad allows for a comfortable saddle fit. The removable foam pads allow you to reposition them for a better feel individually and eliminate pressure points.
Alternatively, you can even choose to remove some of the pad inserts according to your needs for a more personalized and comfortable feel. The pads feature an ergonomic design that prevents them from being bulky to guarantee superior riding performance without any restrictions.
- 4 Velcro closure pockets to accommodate different pad insert placements
- Shock absorbing memory foam design to prevent from straining your horse
- Available in 11 different color options
- Streamlined pad design for reduced bulkiness and superior riding performance
- The pockets only fit specific pad sizes
5. 5 Star Horse Saddle Pad
Constructed from 100% virgin wool felt, the 5 Star Horse Saddle Pad offers comfort and cushioning whether you are a trail rider, Reiner, or roper – especially during cool weather. What makes this wool fabrication unique is that it combines heating and steaming processes to form a dense, flexible, and resilient fiber felt pad.
The wool felt pad offers incredible moisture absorbing and wicking properties to leave the saddle dry throughout the ride. Furthermore, the wicking nature of the saddle helps to dissipate heat to prevent excess build-up to ensure your horse remains fresh and comfortable as well. Additionally, you can also use the felt pads for compression on your saddles.
- High-quality construction delivers up to 2000+ hours of maximum riding protection
- Contoured fit to prevent slippage and eliminate cinching
- It offers up to three times more compression compared to other regular pads
- Designed to offer optimal weight distribution and impact resistance
- It takes time to dry when it accidentally gets wet
6. Weaver Leather Synergy Contoured Performance Saddle Pad
Integrating an orthopedic felt liner, the Weaver Leather Synergy Contoured Performance Saddle Pad works especially for those suffering from body aches and pain. The orthopedic felt liner comes in handy for such people as it adds an extra layer of comfort.
They feature impact-absorbing EVA sport foam, so the trail riding western saddle pad contours to the shape of your horse’s back for a more natural and comfortable fit. Thanks to the EVA foam construction, the pads offer increased breathability and airflow as well. Furthermore, the contoured saddle pad shape eliminates saddle rolls.
- Orthopedic felt wicks moisture away while absorbing shock
- Browntop grain leather construction for optimal durability
- EVA foam insert returns the pad to its original shape after use
- The pads conform to the shape of your horse’s back
- It doesn’t offer a very dependable grip
7. Weaver Leather 35-9307-H37 Contoured Saddle Pad
The Weaver Leather 5-9307-H37 Contoured Saddle Pad features Herculon toppers, which improve its performance. The Herculon material features a quick-drying profile, allowing it to withstand molding and mildew. It’s easy to clean profile allows you to maintain hygiene.
Furthermore, thanks to an ultra-durable build, the Herculon fabric toppers stay up for hours and hours during your trail rides. Underneath the saddle pad, a luxurious merino wool fleece adds cushioning to the pad. Plus, its moisture-wicking performance leaves you feeling comfortable throughout the day.
- Moisture-wicking merino wool fleece for added comfort
- Mold- and mildew-free Herculon toppers
- Its close contact fit makes it perfect for barrel racing
- Ergonomic design with intricate neckline for a personalized fit
- Taped rather than stitched toppers
8. Tough 1 EquiRoyal Square Quilted Cotton Comfort English Saddle Pad
Integrating a 100% cotton twill fabrication, the Tough 1 Saddle Pad ensures you are comfortable throughout the ride. The saddle pad offers a well-balanced and evenly distributed cushioning thanks to its micro non-removable patterned foam.
Furthermore, thanks to the 100% cotton twill fabrication, you will enjoy more benefits from this saddle pad. Additionally, the cotton twill pad resists creases and wrinkles for all-day performance. Furthermore, the cotton twill saddle pad can withstand dirt and stains for longer.
- 100% cotton twill pad delivers shock absorption
- Mini quilted diamond pattern for even cushioning
- Nylon girth and billet straps for a secure fit
- Cotton twill withstands creases and wrinkles
- The pads are a little thin
9. Weaver Leather Synergy Contoured Performance Saddle Pad
Measuring 33 inches long by 38 inches wide, the Weaver Leather Synergy Saddle pad offers just the right coverage for your horse. The saddle pad features a contoured leather spine that molds to the shape of your horse. Furthermore, the spine tapers to the center and lifts into a gullet for adequate air circulation.
A moisture-wicking merino wool fleece liner on the other end naturally wicks sweat away for the back of your horse to keep it cool. This wool liner works wonders for horses with sensitive skin. Additionally, the saddle pad features lightweight EVA foam inserts that deliver excellent shock absorption and offer extra ventilation to leave your horse comfortable.
- Natural wool liner wicks sweat away to cool the horse
- Merino wool liner is perfect for horses with sensitive skin
- EVA foam inserts for lightweight and incredible shock absorption
- Contoured leather spine lifts to form a saddle gullet for adequate airflow
- Slips from time to time
10. Professionals Choice El Dorado Air Ride Wool Pad
Featuring an Air Ride Core natural cooling system, the Professionals Choice El Dorado Air Ride Wool Pad lowers your horse’s body temperature to slow their rate of fatigue. So, to enjoy better trail riding performance, this wool saddle pad is the ultimate choice.
The wool pad offers excellent support to rides, thanks to its unique material. This material also allows the pad to contour to the shape of your horse’s back for optimum comfort. A felt bottom on the other end eliminates slippage risks and enhances durability.
- The saddle pad effectively absorbs shock while facilitating airflow
- Felt bottom prevents saddle slippage and enhances the saddle pad’s durability
- A natural cooling system lowers the horse’s body temperature and slows the rate of fatigue
- The padlocks on to the horse’s back for fill movement
- Cleaning is a little tricky
Buying Guide – How To Choose A Western Saddle Pad For Trail Riding
When choosing a western saddle pad for trail riding, it is essential to note its features. Doing so allows you to select the right option. In this guide, we share some of the essential features to examine.
Generally, the sizing of the saddle pad depends on your preferences and the size of your horse. However, this is not a feature you should concern yourself with so much. The critical thing is to know which part of the horse is off-limits to prevent the pad from interfering with your performance. Equine experts typically advise that you invest in a saddle pad that measures at least 32 inches long by 32 inches wide when unfolded.
Saddle pads improve saddle fitting and comfort. This function highly depends on its cushioning and padding abilities. Therefore, you want to pay attention to the thickness. A thick pad offers better cushioning; however, since it may not allow the saddle to rest on one point, it risks slippage.
A thinner pad on the other end may cause the same problem as it won’t correctly mold to the horse’s shape. Thus, you want the thickness to be balanced – not too thick and not too thin. While challenging in theory, it is easy to do. All you need to do is pick the right padding material.
Materials such as cotton, wool, gel foam, and memory foam are perfect for offering the right thickness to deliver ample cushioning and fit the horse’s back. Furthermore, these materials are known to be moisture-wicking and breathable, thus, ensuring that your horse remains fresh and comfortable throughout the ride.
In addition to the thickness, you want to examine the shape of the pad. For example, the Weaver Leather Synergy Contoured Performance Saddle Pad tapers to the center to form a gullet, allowing your horse to enjoy better airflow and circulation. You don’t want to invest in a pad that fully covers your horse’s back without facilitating enough circulation.
However, the shape doesn’t only impact air circulation. It also aids in providing extra stability and support if the design is appropriate. To enjoy this feature, you want a saddle pad that naturally contours to the shape of your horse’s back. This design prevents saddle slippage as well.
The material is another vital feature to look at when choosing the right trail riding western saddle. Some of the common materials used for the best western saddle pad for trail riding include cotton, polyester, and wool. These materials have qualities such as breathability and moisture-wicking capacity, preventing your horse from overheating.
Your trail riding western saddle pad should be moisture-wicking. A moisture-wicking pad effectively wicks away sweat and moisture to leave the surface dry and cool. Generally, you can gauge your saddle pad’s moisture-wicking performance by looking at both the outer material and inner lining. Typically, materials such as polyester, fleece, and felt offer incredible breathability and moisture-wicking qualities.
Care And Maintenance
To prolong the durability of your saddle pad, you must know how to care for it properly. To clean your saddle pad, use a curry comb to remove dirt, sweat, and horsehair from the surface of the pad. Then, use a portable vacuum to suck in the dirt and residue.
During the vacuuming process, to prevent the pad’s shape, flatten it on an ample and flat surface. Then, use a hose to spray the pad on either surface side and then allow it to hang dry on a saddle or blanket rack. You want to ensure that you have correctly set it to prevent damaging its shape. Always allow the pad to dry because adding it to a dryer may damage the pad.
For saddle pads with removable pad inserts, if you don’t want to wash the entire pad, you can remove the pads then machine-wash the covers. To protect the covers, wash them in a gentle cycle with cool water and mild detergent.
Never toss the entire pad inside the washer, as this may damage the edges. Instead, brush off the dirt on the surface. Additionally, to maintain your saddle pad’s quality, make sure you store it in a dry and cool place with no excess moisture.
Quality And Durability
It is not easy to gauge the quality and durability of your saddle pad. Instead, you can look at several features such as the choice of materials and design (such as shape contour and ventilation) to determine whether or not the saddle pad is of good quality.
In addition to its features, your saddle pad’s durability is affected by how you maintain it. Thus, if you want it to last longer, you want to care for it properly. Furthermore, another great way to gauge your saddle pad’s quality and durability is by going through real customer reviews from trusted sites and sources.
A couple of reviews in, you will understand more about the quality of your pad. Generally, the best western saddle pad for trail riding should last anywhere between five to eight years. After that, even if you don’t notice any deterioration, it is highly advised to replace the pad with a new one to guarantee quality.
Q: What Do I Focus On When Choosing A Western Saddle Pad For Trail Riding?
A: Generally, you want to focus on the pad’s thickness and material because failure to choose the right thickness and material will affect the pad, preventing it from remaining securely in place and providing adequate ventilation, respectively.
Q: How Thick Should My Western Trail Riding Saddle Pad Be?
A: The thickness is affected by how heavy you travel. For example, if you and your travel gear weigh more than 200 lbs., you want the saddle pad to be at least 7/8 to 1-inch thick. If you and your gear weigh less than 200 lbs., a 7/8 inch thick pad is okay. Keep in mind. However, the terrain also affects your choice of pad. Even under 200 lbs., you may still need to get an inch thick pad when riding on mountainous and rough terrain.
Q: Can A Saddle Pad Be Too Long?
A; No, a saddle pad shouldn’t be too long. Long saddles may easily rub against the horse’s hips and cause abrasions and discomfort. Additionally, a long and heavy saddle may also be moved back and forth by your horse/s hind legs.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Saddle Pad And A Saddle Blanket?’
A: Saddle pads and saddle blankets work with interchangeability in mind. Both create an extra layer of padding between the horse’s back and saddle to prevent your horse from being uncomfortable. Placing a saddle directly on your horse’s back will quickly pick up dirt while overheating and hurting the horse.
Q: What Saddle Pad Material Keeps A Horse Coolest?
A: Wool material is favored when it comes to being highly breathable and moisture-wicking. A cooling saddle pad prevents your horse from overheating, thus, preventing them from collapsing due to exhaustion.
Q: What Are Half Pads Designed For Anyways?
A: Half pads are for English riding, and just like regular saddle pads, they cushion the layer between your horse’s back and the saddle. However, they are versatile, allowing you to adjust them to fix minor issues with saddle fit.
The best western saddle pad for trail riding doesn’t only improve your comfort and support when trail riding. These pads also offer adequate air circulation, preventing your horse from overheating and collapsing from exhaustion. In short, these saddle pads will improve your performance during trail riding. So, pick your favorite unit from the list above to begin enjoying trail horse riding to the maximum.