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The 5 Very Best Western Saddle Pads for Your Horse

Last updated: May 1, 2023

By: Miles HenryFact Checked

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My friends and I often discuss horse tack, and each of us has our favorite styles and brands. From bridles to saddles, our preferences may differ, but one thing we can all agree on is the significance of a high-quality western saddle pad. Ensuring our horses’ comfort and peak performance is a top priority.

In this guide, I researched and compiled a list of the top 5 western saddle pads available today. These saddle pads stand out from the rest, offering exceptional quality, durability, and comfort for both horse and rider. Our selections are based on a variety of factors, including material, design, and user feedback.

Explore the best western saddle pads on the market and delve into what makes each one unique. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which saddle pad will be the perfect fit for your horse, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable ride every time.

Note: A friend suggested I try out his favorite saddle pad, the Toklat Premium SouthWest Western Saddle Pad. So I’m going to give it a try, and I’ll update this post with my thoughts.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Saddle Pad

When it comes to selecting the perfect saddle pad, there are several factors you should take into consideration. These factors ensure that you choose a pad that not only provides optimum comfort for your horse but also meets your specific needs as a rider.

Picture of a horse with a western saddle and western saddle pads.
Western saddle and pad

First, let’s talk about the material and quality of the saddle pad. The materials used can greatly impact the overall performance and longevity of the pad. Common materials include wool, felt, gel, and memory foam. Each material has its own unique benefits, so make sure to choose one that suits your horse’s needs and your personal preferences.

Next up is the thickness and cushioning of the saddle pad. While some riders prefer a thinner pad that allows for more contact with the horse, others might need a thicker pad to provide additional cushioning and shock absorption. Keep in mind that a pad that is too thick or too thin can cause discomfort for your horse, so finding the right balance is crucial.

Size and shape are also essential aspects to consider. A saddle pad should fit well under your saddle, covering the horse’s back without any excess material hanging over the edges. Be sure to measure your saddle and your horse’s back to ensure you select the right size pad.

Moisture-wicking and breathability play a significant role in keeping your horse comfortable during rides. A pad that wicks away sweat and allows for proper air circulation can help prevent your horse from overheating and developing sores or other skin issues.

Durability and maintenance are important factors as well. A high-quality saddle pad should be able to withstand regular use and cleaning. Look for pads that are easy to maintain and that have a reputation for lasting a long time.

Lastly, consider your budget and personal preferences. Saddle pads can vary in price, so be sure to set a budget that works for you. Additionally, consider factors such as color, pattern, and overall design when making your choice.

By taking all these factors into account, you can confidently select a saddle pad that will provide the best experience for both you and your horse.

5 Best Western Saddle Pads

Picture of Weaver leather contour pad,

Weaver Leather Contour Pad

The Weaver Leather Contour Pad is made with a high-quality wool blend material, which provides excellent comfort for your horse. Its contoured design conforms to the horse’s back, ensuring a snug fit. With moisture-wicking capabilities and a high-density foam insert for extra cushioning, this saddle pad offers an exceptional riding experience.

Pros and cons: Riders appreciate the excellent fit, durability, and suitability for various disciplines. However, some may find it thicker than their preference.

Price range: This saddle pad falls within the mid to high price range.

Best for: The Weaver Leather Contour Pad is perfect for riders seeking a reliable, long-lasting pad suitable for various riding disciplines while prioritizing horse comfort.

Picture of diamon wool contour felt ranch pad,

Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad

The Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad features 100% wool felt construction, providing natural moisture-wicking properties. Its contoured shape, reinforced with distressed leather, ensures a perfect fit while offering excellent shock absorption.

Pros and cons: This saddle pad is appreciated for molding to the horse’s back and providing comfort during long rides. However, it may require frequent cleaning to maintain its shape.

Price range: The Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad is available at a mid-price range.

Best for: This saddle pad is ideal for ranch work and trail riding, ensuring comfort for both horse and rider during long hours in the saddle.

Picture of ECP western saddle pad,

ECP Western Saddle Pad

The ECP Western Saddle Pad stands out with its memory foam inserts, ventilated mesh spine channel, and non-slip design. These features combine to offer customizable support, enhanced airflow, and a secure fit.

Pros and cons: Users enjoy the advanced technology and improved horse comfort this pad provides. However, some may find it too bulky.

Price range: This saddle pad is priced within the mid to high range.

Best for: The ECP Western Saddle Pad is suitable for riders seeking cutting-edge technology to improve horse comfort and performance during various riding activities.

To help you narrow down your search, I’ve reviewed the three best Western Saddle Pads.

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Tough 1 Pachanga Contour Wool Saddle

The Tough 1 Pachanga Contour Wool Saddle features 100% New Zealand wool construction, offering both style and functionality. With its contoured design and attractive patterns, this saddle pad not only looks great but also provides excellent support for your horse.

Pros and cons: Riders appreciate the stylish design, support, and easy-to-clean nature of this pad. However, some users have reported wear and tear with heavy use.

Price range: The Tough 1 Pachanga Contour Wool Saddle is available at a low to mid-price range.

Best for: This saddle pad is perfect for riders on a budget who still want a quality saddle pad with a touch of flair, making it suitable for various riding activities and events.

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5 Star – 1 1/8″ Extra Thick Rancher Western Saddle Pad

The 5 Star Extra Thick Rancher Western Saddle Pad boasts an extra-thick 100% wool felt construction and all-natural materials, ensuring superior shock absorption and durability. Its contoured design ensures a perfect fit for your horse, making it an ideal choice for riders who prioritize comfort and quality.

Pros and cons: This saddle pad is renowned for its excellent shock absorption, durability, and suitability for sensitive-backed horses. However, its higher price point may be a drawback for some riders.

Price range: The 5 Star Extra Thick Rancher Western Saddle Pad is available at a high price range.

Best for: This saddle pad is ideal for serious riders looking for top-of-the-line performance and quality, particularly for heavy-duty riding or horses with sensitive backs. Its premium construction ensures that both horse and rider can enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience, regardless of the discipline.

Check out this YouTube video that guides you through selecting the ideal saddle pad thickness.

YouTube video

Conclusion

Selecting the perfect western saddle pad is an essential step towards ensuring the comfort and well-being of your horse, as well as enhancing your riding experience. Our top 5 picks, including the Weaver Leather Contour Pad, Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad, ECP Western Saddle Pad, Tough 1 Pachanga Contour Wool Saddle, and the 5 Star Extra Thick Rancher Western Saddle Pad, offer a range of features, materials, and price points to cater to diverse rider preferences and horse requirements.

By considering factors such as material, thickness, size, moisture-wicking capabilities, durability, and budget, you can confidently choose a saddle pad that will provide an optimal riding experience for both you and your horse.

Picture of a paint horse with a western saddle and pad.
Western Saddle with pad

FAQ

What’s the difference between a saddle pad and a saddle blanket?

A saddle pad is a thick, cushioned pad that sits directly on the horse’s back to provide extra cushioning and protection. A saddle blanket, on the other hand, is a thinner and more decorative cloth that is placed over the saddle pad for additional protection and style.

Can you ride without a saddle pad?

Most Western saddles have padding, and if it fits your horse, it can be used without a pad, but it’s not advisable. A proper pad helps distribute weight, protects sensitive areas, and absorbs shock better than a saddle alone.