Saddle Pads

Square saddle pads | Eurofit Saddle Pads | Numnahs | Half Pads | Baroque Pads | Trekking Saddle Pads | Western Saddle Pads | Endurance Saddle Pads | Treeless Saddle Pads | HKM Saddle Pads | Lauria Garrelli | Saddle Pad Types | How to Order | About Mattes | Measuring your saddle pad | Saddle Pad Care | FAQ |  

Saddle pads were originally designed to protect the saddle from sweat and horse hair and to provide a barrier between the horse and the saddle leather, wicking away sweat and keeping the saddle area cool.

In modern times, the saddle pad is still an integral part of a horse’s tack but is also designed to look fashionable and compliment current horse and rider styles.

Pink Equine is renowned for its bespoke range of colour co-ordinated horse tack. Our attention to detail, personalized shopping experience, and bespoke manufacture enable customers to harmonise their look and we have now found a saddle pad manufacturer E A Mattes, who matches our own high standards and whose saddle pads fit seamlessly with our bridle work enabling you to create a complete matching collection for your horse.

Mattes saddle pads are famous for their wide range of colours, rope trims and bindings available. You can choose from 39 different shades in the cotton and cotton sheen quilts and 16 colours in the velvet. You can choose up to 3 rows of rope trims with a choice of over 40 different colours and over 50 different colours of binding, as well as 33 different colours of sheepskin.

Browse our Saddle Pad Collections

Are Mattes saddlepads expensive?

Mattes pads are not as expensive as you think. A standard cotton saddle pad costs as little as £59.99. Bearing in mind the quality of the materials used and the technical design and manufacturing process, this compares very favorably to many other well-known brands. The bespoke nature, quality shape, and fit of Mattes saddle pads are undeniable and if cared for, will last for years, making them an extremely cost-effective purchase.

What types of saddle pads do we sell?

In addition to the Mattes bespoke range, we also stock a colourful range of HKM diamante pads with a border trim of clear crystals and the Lauria Garrelli Golden Gate range of 14 different coloured pads made from silky polyester material with matching rope trims.

We have a wide range of saddle pads available in a variety of bespoke styles and sizes to suit all types of equestrian disciplines, from All Purpose saddle pads, Jumping saddle pads, Dressage saddle pads, and Sheepskin half pads to Western saddle pads, Icelandic saddle pads, Endurance and Treeless saddle pads not forgetting long-distance trekking saddle pads.

Mattes Saddle Pad Styles Western
Mattes Western Pad Styles
Mattes Jumping Saddle Pad Styles
Mattes Dressage Saddle Pad Styles
Mattes All Purpose Saddle Pad Styles
Mattes Icelandic Pad Styles
Mattes Icelandic Saddle Pad Styles
Mattes Endurance Pad Style
Mattes Endurance Saddle Pad Style
Mattes Treeless Saddle Pad Style

Square Saddle Pad

As the name suggests, this pad is a classic square shape, available as a general-purpose (all-purpose) pad, a slightly deeper dressage saddle pad, or a little shorter to accommodate show-jumping saddles. The square pad is offered in Pony, Cob, Full and Extra Full sizes. (see sizing below). You can choose from standard cotton, cotton sheen, or luxurious velvet quilts with or without sheepskin front and rear as well as the underside if required.

  • Back Length (all styles): Pony (47cm), Cob (54cm), Full (58cm), Extra Full (62cm)
  • Depth All Purpose: Pony (46.5cm), Cob (49.5cm), Full (51.5cm), Extra Full (51.5cm)
  • Depth Jumping: Pony (47cm), Cob (48cm), Full (50cm), Extra Full (50cm)
  • Depth Dressage: Pony (50cm), Cob (53cm), Full (56cm), Extra Full (56cm)
Square Velvet Dressage Saddle Pad

Eurofit Saddle pad

The Eurofit pad is European in style, with more of a curved profile. It is more shaped than the square pad, but not as much as a numnah. Like the square pad, the Eurofit pad is available in general purpose, Dressage, or Jumping patterns and is also made from cotton, cotton sheen, or velvet quilt. The Eurofit pad is also offered in Pony, Cob, Full, and Extra Full Sizes and the option of sheepskin if required.

  • Back Length (all styles): Pony (47cm), Cob (54cm), Full (58cm), Extra Full (62cm)
  • Depth All Purpose: Pony (46.5cm), Cob (49.5cm), Full (51.5cm), Extra Full (51.5cm)
  • Depth Jumping: Pony (47cm), Cob (48cm), Full (50cm), Extra Full (50cm)
  • Depth Dressage: Pony (50cm), Cob (53cm), Full (56cm), Extra Full (56cm)
Eurofit Saddle Pad

Numnah

The Numnah is carefully shaped to follow the exact contours of your saddle, so it’s important to choose the right styles to accommodate General Purpose, Dressage, or Jumping saddles. The Numnah looks amazing with sheepskin front and rear, you can choose from Pony, Cob, Full, and Extra Full and cotton, cotton sheen, or velvet as the quilt material.

  • Back Length (all styles): Pony (47cm), Cob (54cm), Full (58cm), Extra Full (62cm)
  • Depth All Purpose: Pony (46.5cm), Cob (49.5cm), Full (51.5cm), Extra Full (51.5cm)
  • Depth Jumping: Pony (47cm), Cob (48cm), Full (50cm), Extra Full (50cm)
  • Depth Dressage: Pony (50cm), Cob (53cm), Full (56cm), Extra Full (56cm)
Numnah

Half pads

The half pad is as the name suggests half the size of a normal pad. It is not designed to replace a full saddle pad but is normally used in addition to one. It is helpful to horses that need more cushioning and support but is not as bulky as using two normal-size pads together.

For riders who use a combination of half pad and saddle pad. The velcro straps on the saddle pad can be replaced with slits on either side. The straps on the half pad can now be fed through the button hole slits in the saddle pad, securing the two pads together.  Sheepskin half pads are also available in General Purpose, Dressage, or Jumping styles and in cotton, cotton sheen, or velvet quilts. Sizes are Pony, Cob, Full, and Extra Full

  • Back Length (all styles): Pony (47cm), Cob (54cm), Full (58cm), Extra Full (62cm)
  • Depth: Pony (20cm), Cob (21.5cm), Full (21.5cm), Extra Full (23.5cm)

Half Pad

Western Saddle Pads

Traditional western saddles do not have any padding in the seating area and so a thicker saddle pad is necessary, which means that most customers order a fully lined sheepskin western pad. In the standard range of pads, the sheepskin is not detachable, whereas, in the Rio Pecos western saddle pad, the sheepskin can be easily detached for ease of washing. Western Saddle blankets are available in four styles, and in small, medium, large, extra large and XXL sizes.

Western Round saddle pad
Western California saddle pad
Western Performer saddle pad
Western Square saddle pad
  • Back Length (all styles): Small (65cm), Medium (70cm), Large (75cm), Extra Large (80cm) XXL (85cm)
  • Depth: (all styles): (36cm) as standard with (40cm) and (45cm) available on request
Western Saddle pad Measurements

Endurance Saddle Pads

Endurance riding is the sport of competitive long-distance riding and is very popular in many parts of the world. Distances covered vary from the entry-level of 16km right through to 160km in a day.

Endurance saddles are made to be light as any additional weight can slow the horse down. The cut of the endurance saddle pad takes into account the extra wide and long saddle padding of endurance saddles built on an English-style tree. Endurance saddle pads are available in Cob and Full sizes, with or without sheepskin and in cotton, cotton sheen or velvet quilts.

  • Back Length (all styles): Cob (62cm), Full (67cm)
  • Depth : Cob (49cm), Full (54cm)
Endurance saddle pad

Treeless Saddle Pads

Treeless saddles have gained in popularity over the years and Mattes have a range of treeless saddle pads to match. Developed to ensure a correct seat in a treeless saddle. These pads absorb shocks, reduce pressure and ensure that the spine can move freely with SPINEFREE®. Lambskin helps to regulate the temperature all year round. Like all other Mattes pads, the treeless pad is available in cotton, cotton sheen and velvet and in two sizes cob and full.

  • Back Length (all styles): Cob (62cm), Full (67cm)
  • Depth : Cob (49cm), Full (54cm)
Treeless Saddle Pad

Trekking Saddle Pads

If you love hacking out, trekking along bridle paths, or even long-distance riding, then the Mattes trekking saddle pad is definitely for you. Based on a standard square pad, Mattes has incorporated two large pockets, allowing you to safely carry food and drink, your mobile phone, credit card, and even a small first aid kit.

The carefully designed pad means that the pockets don’t interfere with your legs or the control of your horse and feature an easy-to-open clip design. Even if you are just out for a leisurely ride, having pockets on your saddle pad, will certainly make life easier for you.

The trekking saddle pad is available in sizes S, M, L and XL. As with all Mattes Pads, you are free to choose the design of the outer side: without lambskin padding, with lambskin padding and trim at the front, with lambskin padding and trim at the back and with lambskin padding and trim at the front and back.

  • Back Length (all styles): Small (47cm), Medium (54cm), Large (58cm), Extra Large (62cm)
  • Depth: Small (46.5cm), Medium (49.5cm), Large (51.5cm), Extra Large (51.5cm)
Trekking Saddle Pad

Baroque Saddle Pads

The name Baroque is a bit misleading as this style did not come from the Baroque period. The name was given probably because of the ornate appearance and intricate designs of many of the saddles. If you have even watched the beautiful features of a Spanish breed horse, such as a Friesian, Andalusian or Lipizzaner performing classical movements, they were probably using a baroque style saddle.

Baroque saddle pads were fashioned to flatter the beautiful features of the baroque-style saddle. This particular pad was designed to fit English Saddles, although it can be ordered for the ornate Spanish Saddles if required, the Spanish style is a little longer and comes with an underside sheepskin option only. The Baroque pad is available in cotton, cotton sheen, or velvet, dressage or all-purpose styles and in Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large.

  • Back Length (all styles): Small (47cm), Medium (54cm), Large (58cm), Extra Large (62cm)
  • Main Pad Depth (excluding skirt) – All Purpose: Small (46.5cm), Medium (49.5cm), Large (51.5cm), Extra Large (51.5cm)
  • Main Pad Depth (excluding skirt) – Dressage: Small (50cm), Medium (53cm), Large (56cm), Extra Large (56cm)
Baroque Saddle Pad

Popular Saddle Pads


How to order a Saddle Pad from Pink Equine

It is very easy to order a saddle pad from us. If it is an in-stock item, find the right size and simply add it to the cart, then complete the checkout process.

If the saddle pad is bespoke, choose the style of saddle pad you require (dressage square, sheepskin half pad, all-purpose saddle cloth etc), and decide on the type of quilt fabric (cotton, cotton sheen or velvet) and begin using the online software begin designing your saddle pad.

You can view your design and check if you are happy with the choice of colours, sheepskin, rope trims and whether you wish to include any extras such as “Saddle Fix”, or the Mattes Correction System. Once you are happy with the design and all the features you require, add your composition to the cart (If you create an account you can save the image and the order details) and begin the checkout process as normal. We sell saddle pads worldwide and are always happy to assist with any queries, from any timezone, or in any language.


About Mattes Pads

What makes E A Mattes Saddle Pads unique?

Whilst Mattes are renowned for the bespoke nature of its saddle pads, what makes Mattes unique is its functional saddle pad design. Saddle pads are made with a quilt, manufactured using a superior cotton twill fabric, the kind used in heavy-duty work clothing.

Inside the quilt where flexibility and durability are important is a double layer of POLYFLEX®. POLYFLEX® is a polyester non-woven felt fabric that is created through a more technical felting process. The felt is punched with a specially designed felting needle, one that has small barbs on the end. The barbs catch the polyester fibres pulling them through on themselves and inter-tangling the fibres together to create the felt fabric.

Polyester felt, is far superior to other materials such as memory foam, neoprene, or gel, because it retains its shape under continuous pressure. The result is a naturally breathable quilt material, firm enough to keep its shape over time and one that does not create pressure points for the horse.

All versions of Mattes saddle pad are available in Cotton, Cotton Sheen or Luxurious Velvet quilts. The cotton quilt is 180g/m2 and the cotton sheen and velvet are 400g/m2. Both cotton twill and velvet fabrics are blended to ensure that the colour does not fade, even after the pad has been washed or cleaned many times. The shape of each saddle pad is also anatomically correct, with a high wither cut, so that there is no pressure on the wither area.

Mattes Cotton Quilt
Mattes Cotton Quilt Fabric
Cotton Sheen Quilt Fabric
Mattes Cotton Sheen Quilt Fabric
Mattes velvet quilt
Mattes Velvet Quilt Fabric

Whilst available without, we highly recommend sheepskin on your Mattes saddle pad. Choose from the front only, or front and rear, with the option of semi-lined, or as a stripe on the underside seat. The sheepskin is available in a choice of 33 different colours.

What Mattes Sheepskin choices are available?

Sheepskin Style Front Stripe with Front Top Sheepskin
Front with Underside Stripe
Sheepskin Style Front Stripe with Front Rear Top Sheepskin
Front and Rear with Underside Stripe
Sheepskin Style Front Seat with Front Top Sheepskin
Front and Rear with Underside Seat
Sheepskin Style Front Stripe underside Sheepskin Only
Underside Stripe
Sheepskin Style Underside Seat Only
Underside Seat Only
Top Sheepskin Front and Rear Only
Front and Rear Trim Only
Front Sheepskin Trim Only
Front Trim Only

Merino Lambskins are generally recognised as the most superior material used in horse products. Merino wool is renown for its fine fibres that are extremely dense and resilient.

Mattes have strict criteria and only the best skins are selected by special pickers who have been trained
in-house. Unlike synthetic sheepskin on cheaper saddle pads, natural wool has a very open composition, which means that air can flow easily between the fibres and regulate the temperature evenly over the skin, making it ideal in both summer and winter.

The wool can absorb up to eight times its own weight in moisture before it feels at all wet and the resilient nature of the fibre is perfect for even pressure distribution.

E A Mattes has put a great deal of thought into their saddle pad composition, allowing customers to choose from several clever systems that have been designed to assist the horse and rider, such as “Saddle Fix”, “SPINE-FREE®”, “Mattes MER system”, “EWWA Spine”, “PM System” and the notable “Mattes CORRECTION® system”

What is Mattes saddle fix?

The Mattes saddle fix system is an original safe and quick fastener system, attaching the saddle pad to the gullet of the saddle. This allows your saddle to remain perfectly straight and secure at all times.

The front clip fastens to the pommel, whilst the rear clip fastens to the cantle. This keeps the pad securely in place and leaves no marks on the saddle. The center of the saddle pad lodges high in the gullet to allow complete freedom of the spine.

The system itself runs underneath the pad emerging through two slits in the spine. Hooks at both ends grip the saddle and hold the pad in place. The saddle fix system is adjustable for all saddle sizes and allows accurate fastening of combinations of half pad with either an under-pad or a top-pad. When using the saddle fix, make sure that it is checked and tightened before riding. Saddle Fix can be used with the Mattes CORRECTION® system and SPINE-FREE®.

Saddle Fix System Rear
Saddle Fix Fitting
Saddle Fix System Front

What is SPINE-FREE®?

Mattes combines an understanding of how materials interact with each other and expertise in equine anatomy. The result is saddle pads that specifically follow the contours of the horse’s back, ensuring a perfect fit underneath the saddle.

The patented SPINE-FREE® design plus the use of a single hide removes the possibility of seams or fabric coming into contact with the horse’s back. The spine-free channel prevents any pressure or tension in the wither area, or along the horse’s spine. This combination prevents rubbing, sore spots or pressure.

What is the Mattes MER system?

The MER system is a set of special fixing points front and back on your Mattes saddle pad, allowing you to attach a front bib, a quarter sheet or both.

The front and rear sheets are made from a high-quality fleece and can be colour matched to your saddle pad with a choice of trims, piping and embroidery, perfect for exercising your horse in colder weather, easily removable.

The horse sheets are available in a variety of lengths and allow the horse and rider full freedom of movement.

Mattes Mer System
Mattes Mer System

What is mattes EWWA spine?

If your horse has wide withers, Mattes saddle pad’s have an extra wide wither option with a larger cut out where the sheepskin has been removed to ensure there is no additional pressure on the spine or withers, this does mean that on half pads the pad itself is finished a little deeper than the regular spine free option.

What is Mattes PM system?

The PM System was developed in conjunction with Peter Menet, designer of Amerigo and Vega Saddles, for riders who use a combination of half pad and saddle pad. The billet straps on the saddle pad have been replaced with slits on either side. The billet straps on the half pad can now be fed through the button hole slits in the saddle pad, securing the two pads together.

What is the Mattes CORRECTION® System?

The Mattes CORRECTION® System is a set of single or multi pockets built into your saddle pad, which enables the insertion of shims to assist with maintaining balance and straightness for horses that may change their shape throughout the year. Both single and multi-pocket systems can be integrated into all Mattes pads.

The system has been used to aid changes in the shape of young horses due to their rapid development during training, also for fully trained horses, who are naturally prone to change shape, and to correct problems in a horse build, for example, unequal sides, as well as back issues caused by age.

E A Mattes CORRECTION® System consists of a single or double pocket on either side of the pad (on western saddles there is a choice of one or three pockets). Each pocket comes with a choice of a single or double bag of shims and each bag contains 3x 5mm thick POLY-FLEX ® felt inserts (known as shims).

The construction of the shim closely matches the padding of a new wool and horsehair saddle and is designed to be layered. The shims are easily trimmed with scissors to taper the end, creating a pressure-free fit. This enables the rider to adjust the saddle position by up to 30mm on each side. As the horse’s shape changes shims can be added or removed as required.

The Single pocket is suited to correct the issue of bridging saddles, which is a common problem in not only Western saddles but English ones as well.

Double Pocket Shims
Double Pocket Shims (4 pockets, 2 each side)
Single Pocket Shims
Single Pocket Shims 2 pockets, 1 each side)
Western Triple Pocket Shims
Western Triple Pocket Shims (6 pockets, 3 each side)
Western Single Pocket Shims
Western Single Pocket Shims (2 pockets, 1 each side)

Measuring your saddle pad

The shape and size of your saddle will determine the size and cut of your saddle pad. For example, if you ride dressage in a dressage saddle, you will need a dressage cut saddle pad, similarly jumping and if you ride in an all purpose saddle, you will need an all-purpose pad.

The key measurement is the length of the contact area of the saddle (including the saddle’s padding) on the horse’s back. The easiest way to do this is by turning over your saddle and using a flexible tape measure (such as a dressmakers tape measure) to measure along an imaginary line down the gullet, starting at the front edge of the padding (marked A on the diagram), all the way back until you reach the rear edge of the saddle padding (marked B on the diagram).

Ensure that the tape is taut and add at least 6cm to the measurement. This is the minimum back length for your saddle pad. Compare your measurement with our measurement table and choose the closest matching size (Please bear in mind when choosing a pad that quoted sizes for saddle pads may vary by +/-2cm and that pads may shrink by up to 5% when washed).

measuring a saddle pad 

Saddle Pad Care

A Mattes saddle pad is an investment and with proper care and attention, you will be able to enjoy your saddle pad for many years to come. In fact, you should only need to change your saddle pad when you fall in love with another colour scheme, because let’s face it, you can never have enough saddle pads!!

There is no getting away from the fact, that your saddle pad works hard wicking away horse sweat and picking up dirt and horse hair. To ensure your pad continues to function correctly and looks great for many years, you will need to wash it regularly. In fact, Mattes encourage you to wash your pad as they benefit from a routine washing regime. All Mattes sheepskin pads include a bottle of their special detergent called MELP. The ingredients help the removal of dirt and horsehair and are even used in the lambskin production process.

Regular washing not only removes detritus but also sebum and ammonia, which if not cleaned can break down the sheepskin fibres. Thorough drying, preferably in a tumble dryer, ensures that your fleece is fluffy and your pad is clean and dry.

Step by Step process to wash and dry your sheepskin saddle pad


Mattes saddle pad washing instructions

If you don’t have the “extra water” option on your washing machine, it is recommended that you add an extra three or four litres of water to the machine, by pulling out the detergent drawer and pouring the water into it. Do not use an iron on your pad as this will almost certainly damage it.

Once your pad is dry it should be stored somewhere clean and dry and out of direct sunlight. Ideally, the pad should be hung on a saddle stand or something that the pad can be hung over so that it retains its natural shape. If you have any questions on the care of your saddle pad, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our Latest Saddle Pads


Saddle Pad Infographic

FAQ’s

What is a saddle pad?

Historically a saddle pad was literally a piece of cloth material (hence the name saddle cloth) that was placed on the horse’s back when it was being ridden. This was before the invention of saddles and it is not really known whether the saddle cloth was designed to soak up horse sweat, or purely as decoration. Over time saddle cloths were filled with additional padding, more than likely due to the invention of the saddle, to provide a protective barrier between horse and saddle.

Traditional saddle pads were square and designed to protect the horse’s back and the saddle, as well as soak up the sweat, and prevent the saddle rubbing. Today, saddle pads or saddlecloths are manufactured in a wide variety of designs and shapes, depending on the discipline and type of saddle. For example, dressage riders will use a dressage-shaped pad and western riders use a western saddle pad or cinch as they are known.

Both modern and established materials are still used in the construction process, from traditional cotton and sheepskin, or lambskin, to synthetic fibers such as polyester or poly-cotton blends, memory foam, and gel-like substances.

There are lots of very cheap saddle pads for sale, but a cheaper pad can be a false economy because of the inferior materials used in the construction process. We believe a good saddle pad should be permeable, absorb sweat, prevent rubbing, provide a good foundation for the saddle, assist the horse and rider balance, be easy to clean and maintain, and finally look stylish.

Why do you need a saddle pad?

In a perfect world, a well-fitting saddle should only require a thin cotton saddle cloth to perform the simple functions of a barrier between the leather of the saddle and the horse’s sweat and hair. However, none of us lives in a perfect world and reality dictates a different outcome. There are a number of reasons for buying a good quality saddle pad.

  • If your horse changes shape over the course of the year and a once well-fitting saddle may need some adjustment. A good quality saddle pad can help to alleviate the change in shape.
  • It may be that you use one saddle for several different horses and as the shape of each horse is different a saddle pad is needed again to help with the different shapes of the horse.
  • If your saddle moves a saddle pad can prevent rubbing. Remember pressure itself is not such a problem, but pressure with lateral movement can cause major discomfort and even damage!
  • I am just going to come out and say it. A good quality saddle pad looks good under the saddle. Fashion (even equestrian fashion) plays an important psychological role in our lives too. If you and your horse look good and feel good this certainly impacts your self-esteem and confidence positively.
What saddle pads for horses are there?

There are many different types of saddle pads for horses, covering many different disciplines, in a bewildering array of colours, shapes and sizes. All Purpose saddle pads, Jumping saddle pads, Dressage saddle pads, Pony Saddle Pads, Numnahs, Half Pads, Western Saddle Pads, Treeless Saddle Pads, Endurance saddle pads, Trekking Saddle Pads and Baroque saddle pads to name a few. Scroll to the top of this page, for specific details on the type of pads we offer.

Which saddle pad fits my horse?

Saddle pads can be selected according to their size, shape, and materials used. Saddle Pad sizes normally range from Pony and Cob to Full, and Extra Full, although small ponies and Shetlands can also be catered for. Sizes are calculated by the length and depth of the saddle pad.

These can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it’s important to check your measurements. Saddle pad shapes vary according to the type of saddle you are using and the type of discipline you are riding. For example, someone who is a leisure rider and likes to do a bit of jumping would choose a General Purpose pad. Dressage riders would choose a dressage saddle pad, as they are made deeper to account for the saddle flaps. Western-style saddle pads are longer and thinner to accommodate western saddle styles. Baroque breed horse owners use a saddle pad that is more pointed in style.

Saddle pads are available as squares, numnahs, or half pads. There are also special saddle pads for endurance riders and those with treeless saddles. The price of synthetic materials is much lower than natural ones and synthetic saddle pads are relatively inexpensive. However, the cushioning effect is not as good, doesn’t last as long, and doesn’t absorb sweat, as well as natural materials.

How are saddle pads maintained properly?

Saddle pads should be brushed and washed on a regular basis. The underside of the saddle pad should be brushed with a hard brush or sweat scraper, to remove all the old horse hair. Saddle pads are designed to soak up horse sweat and this will need to be washed out of the pad.

The frequency of washes will depend on how much the saddle pad is used. You should always read the manufacturer’s label or enclosed product care instructions before proceeding. Mattes saddle pads can be machine washed or hand washed at below 30 °C. Always use a liquid detergent and never a powder one or a fabric softener.

If your pad has sheepskin, the wool should be brushed to remove any horsehair, dried sweat, or dirt. It can also be washed. A special cleaning fluid called MELP is included with all Mattes saddle pads. MELP has re-greasing properties, helping to restore the elasticity of wool, leather, and textile materials used in their products.

Once the pad is clean, allow it to dry naturally (not in direct sunlight). It should be thoroughly dry before use and if the material is a little stiff, it can be kneaded to soften it again. Saddle pads should be stored on top of the saddle wool side up.

It is important that you care for your saddle pad, as you would your saddle and leather work. Caring for your saddle pad will ensure that it remains in a good condition for longer and continue to fulfil the role of providing cushioning between the horse’s back and the saddle.

How is the saddle pad supposed to fit?

First and foremost the saddle pad should fit the type of saddle and so you need to know the type of saddle before purchasing a saddle pad. All-purpose, jumping and dressage saddles are designed and shaped to assist the particular discipline. The length, depth, and shape of saddles differ and you will need to find a corresponding saddle pad.

Saddle pads should be 5 – 7 cm longer (at the front and back) than your saddle. If your saddle pad is too short, it may cause the saddle to slip, cause pressure points, or even rub against the horse. If the saddle pad is too long it can bunch up and cause movement problems.

A well-fitting saddle pad should be anatomically correct, the perimeter should be larger than the footprint of the saddle. The pad should be able to mould itself to the shape of the horse’s back, whilst retaining that shape under continuous pressure. The materials should be of good quality and have the highest levels of absorbability to prevent rubbing. A good saddle pad will provide a frictionless cushion between the horse and the saddle.

What is the difference between a saddle pad and a numnah?

Saddle pads and numnahs both serve the same purpose and are made from the same materials. The difference between the two is that a saddle pad is a square or rectangular shape, whereas the numnah is shaped to follow the contours of the saddle.

The decision to opt for a saddle pad or a numnah is really down to personal choice, although it has been argued that with less material visible, a numnah may be a better option during warmer weather. A numnah can be used in every English riding discipline, except dressage, where a square saddle pad is required.

What does GP stand for in saddle pads?

The GP in saddle pads stands for General Purpose (also known as All Purpose) and as the name suggests were specifically designed to fit under a general purpose saddle, for leisure riders who wanted to do a bit of every discipline, schooling, hacking, dressage, or jumping, but who didn’t own a specific saddle for each discipline. General Purpose saddles and saddle pads are the most commonly used amongst horse owners.

How are Western pads measured?

Turn your Western Saddle over and measure along the spine front to back adding 6 – 7 cms to the measurement. For example, a large western saddle pad measures 75cm (30inches).

What is the best thickness for a saddle pad?

The best thickness for a saddle pad depends on the type of saddle. English saddles contain flock material (padding) that is designed to distribute the weight of the saddle and rider evenly, reducing the need for a very thick saddle pad.

Western Saddles have no padding, and therefore a thicker saddle pad or saddle blanket is required. Top-quality western saddle pads include a natural sheepskin layer. Depending on the saddle pad, many western riders look for a pad that is between ¾ and 1 inch thick. English saddle pads range from 4mm – 10mm (more if the pad is lined with sheepskin).

Can your saddle pad be too thick?

Research has proved that the thickness of a saddle pad can influence the pressure on a horse’s back and that the thicker the saddle pad, the lower the pressure.

However, a saddle pad that is too fat can cause the saddle to sit too firmly over the trapezius muscle (this is the muscle that sits behind the shoulder blade) inducing soreness. It can also be responsible for a decline in blood supply to the muscles and if not rectified may end up encouraging muscle wastage and a loss of performance.

How often should you replace a saddle pad?

Ask any horse-obsessed person and they will argue that you can never own enough saddle pads! Saddle pads and numnahs should be replaced if they are ripped, worn out, or not fit for the purpose they were intended. There is no hard and fast rule and it will very much depend on how often you ride.

Is felt or wool saddle pad better?

Felt can be 100% synthetic and made from nylon, polyester, or rayon, it can be a blended felt, containing a mixture of polyester, and natural wool, or it can be made from 100% natural wool. Out of the three types of felt, the 100% wool version is softer, more pliable, and better at wicking away sweat and dissipating heat.

There are only two natural materials that will truly cool a horse they are cotton and wool. The cooling takes effect when the cotton or wool soaks away the sweat. Out of these two materials, wool is the winner, because it can absorb up to eight times its own weight in moisture before it feels at all wet and the resilient nature of the fibre is perfect for pressure distribution.

It is important to note that chemicals in a horse’s sweat can break down natural fleece, causing it to become unstable, so it is important that you ensure your wool saddle pad is properly cared for.

How do I choose a saddle pad?

1. What type of saddle do you ride in? Dressage, Jumping, Western, Endurance, Treeless, or General Purpose. Your choice of saddle pad should correspond with the type of saddle.
2. Decide if you want a square-shaped saddle pad or a numnah.
3. Measure an existing pad from front to back along the spine. If you don’t have an existing saddle pad, measure the length underneath the saddle from front to back and add 5 – 7cm to each end.
4. Check your measurement against the manufacturer’s measurement tables to find the closest fit.
5. Decide if you want a sheepskin trim, front only, front and rear, or front, rear, and underside.
6. Finally choose your favourite colour and trim.

How do I know what size saddle pad I need?

Measure the spine along your existing saddle pad from front to back, or if you don’t own a saddle pad, measure the length of your saddle from front to back adding 5 – 7 cms at each end to the final measurement. Compare the measurement with the saddle pad manufacturer’s measurement tables and choose the closest fitting saddle pad.

How many inches is a full saddle pad?

Measurement will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but our full-size saddle pads are 22.8inches in spine length.