The best riding saddle pads in 2023
Are you planning to change your riding saddle pad? But which one to choose and at what price?
Indeed, many brands offer to ride mats at different prices. Did you know that there are many rugs in other materials that could help guide you in your choice?
What is a saddle pad for? The mat is used to protect your horse from possible friction from the saddle and thus protect your saddle from moisture. It is because leather saddles do not appreciate water so much, and you could damage it. Therefore, depending on the frequency of your practice and your horse’s needs, you will more or less go towards a specific type of product and particular subjects.
Our top 10 riding mats
- The classic dressage: Felix Bühler saddle pad.
- The mixed classic: Octagon saddle pad, saddlecloth.
- The sportsman: Evolutionhorse saddle pad, Regular sport GP / JUMP square.
- Aesthetics: Alsportswear brand saddle pad
- For hiking: Ronzon’ Woolridge’s saddle pad, wool felt.
- Comfort +: “Lemieux” brand saddle pad, luxury season close contact.
- The cheapest: Saddle pad of the brand “Equi theme.”
- The excellent comfort ++: Saddle pad of the brand “Lemieux” with a lining in genuine lambskin
- The most expensive: Saddle pad of the brand “D Christ”, Special
- Pony size: “Eskadron” brand saddle pad, classic Sport SS20
After this little overview of our selection, you will be able to discover our selection in detail. You will be able to find all the necessary information there, which will allow you to help you with your choice.
What are the characteristics of the saddle pads that we have chosen?
Saddle pad of the brand “Felix Bühler.”
This saddle pad from the “Felix Bühler” brand was made of polyester, inside and out. Its interior remains darker than the exterior. This mat has a strap passage and loops on each side of the withers allowing the carpet to be ideally in place during your session. However, compared to other saddle pads, this one does not have a clear webbing passage. Indeed, we can observe the decorative cord and the seams, which are continuous.
The shape of this saddle pad has been worked to disengage and free the vertebrae of your horse. In addition, there is additional support on the mat, in particular thanks to the silicone bands.
The material is worked to reveal a honeycomb allowing good ventilation and absorption of perspiration. In this way, it can more easily dry out.
This rug is available in many colours: dolphin blue, glacier green, sea green, light denim, taupe, terracotta and white. It is also necessary to count 45 euros for the acquisition of this magnificent saddle pad. It is ideal for times and not recommended for horses who tend to sweat a lot, especially about the material in which it was designed.
Saddle pad from the brand Octagon, saddlecloth.
This “Octagon” brand saddle pad has been designed in natural cotton. Thus, the inside, as well as the outside, is mixed with polyester and cotton. This one is composed of hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial fabrics. Its interior remains light (natural ecru), and the exterior is coloured. This choice is not trivial since it does not allow the skin of your equine animal to come into contact with the pigments of the fabric. It does not have passers-by on either side of the withers.
As we can see, this riding mat is not straight, and it has a shape that allows having the withers and the rest of the vertebrae cleared when you work your equine. However, it has a strap passage so that it won’t slip under your saddle.
It is a mat that remains relatively light with this 900 g. In addition, cotton is a honeycomb that allows better ventilation, and thus, it can dry faster. This method also helps absorb shocks and reduce their intensity.
In addition, this saddle pad is available in two different forms: jumping, jumping pony, dressage and dressage pony (depending on the colour). It exists in many colours: white, green, blue, black, grey, red, pink, brown, taupe and ecru. It takes 70 euros for this riding mat on the site: equiline.fr. In addition, this rug is simple for maintenance; you can easily maintain it by hand washing or machine washing.
“Evolution Horse” brand saddle pad, Regular sport GP / JUMP square.
This “Evolution Horse” branded riding mat has been designed in cotton and polyester for better durability. The interior and exterior are the same colour. However, the outer cotton is more resistant, while the inner one promotes ventilation and the diffusion of moisture to evaporate. In addition, it is a mat that does not have loops on each side of the withers. You should know that you can add more if you wish because they are sold separately and in different sizes. This technology is not present on other mats, and it allows you to completely clear the withers of your equine without worrying about it.
As we can see, its particular shape allows your equine to have the vertebrae free during its effort. Note that there is reinforcement at the withers, and it has a strap passage so that it does not slip.
The shape of cotton is different from other rugs, which gives it a designer and modern feel. It can also see that the strap passage is clear. Indeed, there are no seams or the same form of cotton at this level, which reduces the points of compression.
In addition, this saddle pad is available in one shape and four colours: white, blue, brown and black. It takes 43 dollars for this riding mat on the “Evolution Horse” site. Please note, the price of this product does not include customs fees.
Saddle pad from the brand sportswear
This saddle pad from the “sportswear” brand has been designed in cotton for greater comfort. The exterior of the rug is covered with a piece of satin fabric for easier cleaning. The cotton inside is a honeycomb for better absorption and good ventilation. The inner cotton is white.
It does not have loops on each side of the withers, but its shape has been worked, so there is no need. Its form allows you to free your horse’s vertebrae and free its withers. However, it has a passage for the strap, which has been arranged to avoid compression points. Its shape remains classic and neat for competitions, just like its colours which remain sober.
This riding mat is available in 4 colours: night blue with two charcoal grey strings, Khaki with two lines: Gold, Chocolate with two rows of Gold colour, black with two columns of anthracite colours and Bordeaux with two series of anthracite colours. It takes 90 euros for this saddle pad on the site “alsportswear.fr”. Note that the cups of the same range exist and can make you a perfect adornment for competitions or times.
Ronzon’ woolrider’ saddle pad
This “Ronzon” brand riding mat has been designed in felt for greater comfort. The inside and outside of the rug are made of felt, which absorbs shocks and limits compression points if the saddle is not ideally suited to your horse. In addition, it has a built-in neoprene shock absorber.
As we can see, this mat has a strap passage fitted with leather which allows the saddle to avoid moving. It also has loops on each side of the withers made of leather and enables them to be attached to the harness. The leather straps provide excellent resistance. This elementary mat and is recommended for the western or hiking. However, nothing prevents you from buying one for occasions because the felt is a resistant material.
This saddle pad is available in only two colours: orange or brown interior. Thus, it takes 150 euros for the acquisition of this little wonder. However, this product takes time to maintain because it does not go through the machine, but many people only wash it once a year by hand.
Even if this mat is not very aesthetic, riders still very effective and highly appreciated it.
“Lemieux” brand saddle pad – luxury season close contact
This saddle pad from the “Lemieux” brand has been designed in natural bamboo for better comfort, particularly for the absorption of sweat from your equine. It is equipped with a technology allowing the evacuation of humidity. In addition, the cotton takes the form of a honeycomb which will enable good ventilation.
Its shape is worked, allowing to have a good clearance at the level of the withers, to limit the points of compression and to carry out a recovery without worrying about the position of its mat. It has a fitted strap passage. Indeed, it is a leather yoke that avoids over-stitching, and thus, does not create compression points. In addition, it has loops on each side of the withers so that the mat stays perfectly in place.
This riding mat is only available in 2 colours: grey and white. Therefore, to acquire this superb carpet from the “Lemieux” brand, you will need 83 euros on the “Horze” site. Many riders who know this brand offer quality and durable products. Note that this mat is equipped with an innovative “anti-friction” technology, which allows it to keep its shape.
Equi theme saddle pad.
This saddle pad from the “Equi theme” brand has been made of cotton to absorb moisture. In addition, the interior is honeycomb which allows good ventilation.
Its shape is designed and gives it a modern side very appreciated by riders. The cut of the mat is not straight, which allows better unblocking, and thus, bring comfort to your horse. There is the presence of a strap passage that prevents the mat from slipping. However, the seams are present at the level of the strap passage, which can create compression points.
This saddle pad is available in different colours: white, bright blue, blue, burgundy, camel/choco, fuchsia, grey, navy, black, red, turquoise, green and purple. It takes 42 euros for the purchase of this saddle pad on the site “padd.fr”.
Room rug from the brand “Lemieux“, lined with lambswool
This saddle pad from the “Lemieux” brand has been made of cotton and designed with a lambswool lining, only at the level of the saddle seat. This lining provides greater comfort for your equine. Note, in the same way as for the saddle pad of the brand “D. Christ”, this saddle pad is thicker and can cause discomfort for your horse if your saddle is fair or narrow.
The shape of this rug is similar to another product of the “Lemieux” brand without the liner. Thus, the cotton is quilted in a honeycomb which allows better ventilation and allows your horse to feel better. Lambswool is very soft, and it brings extra comfort to your pet. The shape of the mat allows the withers to be cleared. We notice the presence of loops on each side of this product and the strap passage so that it remains in place during your session. The strap passage has been worked in particular by putting a seamless yoke to avoid additional compression points.
This riding mat is available in two colours: black and white. The price of this product is 135 euros on the “horze.fr” site. The price is justified by the products that are used for the design of it. In addition, these products are durable and of excellent quality.
Saddle pad of the brand “D. Christ.”
This “D.Christ” brand saddle pad has been designed on the inside with sheepskin for greater comfort, in particular because the sheepskin is hypoallergenic and soft. In addition, the thickness of the sheepskin is thicker below the seat of the saddle.
As we can see, the shape of this rug has been worked. The top of it is curved, which allows clearance of the withers and vertebrae for greater comfort. On the outside of the carpet, we can see honeycombs that enable the air to be ventilated and thus, provide greater comfort. The strap passage has been arranged to avoid compression points that could hamper your equine. In addition, loops located on each side of the withers allowing better contact with your saddle.
This riding mat is available in 2 colours: Black / Off White and Brown / Beige. Thus, it will take 270 euros for this saddle pad. Note that sheepskin is a very high-quality product, which explains the high price. As for the maintenance, you can wash it in the machine. However, the brand does not hesitate to offer you a detergent that is suitable not to damage the sheepskin.
However, it should note that this mat is thick at the level of the saddle seat. Thus, this can create compression points if your saddle is narrow.
Saddle pad of the brand “Eskadron“, classic Sport SS20
This carpet of the brand “Eskadron” was made with cotton and with velvet for its exterior. Velvet is extremely practical since it is easier to clean and maintain. It has been designed to keep your horse cool and dry inside. In addition, it has loops at the level of the strap passage and on each side of your horse’s withers so that your mat does not shift during an effort.
We can see that the shape of this saddle pad is well thought out, in particular, to clear the withers of your equine animal, as well as these vertebrae. The faux fur that we can see at the withers is practical because you can machine wash your carpet—however, the brand advocates relying on the labels on the product to be sure.
From an aesthetic point of view, this saddle pad is elegant and remains sober according to the colours. You also have the presence of rhinestones that go around your carpet.
This saddle pad is available in 3 colours: brown, black and shadow blue. It will take 70 euros for this product on the site “horze.fr”.
What material to choose for your saddle pad? How to maintain and preserve your saddle pad?
There are many materials for the design of saddle pads. This concept is essential since it allows you to meet your horse’s needs, especially if It sweats a lot or has skin that gets irritated quickly.
What is felt? Felt is compressed wool that has many advantages. Indeed, these absorption capacities are optimal and make it possible to absorb any shocks. It can be an excellent choice for saddles that create compression points, as the felt mat helps reduce them. It is for this reason that some shock absorbers are made with felt. This material remains very interesting, affordable and durable over time.
This type of material can take a long time to maintain because it cannot be machine washed. It should therefore be washed by hand with soap and a brush. A particular brand offers you instructions to help you preserve your carpet without damaging the material.
- Honeycomb: Many rugs are equipped with this technology, mainly because the material is in relief. Thus, it allows to be more absorbent and allows better air circulation. It is a preferred material for horses who sweat a lot because this technology enables your carpet to dry faster.
- Smooth cotton: This saddle pad style doesn’t require a lot of maintenance; just a brush stroke is enough to remove the hairs. These rugs are not suitable for horses that breathe a lot, as there is a risk of foaming. It could cause perspiration to pass to the other side of the mat and contact your saddle. We recommend it for a horse that sweats little.
In both cases, the interview remains the same. Generally, these saddles are machine washable. However, you can also clean it with a stiff brush to remove the hair. In addition, these rugs dry relatively quickly, depending on the material they are made of.
- Synthetic wool/sheepskin
The synthetic sheep has some advantages, straightforward maintenance because it can go to the machine, and its price remains very attractive. However, synthetic sheep do not have the same characteristics as genuine sheepskin, which is not as breathable. It will tend to make horses sweat even more.
The maintenance of synthetic wool remains simple. You can usually machine wash your rug, which makes it easier for many riders. Some brands advise ensuring the care of your carpet.
This material is comfortable and breathable for your horse, and if, however, your saddle is very well adapted, there may be compression points with this mat. Care should be taken with the maintenance of this saddle pad, as it may not be machine washable.
For this type of product, it is advisable to wash them by hand to avoid damaging the material. So, in the same way as with felt saddle pads, they should wash them with soap and a stiff brush.
The maintenance of sheepskin, lambskin or natural wool requires special care. Some brands can advise you on a detergent to use when you want to wash your carpet in a machine to avoid damaging this part which can be fragile, or certain other brands advise you against it.
Differences between pony and horse?
You have to choose the size of your mat according to the size of your horse so that it protects the skin and his back well. Indeed, there are three different sizes: Shetland, pony and horse. These sizes correspond to the other seat sizes of your saddle, which are counted in inches.
So, the Shetland size fits a pony that has a saddle less than 15.5 inches. The pony size is between 15.5 and 16.5 inches. Finally, the horse size is suitable for horses that wear a saddle between 16.5 and 18 inches. Generally, the saddle pads sold with the measurement in inches are rare on the online points of sale but sizes like S and M or Pony and Horse.
Should you choose a saddle pad with a strap passage?
There are saddle pads that do not have girth holes. However, the strap passage prevents the saddle or the mat from moving back during an effort. When the belt moves back, it can create compression points. It must therefore be put back in place regularly.
Some mats are designed to avoid discomfort when passing the strap, especially without ropes and without seams which can create areas of compression. It is, in particular, the AL brand that offers it, but there are also many other brands.
What is the need for passers-by who are on either side of the withers?
Passers-by who are on either side of the withers should be passed through the girth straps. The problem with these straps is that they are regularly forgotten and that they create compression points. Some saddle pads do not have these loops because they have a worked shape that allows them to stay in place while having clear withers. These passers-by depend on your practice and what you prefer.
Which mat for which discipline?
What are the differences between the mats to choose the most appropriate discipline I practice with my equine?
Mixed / jump mat
This style of the saddle pad is rectangular but also called “chabraque”. In addition, it is suitable for all types of discipline, including showjumping, cross country or even complete. There are many types of saddle pad shapes with different colours.
You have the saddle pad from Octagon, Evolution Horse, Alsportswear, Lemieux, DMH Equitation, and D Christ in this category.
The trekking mat must fulfil several characteristics, including the fact that it must be thick to protect the back of your horse during long walks. They must be long enough to protect your horse’s skin from possible friction with your saddle. In addition, they must be breathable to prevent the horse from sweating too much. The last thing to consider is that it must be able to dry quickly so that the next day, it is dry to resume your hike. However, some carpets have saddlebags on the sides to carry equipment, which can be a plus depending on your needs.
According to our selection, the Ronzon saddle pad would correspond to this category.
Dressage pads are easier to spot because they are longer than mixed saddle pads. There are fewer models to choose from, especially about colours.
The Felix Bühler and Eskadron brands are the ones that best suit this category of the saddle pad, depending on the products we have taken care to choose for our top 10.
What can be the prices of saddle pads?
The price of saddle pads can be varied, ranging from 15 to 270 euros. So how can we choose a riding mat with so much price difference? The use of more or less recent materials and technologies may explain these price differences. Indeed, your regular activity or not, you will not have the exact needs or the same desires as a rider, but you must also consider the needs of your equine.
The first prizes are generally rugs providing minimal protection due to the materials that compose them, particularly synthetic materials. Indeed, this type of product can make your horse sweat and cause discomfort if you ride regularly. If you are an occasional rider, we can advise you to direct you towards this product.
The average price saddle pads of around fifty euros are good quality/price ratios because the technologies used are almost the most recent while having access to better quality materials and more comfortable for your equine.
The more expensive saddle pads are generally equipped with more recent technology and higher quality products, including genuine sheepskin or even felt for better comfort and durability.
What is the average price for a horse saddle?
Your higher quality saddles are made of leather. A well-dressed saddle that is packed with all the bells and whistles can range anywhere from $1,000 to as much as $2,500. A western saddle can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,500 new. A circle Y saddle can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $2,300.
Focus on writing:
Since I was little, I have been passionate about horses. I rode for 12 years, and then I had to quit because my studies take so long.
I try from time to time to go up when I have the opportunity. My dream has always been the same for many years, to own my horse. Now, it’s been five years now that I have been running for my pleasure and him for my dog.
The best riding saddle pads in 2021