Dressage Pad with Close Contact saddle on top?

Hello! I’m not sure if this is the right section to post this, but I’ll post it here. Does anyone use a Dressage sized/shaped pad with a Close Contact saddle on top? I would love pictures, especially an 18”. Also favorite pads that are actually in stock and not a million dollars!

Why are you looking to use a dressage pad rather than a normal CC cut square pad, if you’re buying new anyway? Usually the flaps of the saddle would sit over the front of a dressage pad, since those are usually cut straight down. I’ve tossed by dressage saddle on with an AP pad before, but I don’t think I’ve ever done the reverse, because I’d worry about the pad bunching under the girth.

Honestly, most of my schooling pads for both dressage and jumping are from Smartpak, which are usually on sale. A little more spendy (but still less than the current trendy Le Mieux type pads) are PRI, some of which are almost a decade old and holding up amazingly.


Wondering as I collect LeMieux and other high end brands (ES, PSOS, Anky), and I’ve found pads that are dressage in limited edition/rare colors that I can’t find in CC

It’s going to depend on the cut of the pad and the cut of the saddle.

But in general, the forward flap of the jump saddle will extend out over the edge of the dressage pad, and the dressage pad will hang down below the flap and get tangled in the long girth of the jump saddle.

Just like the jump pad will be too short for the dressage saddle and stick out wierd in front.

Can you switch the pads around? I suppose if somehow you put all the jump pads in the wash and needed to ride that day you could try to make do. Or if you trailered out to a trail ride and brought the wrong mix of gear. I would not however actually jump in that mix.

But actually buying $60 or $100 dressage pads in the wrong configuration for your jump saddle and using them on purpose because you liked the colors? That just seems really silly. Buying something that doesn’t fit and is non functional and looks all wrong just for the color variations?


One of the reasons I’m asking here first before getting and dressage pads is because I don’t want to buy a nonfictional pad.

I need a good high withered fairly substantial pad for my Paint, so it won’t slip on her shoulders. I’m limited in color choice because she’s a flashy loud chestnut paint. My saddles are 18 inch.

I have two Ogilivy dressage baby pads, one navy and one forest green. I have two LeMieux close contact pads, also one navy and one forest green. I have a couple low withered pads just for backup that I never use now. And that’s it. The Ogilvy and Lemieux were all special order from a local tack store. They fit her and are stable.

I don’t use polos, leg boots, or bonnets, so not into matchy matchy, but I do try to keep my own riding clothes in a color scheme that doesn’t clash with chestnut :).

I don’t buy anything branded Anky. Even when all her stuff was getting discounted here.

Anyhow, the first point of riding gear is functionality. I needed pads that stayed put and gave wither clearance and I like the quick dry lining on Ogilivy and LeMieux. I don’t need loads of pads that are less functional. I figure two jump and two dressage let me do laundry whenever I need to.

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You might also ask where people are sourcing these brands. The ones you are looking for might be sitting on a dusty shelf in a Hungarian tack shop- you never know!

By “nonfictional” pad, do you mean non-functioning pad? And if so, what function is failing? Does your saddle stick out too much with some pads? I run across this with some pads with an 18" saddle with a half pad. Dover makes some extra long pads that are pretty inexpensive that you could check out. I honestly just look for pads with spines at 23" or greater. For my saddle, I know that works. So maybe get a measurement that you know works, and find pads that fit that measurement. Sometimes you have to contact the seller and ask as they don’t always list the spine length. Some do, some don’t. Good luck.

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I think what the OP is struggling with is that they found something they want to buy specifically (brand and color) but it is a dressage pad not an AP pad so wondering if it will work for them.
Not that they are trying to find a pad that will work with their saddle, but will this pad they want work with their saddle.

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I think it’s a reasonable question- I find that a decent number of square AP pads don’t have enough length over the spine for an 17.5" or 18" saddle or enough length in the drop for a longer flap.

But I haven’t had any joy in dressage pads so far, mostly because they don’t have a curve to the front of the pad that would match up with the forward flap. If you have a straight flap it might work.

Yes, it’s possible that it could work with a given pad and saddle. However, my jump saddles have not been super forward flap, indeed one was probably marketed as AP jump originally. The dressage pads are still a fail on my jump saddles. I have done it ages ago, can’t remember why. Jump pad in the laundry, carried wrong gear down from loft? It didn’t work.

Try joining the Saddle Pads Anonymous group on FB - lots of PSOS, ES users there who can probably help you out with photos!

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@Le_Equestrian does the pad you want have dimensions? Can you mark a pad you have with masking tape at that front dimension to see if your saddle will fit on it with out hanging over the front?

I’m not asking of dressage pads work better than CC pads. I’m asking if Dressage pads work with a CC Saddle. Unlike some people, I care about what my saddle pads and outfits look like and sometimes I can only find the pad I really really want in dressage. I don’t want to know if the dressage pad will work for my saddle. More if my saddle will work for a dressage pad.

In that case you do not want to put a CC saddle on a dressage pad, 'cause that will look like the dog’s dinner, and people will think you don’t know the difference. People will say things behind your back about how gauche you are and none of them will share their banana bread recipes with you.

Don’t do it.


If you’re thinking about this for purely aesthetic reasons, then no. It will look ridiculous and ill-fitted. The pad will be hanging way down under the saddle flap, and the flap will be going over the front edge of the pad. And, unless you have a monoflap jump saddle, the girth is going to bunch the pad up very uncomfortably for the horse.

If you want all the pretty colors and fit you actually need for your horse, have you looked at the Mattes pad designer on Hufglocken? It takes a while to get them, but they’re very nice pads and if you have a sale code, they usually end up less expensive than the LeMieux etc options.


What’s with the snark? No one was mean. They were just explaining the difference and why, for most people, it wouldn’t be a good choice.

Also, what’s the difference between if your saddle will work for a dressage pad or if a dressage pad will work for your saddle? It’s the same question. They work together. The answer should be the same for either question: Yes.

If you get a saddle pad that is fancy and expensive but doesn’t fit your horse, yes, it will look bad and, as mentioned, people will assume you don’t have a clue. But you will have a pretty color and a fancy name tag, so there is that.


I tried once and was not happy with the result, even after getting the pad slightly reworked.

It’s not just that the dressage pad doesn’t angle forward, bc the Ogilvy baby pads work fine with a jumping saddle despite not being angled forward. But they’re designed to work with a jumping saddle. Which they do as long as you make sure to have some pad in front of the saddle. This is how I got a free one—someone in my barn won one but couldn’t keep it under her saddle and gave it to me when she moved out of state. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I tried it as I was expecting trouble.

Nope. I love LeMieux pads myself and a sweet friend bought me a lovely Cihili pad in the dressage cut. I tried desperately to make it work with my CC saddle. It was a fail.


I’ve used my jumping saddle with the dressage-cut pad that comes with the Equiband system. Nothing terrible happened and the saddle flap didn’t end up off the front of the pad, but whether that happens will be dependent on the shape of your saddle and the size of the pad.

I do think it looks silly though. I ride alone at home and don’t care about looks in that context, but if appearance is your reason for saddle pad shopping I’m not sure you’ll be happy with the dressage pad.