Saddle Pad Recommendations?

I am in the market for a new saddle pad and I would love to know any recommendations you have! I live in the south so the weather is HOT pretty much all the time. I am looking for a saddle pad that is thick enough to support a typical western saddle without being so thick that it is bulky under the saddle. I have this pad now but it is a bit too bulky and long for my liking. Thanks for your help!

I love my Diamond Wool pad. Wool is supposedly cooler in summer because it’s moisture-wicking, and it’s a great shock-absorber. My late retired schoolie loved it too.

Sadly my remaining riding horse does not love wool. And I do not love the way it makes him shake like a wet dog every two minutes the entire ride. So now I use these Reinsman contour pads. With the “fleece” (not really) bottom. They come in a 30x30, which is nice because Mr. I-Hate-Wool will also cowkick if a pad rubs too far back on his loin. :slight_smile:

I use Skito pads. Love them. No bulk under my leg and easy to wash after removing the inserts. They are pricey, though.

I love my ProChoice pads. Not the super thick, just the regular working pads. They work great and aren’t bulky at all.

I use a Miracle Felt pad under a saddle blanket. I don’t like a lot of bulk under the saddle, and you can throw them in the washing machine.

I love my 5 Star pads. They are expensive, but they are high quality and they will last for years. They come in just about any thickness you want, starting at 1/2".

I use a 1/2" on my one horse and a 3/4" on my other horse (who is still filling out). They are made of good quality wool that will keep your horse comfortable when it’s hot, and clean up really well (I take my to the car wash a couple times a year and they clean up like new).

The pad you posted ( ) I don’t like for a couple reasons.

  1. No contour. Your horse’s back is straight or flat. Neither should your saddle pad.
  2. No wither cut-out.
  3. It’s only $30. Seriously. Having 1" of cheap fleece versus 1/2" of good quality wool (from the 5 Star) makes a huge difference in how much it compresses under the weight and pressure of the saddle.
  4. Square cut pad means there are “corners” to poke your horse’s hip with. I much prefer rounded corners.

I like this one:

I like the barrel shape for less heat where I don’t need additional heat (don’t need a pad to cover where the saddle is not). I like the soft edges (I actually don’t like that about the 5 Star pads - while the corners may be rounded, the edges are still “sharp”). I like the moisture-wicking fleece. And I find the contour to be much better than the 5 Star pads. The 5 Stars don’t have the cutout in the right place and they are too thick around the withers/shoulders for my horse. The Toklat pad’s contour is appropriately high and almost comes back a little bit so it isn’t smooshing his mane down on his withers.