Western saddle riding is a great way to relax and enjoy nature. However, it’s also the chief style of saddle employed by working horses and their riders. Whether taking a scenic trail ride or checking stock in the fields after a storm, owners of horses know that protecting their beautiful partners is vital. Saddle pads relieve the painful pressure that saddles incur, especially during long days. They also protect against painful saddle rolling and prevent skin and coat damage that friction causes. We’ve compiled our list of the top ten western saddle pads to provide a good sample of the best products currently available.

1. Orthoride Correction Saddle Pad from Southwestern Equine

The withers of a horse absorb a great deal of the pressure from both a heavy western saddle and any riders. This saddle pad is ideal for protecting against irritation and bruising that can result from an improper saddle fit. Whether the mount is still growing or the saddle itself is not quite a perfect fit. Made from high-quality materials and firmly stitched leather, with PORON-RXD under the saddle bars that provides protection from up to 90 percent of shock derived from saddling and load-bearing activities.

2. Tahoe Tack’s Contoured Extra Felt Saddle Pad

Concentric stitching in the durable canvas cover of this pad offers a fit that won’t slip and consistent pressure relief while horses are saddled. A 7/8-inch fleece lining ensures comfort and the thick felt provides plenty of protection. To promote a perfect fit, it’s designed with a contoured back to accommodate the withers and spine of any horse, and the overall design prevents any rubbing that can cause saddle sores and coat damage.

3. Contour Felt Pad by Tough 1

Crafted of thick, durable wool felt and covered with tough outer canvas and leather, this pad prevents rubbing at specific points and relieves the pressure associated with saddle wear. It’s contoured at the withers and along the spine to ensure maximum comfort. Plus, it comes in black and four bright colors that offer easy identification for tack rooms in multiple horse stables.

4. Back On Track’s Therapeutic Pad

While most saddle blankets and pads are made to function alone, sometimes horses need a bit of extra care. Saddles put pressure on areas of anatomy, such as at the withers and along the back, and in developing equines or those who are recovering from injury, this can exacerbate problems or create new ones. This foam therapy pad is designed to be worn under a regular saddle blanket. The ceramic-infused foam reflects body heat and soothes tired or sore muscles. It relaxes tense shoulders and spinal columns to protect against additional injuries.

5. Tough 1’s Square Saddle Pad

The lovely design on the durable surface comes in seven bright color options. But the thick felt core and soft fleece lining are the true stars of this show. Designed to protect a horse at their most vulnerable points, the dense felt absorbs shock from heavy saddles and riders, especially at the withers and along the spine. Super-soft fleece provides sufficient traction to keep the pad in place beneath the saddle and also prevent rubbing that can cause coat damage and painful sores.

6. Diamond Quilted All Purpose Pad by ECP

Wearing a saddle is often a sweaty business. But with this soft, durable pad from Equine Comfort Products, worry is held at bay. It wicks away moisture while promoting the retention of soothing warmth. The breathable material is also hypoallergenic and can be washed by hand or on the gentle cycle of any machine. Two billet straps will hold this pad securely in place beneath any saddle.

7.Weaver Leather’s Contoured Saddle Pad

Who says a vivid impression can’t be part of a horse’s attire? These gorgeous saddle pads come in a wide array of beautiful, colorful Southwestern designs. But don’t let that detract from the durable fabric. Exterior Hurculon makes removing burrs and thorns a breeze. The thick padding prevents saddle roll, and the super-soft Merino wool lining protects against saddle irritation and coat damage.

8. Memory Felt Bottom Cutter Style Pad from Showman

This pad is built around a solid 10-millimeter core of memory foam for maximum shock absorption and comfort. The woven wool top comes in five beautiful and colorful design options sure to draw plenty of compliments. However, the real star of the show in the luxurious 1-inch thick saddle pad is the memory felt that protects the horse. Whether prevention of saddle roll or averting painful sores and coat damage is the primary goal, this pad provides ultimate protection.

9. Weaver Leather Cut Back Acrylic Pad

Vividly colored, durable exterior fabric provides protection against burrs and thorns as well as the saddle itself. The asymmetric stitching conceals a core of shock-absorbing material that will relieve saddle pressure and promote warmth retention. What is most unusual about this pad is that, rather than contouring the material or adding additional protective padding to the withers area, Weaver Leather simply cuts away much of the fabric and adds a buffer of tough, beautiful leather to hold any saddle material away from the pressure point.

Related Resource: Top 10 Cheap All Purpose English Saddle Pads

10. Tough 1 Fun Print Wool Saddle Pad

While this pad provides superior protection from trail hazards and saddle pressure, it does so with a fun twist. The durable fabric keeps its form and luster under the hardest use, and the border pattern material—tooled leather or fun prints—is securely stitched. Soft fleece lining will soothe and protect any mount while in the saddle.