When it comes to saddle pads there is a large assortment of colors, shapes, and areas of use to keep track of. The choice of saddle pad can be both a matter of color preference, as well as which discipline (dressage, jumping or eventing) you intend to use it in. This article was written to help clarify the different areas of use for you.
The saddle pad is a blanket that is placed under the saddle to minimize the risk of chafing. It also has a purpose of giving the saddle extra support while also protecting the horse. Nowadays, the saddle pad is also a popular garment since it complements the rest of the tack and gear, becoming a fashion accessory in the world of equestrian sport. Saddle pads are categorized into different sizes: Pony, Cob, and Full are the most common sizes. Pony is the smallest size designed for small ponies, cob is designed for bigger ponies or smaller horses, and full is designed for larger horses.
When looking for a saddle pad, you will stumble across a lot of different choices such as brands, colors, details, shapes and sizes.
In order to make this a bit clearer, we will start by going through the different kinds of saddles that are typically used in English riding. When it comes to dressage, dressage saddles are most common. These types of saddles have a deeper seat combined with longer saddle flaps. The purpose of a dressage saddle is to help make the rider’s seat more stable and to ensure the best possible connection with the horse. Dressage saddle pads typically have a square or rectangular shape with a straighter cut along the spine compared to other saddle pads. This design complements the longer, straighter flaps of dressage saddles, allowing for a proper fit.
The saddles used for show jumping are different. The saddle flaps are shorter due to the stirrup straps being shorter. The knee support on the saddle flaps of a jumping saddle are more curved, to help support the riders knees even better while in a two point position. There are also saddle pads made for show jumping. These saddle pads are a bit shorter due to the saddle being shorter and follows the shape of the jumping saddle much better.
For eventing, both types of saddles are used as both dressage and jumping are part of the competition. Eventing equestrians therefore mostly have both a dressage saddle and a jumping saddle.
The third saddle, the all-round saddle, is a combination of both the dressage and the show jumping saddle. The all-round saddle is perfect for the beginners, or equestrians who ride both jumping and dressage without any particular preference. All-round saddles are very common at riding schools.
If you’re looking for a saddle pad for dressage, it is always good to check the description to make sure it is made for dressage. These kinds of saddle pads are often larger to cover the whole area where the dressage saddle lies. Dressage saddle pads can also be used with an all-round saddle.
Beside the traditional saddle pad, there is also another version called a saddle cloth. A saddle cloth is saddle-shaped and gives saddle-shaped protection; nothing more, nothing less.
If you’re having issues with the saddle not staying in its place, it is also possible to add some extra stability with an anti-slip pad. This is a small pad used in combination with a regular saddle pad or saddle cloth.
Equestrian Stockholm offers a large assortment of saddle pads, that are perfectly designed for either your dressage saddle, jumping saddle or all-round saddle. Our jumping saddle pads come in sizes Pony and Full, while our dressage saddle pads come in sizes Cob and Full. Equestrian Stockholm saddle pads are made with luxurious materials which help transport away sweat very well, they are also designed to stay clean for a longer period of time.