English Saddle Pads & What to Look For

As you may already know, the two main types of riding are English and Western. If you’re a beginner then you may have started on one or the other of these styles. If you’ve been riding for a while, you may prefer one or the other. Or you may enjoy both, like me!

The basic difference between these types are the saddles that are used. In English riding, sleeker, more lightweight saddles are used for the convenience of the horse. In Western riding, the saddle is larger and provides support to the rider.

There are also some other differences between both types but the most obvious difference is the size of the saddle. Want to learn more? I’ve got a whole article on the differences between English and Western riding!

Western saddles are bigger, bulkier and heavier. English saddles are smaller, sleeker and lighter.

Here is a quick video about Western and English tack:

The different styles of riding utilize different tack. Both of them use saddle pads, but there are differences in the style and shape of the pads.

A saddle pad (also known as a “numnah“) is used as a cushion between the back of the horse and the saddle. It is specifically used to prevent the friction from rubbing of the saddle against the horse’s skin. The size and thickness of a saddle pad is important. It should not be too thin or too thick, and it may vary depending on what kind of riding you’re doing.

If it is too thin for the given activity, it will not help to prevent friction. Instead of preventing it, it might actually make the friction worse. On the other hand, if the saddle pad is too thick, it can end up adding unnecessary bulk and pressure.

English Saddle Pads & What to Look For 2

When you’re riding English, you want the pad to be as thin and sleek as possible while still doing its job. If you compete then you may also want it to look great.

Before buying a saddle pad, make sure that you are using the right saddle for your horse. If you don’t know how to properly measure a saddle, you can learn about it from my article on it!

English saddle pads come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colours, prints & prices. So how do you know what to choose? What style is the best?

Here’s your quick guide to English saddle pads

Basic & Affordable for your Everyday Needs


An English saddle pad is an important item that makes your riding experience better. English saddle pads are available in different shapes and sizes. The best thing about buying an English saddle pad is that it is affordable and very easy to buy.

You can buy a saddle pad according to your needs and budget. They are available in different price ranges I find they’re pretty affordable, particularly compared to some other tack. However, while buying a pad, it is important that you pay attention to the quality of its material.

English Saddle Pads

Some pads are made of fleece or cotton while some are made with natural fibers such as wool. Generally I prefer natural fibers, but they can be more expensive, I find.

Fancy-Pants English Horse Saddle Pads for Showing


Who says that you should buy a simple saddle pad? There are many types of fancy-pants saddle pads available on the market made just for show. I know you love your horse, so why not show off?

You can buy different cool-coloured saddles with different cool prints. You can buy a cute saddle pad or a high-quality leather saddle pad. In short, don’t be afraid to go against the grain and get something a little funky to stand out.

Woof Wear Saddle Pad in Mint
Why not try something in a cute colour, like this Woof Wear saddle pad in mint?

Extras Just for Fun


You can also buy extras like different accessories just for fun. There are many English saddle pads and accessories available on the market and you can add these to enhance the looks and comfort of your saddle pad. It’s a great opportunity to express you and your horse’s personalities!

I really hope this piece has given you a few ideas about buying an English horse saddle pad. Did you learn about what they’re used for? Get some advice about buying something a little different and exciting? Let me know what you took away from this article!

And happy riding 🙂


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