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Types of Dressage Saddle Pads

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Dressage is an elegant sport that shows off the true partnership between horse and rider in a test of obedience and training.

It’s hard to achieve a high score without the right equipment for the job.

And using the right type of dressage saddle pad can mean the difference between a happy, healthy horse and a sour cranky one in the competition arena.

dressage rider and horse closeup

Here are some of the specific types of saddle pads that can help you achieve your dressage dreams. Be sure to find one that fits as you start to climb through dressage levels.

All-Purpose Quilted Dressage Saddle Pad

Most dressage saddle pads are square in shape to accommodate the longer flaps of a dressage saddle.

This gives length to a rider’s leg and provides closer contact for more efficient communication – one of the pinnacles of dressage.

Basic all-purpose quilted dressage pads are perfect for schooling or for showing.

A basic polyester quilted pad is fairly inexpensive, but you may want to invest in a high-quality version for competition.

They come in many different colors and sizes, so you’re bound to find one that suits your taste and needs.

Price: $

Where to Buy: Amazon

Dover Saddlery Quilted Dressage Square with Piping

Dover Saddlery Quilted Dressage Square with Piping
  • Classic, practical and easy-care option for both schooling and showing
  • Contoured along the topline, this saddle pad offers a comfortable and secure fit along your horse’ back
  • The durable diamond-quilted outer conceals a low-profile layer of foam cushioning, is accented with piping and trimmed with a self-fabric border

Half-Lined Dressage Saddle Pad

While dressage is a close-contact sport, some horses need a little more support under the saddle to protect their sensitive spines.

A half-lined dressage saddle pad looks like a normal square pad from the outside, but the underside is partially lined with fleece.

This provides some extra cushioning beneath the saddle, as well as some extra grip for a particularly slippery horse or saddle.

Using a pad like this can also help prevent pinching in sensitive areas without adding too much bulk.

This is useful especially if your horse is sensitive to an ill-fitting saddle.

Price: $$

Where to Buy: Amazon

Derby Originals Semi Fleece Lined Dressage Saddle Pad

Derby Originals Semi Fleece Lined Dressage Saddle Pad
  • QUALITY DESIGN – made with durable cotton lining to help protect the product and allow it to last over a long period of time.
  • HALF FLEECE LINED UNDERSIDE – features rolled fleece around the withers amd a contoured half-fleece underside for the perfect amount of padding for a comfortable trail ride for you and your horse.
  • TRADITIONAL LOOK – featuring a classic and timeless diamond quilted patterned that is uniform throughout the pad, available in white and black.


Half-pads are used in a variety of equine sports to absorb shock and provide cushioning beneath the saddle.

They may be made of fleece, foam, or gel depending on your needs.

Fleece and foam will help provide cushioning, and gel will provide air circulation and prevent slippage.

These pads are designed to provide support underneath the saddle, but are generally used in conjunction with a traditional dressage saddle pad.

While this can be helpful for ensuring a good saddle fit on horses that have trouble maintaining condition, they may be a bit bulky with properly fitting tack.

Price: $$

Where to Buy: Amazon

Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Half Pad/Saddle Pad

Kavallerie 3D Air-Mesh Half Pad/Saddle Pad
  • ✅ HOLDS THE WHOLE SADDLE IN PLACE – It is important to properly tack your saddles before riding. Kavallerie Half Pad can help keep your saddle in place by providing a gel surface that sticks to your saddle and saddle pad to keep your horse tack secured and sturdy.
  • ✅ RELIVES HEAT AND DISCOMFORT – With light 3D Air-Mesh, PU foam material, and holes through the added gel padding which allows airflow to regulate heat build-up quickly that causes discomfort to your horses, this half pad is a tacking essential.

Corrective Dressage Saddle Pad

A corrective square dressage saddle pad can provide extra support without increasing the bulk.

Many of them feature additional foam inserts that can be removed as your horse gains or loses muscle condition.

Traditional half-pads are great for correcting issues with saddle fit, but a full corrective saddle pad has a lower profile and offers a versatile performance.

Price: $$

Where to Buy: Amazon

ECP Correction Dressage Saddle Pad

ECP Equine Comfort Products Correction Dressage Saddle Pad
  • Contour your horse with supplied foam pads
  • Precise fit to the horse and the saddle
  • Compensates for changes in horse shape
  • Memory foam to better absorb shocks

Shaped Pad

While most dressage saddle pads are square in shape, you can find shaped pads that are designed to fit the unique contours of a dressage saddle.

They have a lower profile, which is helpful for reducing heat and allowing your horse’s movement to speak for itself.

You’ll want to measure your saddle carefully to make sure the saddle pad will fit, and many of them also have fleece trim and cutouts for wither support.

Price: $$

Where to Buy: Amazon

Derby Originals Shaped Wither Relief Dressage English Saddle Pad

Derby Originals Shaped Wither Relief Dressage English Saddle Pad
  • DESIGNED WITH YOUR HORSE’S COMFORT IN MIND – this shaped dressage pad features a plush fleece lined wither relief that prevents wither and shoulder soreness, as well as a half-fleece lining that prevents rubs.
  • SHOCK ABSORBING DESIGN – this micro diamond quilted dressage pad features a multi-layered, plush design that is shock absorbing and designed to make riding more comfortable for both you and your horse.
  • DESIGNED TO FIT DRESSAGE SADDLES – this saddle pad features a 23” spine and a 23” drop length to comfortably accommodate most sizes and styles of dressage saddles.

High-Rise Dressage Saddle Pad

A basic dressage saddle pad is fairly square, and doesn’t give enough clearance for horses with high withers.

The pad will lay awkwardly flat, and it might not even cover your saddle flaps properly.

If your horse is blessed with a couple of shark fins, a tapered high-rise saddle pad can help quite a bit.

Its higher rise in the front is designed to give high-withered horses a little extra room underneath the saddle.

You can find them in basic inexpensive polyester versions, or high-end performance models with corrective inserts.

Price: $

Where to Buy: Amazon

Roma High Wither Quilted Dressage Pad

Roma High Wither Quilted Dressage Pad
  • Each pad has a girth guard with reinforced vinyl coating of the piping at the girth area to resist wear
  • Specially designed liner to keep away moisture
  • Unique and artistic quality patterns with lush colorful fabrics
  • Ployfill and foam padding provide soft cushioning against your horse while the pad retains its shape

Single-Sided Dressage Pad

Like half-lined pads, single-sided dressage pads are also lined with breathable non-slip silicone – but the lining rests underneath your saddle rather than on top of your horse’s skin.

There’s still a layer of soft material between you and the horse, but your saddle won’t be sliding around.

Higher-end versions also contain memory foam for extra support, but without the extra padding of an additional half-pad.

Price: $$$

Where to Buy: Dover Saddlery

LeMieux X-Grip Single-Sided Dressage Pad

Western Dressage Saddle Pad

While western saddles for western dressage don’t typically have the unique longer flaps of their English counterparts, some saddle pads are better suited for the discipline than others.

A good western dressage saddle pad will have a low profile and classy look.

And it’ll keep your horse cool and comfortable without slipping.

Competition rules for western dressage tack may vary from show to show, but schooling with a close-contact and comfortable saddle pad is always a good bet.

Price: $$

Where to Buy: Amazon

Lettia CoolMax Western Saddle Pad