Best Saddle Pad For A High Withered Horse

Best Saddle Pad for a High Withered Horse

When it comes to choosing the best saddle pad for a high withered horse, you will need to consider a couple of factors including riding style and the amount of use the saddle pad will be getting. 

In our top picks, you will find a durable western saddle pad for trail riding, a compact half-pad to improve your horse’s performance in shows, and something comfortable for your older, high-withered horse.

This guide will help you decide which is the right saddle pad for your high withered horses.

Top 6 Saddle Pads (Our Review)

Weatherbeeta Prime All-Purpose Saddle Pad (Best Overall)

The Weatherbeeta Prime is a great all-round English saddle pad.  We love that these high wither saddle pads come in multiple colors and are big enough to fit with most saddles. The extra height provides wither relief on those difficult to fit high-withered horses.

 The girth area is  PVC reinforced which protects the saddle pad from wear and tear with regular use.  The downside to the large size is that it is too big for smaller or jumping saddles. Another drawback is that the saddle pad attaches to the D-rings so it would be difficult to use with a breast plate.

Pros 

  • Prevents heat build up
  • Durable 
  • Fits high withers
  • Washes easily

Cons

  • Attaches to D-rings instead of billets
  • Needs regular washing

ECP Correction Dressage Saddle Pad (Best For Dressage) 

Available in a multitude of colors, the ECP Correction Dressage Saddle Pad is one of the best English saddle pads for high withered horses and includes velcro sealing shim pockets and foam pieces to adjust the pad to fill saddle gaps for a better fitting saddle. 

The foam shims that come with the pad are made of a cheaper material than the memory foam pockets advertised and some customers do not receive all the foam pieces. Luckily it is easy and affordable to replace these with real memory foam or get foam pieces cut. 

Unfortunately, frequent use quickly wears down the padding. Overall an affordable high wither saddle pad that is great for occasional riding or shows.

Pros 

  • Breathable Material
  • Machine washable and fast drying
  • Adjustable fit
  • Value for price

Cons 

  • Poor quality foam shims
  • Low durability

Exselle Half-pad with Wither Relief (Best For Jumping)

Exselle Unisex's 157520 Equestrian Supplies, White, 22 1/2"
  • CUSHIONED FIT: The Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief sits snugly between your saddle and the horse’s wither to provide a cushioned padding that relieves discomfort and keeps your horse safe while riding.
  • KEEP YOUR HORSE COMFORTABLE: The 100% cotton twill fabric is super comfortable, and the fleece bottom feels soft against your horse’s coat. For the best fit, this pad should only be used with saddles over 17 inches.
  • EVERYTHING BUT THE HORSE: For over 45 years, Intrepid International has been the leading global manufacturer and distributor of products for horse and rider. We strive to provide quality products at reasonable prices with superior customer service.
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Includes (1) Exselle Half Pad with Wither Relief - White. Fleece bottom with rolled edge, cotton twill top, 6mm felt and 10mm sponge padding, 5 in cut out hole, 22. 5 in long.

We love the 100% cotton saddle pad with fleece lining on the withers and cantle edges for extra comfort. Our top choice to improve saddle fit is a jump saddle pad on a high withered horse. This is a versatile product that can also be used with a Western saddle.

The sponge-filled design of the Exselle half-pad offers extra cushioning and works well for sway backed and high withered horses. The saddle pad fits especially well with saddles 17” inch and under as larger saddles overlap the cushioning. 

Even the white saddle pad is easy to clean and looks and feels much higher quality than what you are paying for.

Pros 

  • Available in two lengths
  • Can use with  different horses
  • Prevents slipping
  • Good quality material

Cons 

  • Fits small
  • Padding is stiff when new

Southwestern Equine Orthoride Correction (Best Overall Western Saddle Pad) 

Southwestern Equine OrthoRide Correction Saddle Pad 1" Made in USA
  • ✓ SOLVE SADDLE FIT PROBLEMS - Before you buy another expensive saddle.
  • ✓ PERFECT for HIGH WITHERED horses where SADDLE RUBS on WITHER
  • ✓ YOUNG HORSES with under developed shoulder muscles.
  • ✓ SHOCK ABSORBTION - under horn PROTECT YOUR HORSE.Great for Team Roping, Barrel Racing and so much more.
  • ✓ PORON-RXDTM under the saddle bars ABSORBS up to 90% OF SHOCK.

The shock-absorbing padding is ideal for taking the hit of a 360-degree turn or absorbing the pull of a rope. This makes it arguably the best western saddle pad for high withered horses across multiple disciplines including use with roping saddles and barrel racing saddles.

A real selling point is the built-up shoulder padding to relieve pressure on horses with high withers. The padding re-distributes weight and prevents pressure points from forming.

This Southwestern Equine Orthoride Correction pad is perfect for training young horses as the padding cushions impact and prevents unnecessary injury. This feature also means it works well on an older horse. Over time the stitching can come loose and the felt isn’t as durable as you would hope.

Pros 

  • Padded for pressure relief
  • Easy to clean
  • Moisture absorbing fabric 
  • Use with different horses

Cons

  • Only one size available
  • Average quality

Diamond Wool 10-Inch High Wither Pad (Best Trail & Ranch Work Saddle Pad)

Diamond Wool is known for some of the best western saddle pads and this special-fit Diamond Wool saddle pad for high withers does not disappoint when it comes to quality and comfort.

This pad has a 10” cutback which gives room for high withers but is not really a suitable fit for a horse with narrow shoulders as the gap is too wide. The saddle pad is made from superb quality wool felt with a quilted cotton canvas upper making it ideal for daily ranch work or long trails on high withered horses. 

The pad is a good 1” thick and suede leather lining at the girth area that really helps protect from regular wear. This is a top-quality pad with a reasonable price and a long life expectancy.

Pros 

  • Long lasting
  • Suede leather  at girth areas for added protection
  • Absorbs sweat 
  • Fits high withers

Cons 

  • Quilted upper slides under some saddles
  • Strap over cutback may need adjusting

ECP Equine Comfort Correction Half Saddle Pad (Best Budget)

One of the most affordable saddle pads on the market that is suitable for horses with high withers. The ECP Equine Comfort Correction Hald saddle pads are available in 11 vibrant colors and are a good choice if you are not ready to commit to a more heavy-duty pad.

The saddle pad comes with 4 pockets and foam shims in 3 different thicknesses to adjust the saddle fit.  This makes it great for owners who ride several horses with the same saddle. Despite its low price, the quality of this saddle pad is competitive with similarly designed English pads. 

Pros 

  • Can use on different horses
  • Diamond quilted anti slip padding 
  • Adjustable padding
  • Allows maximum air-flow

Cons 

  • Sizes may fit small
  • Velcro pockets are easily damaged

Finding A Saddle Pad For A High Withered Horse

The saddle pad will affect the comfort of the horse and rider and can also help to get more use out of your saddles and prevent injury and pain by protecting your horse’s shoulders and back.

Style And Shape Of The Saddle Pad

The saddle pad you buy will firstly depend on whether you are using a Western or English saddle. The next consideration will be the shape of your horse’s back and what discipline you are competing in or the work you are doing. 

Full-length saddle pads are more versatile while half-pads are usually used with an all-purpose saddle pad to build up the back of a horse.  Half pads can however sometimes be used alone with smaller English saddles. Cutback saddle pads provide wither relief on high-withered horses.

Fabric And Materials Of The Saddle Pad

Generally speaking, an all-purpose contoured saddle pad made of synthetic materials and cotton blends is going to be more affordable and easier to clean but may not last as long. These are good options to use for occasional showing, training, and events. 

Genuine fleece lining and cotton pads are going to cost more but have a longer life expectancy and are great beneath a western saddle for regular ranch work/ trail rides.

Padding And Shims

You may want to choose a thicker wool saddle pad for a sway backed horse or one with a flat back. Another option is to get a pad with extra padding or pockets for adjustable shims that help fill the gaps between the back and the saddle. Shims usually come in foam or memory foam and can be replaced with better material, such as wool shims, if they wear thin.

Caring For Your Saddle Pad

To get the most use out of your saddle pad you will need to take care of it and clean it as regularly as needed depending on the fabric. Check out our helpful guide on how to get horse hair out of a saddle pad for all the tips and tricks to keeping it clean.

Synthetic Or Cotton Covers With A Foam Inner

  • Usually okay to put through a wash or wash in cold water by hand
  • Check instructions as some pads require cool or gentle cycles or mild detergents
  • Hang up or dry flat

Wool And Felt Pads

  • Brush with a curry comb to remove hair and sweat
  • Gently lather with a wet cloth and wool soap, rinse and air dry
  • DO NOT clean using hot water or heat to dry as wool will shrink

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