Best Saddle Pad for High Withers (Reviews 2021)
High withered horses can present a problem when trying to get a saddle to fit them properly. A saddle pad is perfect for cushioning the horse and reducing any discomfort that may be caused for a high withered horse. These pads simply go underneath your actual saddle, but you can’t just select any pad as if you get it wrong you can cause even more problems with your saddle, leading to further pain or discomfort for the horse.
I have selected 5 different high wither saddle pads that I believe can help you find the right level of comfort for your horse when riding it. Let’s look at the reviews to see what I choose and why.
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Top 5 Rated Comparison Table
1. Southwestern Equine OrthoRide
The Best Saddle Pads for High Withers Reviewed
Southwestern Equine, as the name suggests, is based solely around equine products. Made with a combination of orthopedic material, it uses parts of PoronXRD, which is used in professional athletic padding, as well as using memory foam to bridge a large gap between the saddle and the horses back. The pad itself is available in 3 colors, two sizes - 31x30 or 31x32, and weighs in at 5.5+ lbs.
The reason why I put this first on my list is the quality of material used in the pad and the comfort that it provides a high withered horse. The orthopedic material used is one of the best grades around and is very hard to match in terms of other saddle pads on the market. It’s perfect for absorbing shocks and the impact that the horse or rider experiences. The memory foam is also a great addition and allows the pad to contour and fill any of the gaps that typically appear when a saddle does not fit the back of the horses correctly. The RXD material, as mentioned earlier, is actually used in the professional sports field and is perfect for reducing any shock.
One complaint that can crop up from some users with this model is that it sometimes has the potential to slip and may not sit perfectly in place with some saddles. It is also a very pricey purchase and one of the most expensive pads on my list, with that being said, you’re paying for the quality and comfort of the material more than anything.
Verdict: Best Overall
- Provides great comfort
- Great pick for reducing shock and impact
- Fantastic for sore or sensitive withers
- Wicks away sweat
- Made in the USA
- Pad can sometimes slip with some saddles
Another higher-end product makes the 2nd spot on my list from the manufacturer Kavallerie. This saddle gel pad is available in 4 different designs that you can choose from - front riser, middle riser, rear riser, and seat saver. Each has something different to offer and may appeal to different horse sizes and builds, so be sure to check out all 4 models first to see what pad fits your horse best. Each gel pad that Kavallerie offers measures in at 25.6 x 20 x 1.5 inches and weighs somewhere from 3.6 to 4.5 pounds depending on what style you choose.
This is an excellent pick as there are 4 different gel sizes available, so there should be one that fits your high withered horse best. The gel pad is also fantastic for reducing any sweat that occurs as it is breathable and sports over 100 holes for even better ventilation, reducing the chance of any sores, blisters or irritation for the horse greatly. You can also use this gel pad as an extra protective layer for yourself and the horse by using it beneath another saddle pad, and then placing your saddle on top of that.
Considering it’s another slightly more expensive pick, you would expect it to harness all your saddle needs in one, however, as mentioned above, you may decide that you want to add a more traditional saddle pad on top of this gel pad if it doesn’t bridge the gap properly on your horse’s back.
Verdict: Plenty of styles available for different sized horses
- Perfect for reducing sweat and reducing sores
- 4 different styles available for different sized horses
- Is comfortable enough being directly placed on the horse
- May need another saddle pad on top of to bridge any gaps
- A little more expensive
A cheaper pick on my list comes from ECP who have designed this quilted cotton half saddle pad. This is made with breathable memory foam that conforms to your horse’s back. The pad measures in at 23.5 x 3 x 11 inches, weighs 1 pound and is designed to fit saddles up to 18.5 inches, as well as having the option of choosing from 11 different colors.
This is a fantastic pick for the money. It’s one of the cheapest horse saddle pads for high withers on the market, with it also having the quality to compete with other high-end models. The memory foam does provide a comfortable fit for horse and rider and is perfect for bridging any gaps. A perfect budget pick for any rider.
With it being a less expensive choice, it goes without saying that the cotton material used in this pad probably isn’t as durable as other higher-price point models. The size is also slightly on the smaller side and may not quite be as large as you expect it to be, so bear this in mind.
Verdict: Great budget pick
- Very affordable
- Great contouring with memory foam
- Nice and light
- 11 different colors to choose from
- Not as durable as other higher-end pads
- Size a little on the small side
Classic Equine is a premium brand in the equestrian and equine space, and this is their premium saddle pad pick. Designed with Orthopedic grade felt and 100% virgin wool fleece, it’s designed to wick away any sweat or moisture, as well as filling in any voids that occur on the horses back. It’s only available in one color - brown, has 2 sizes to choose from, which are 30”x 30” or 31” x 32”.
The fit to this pad is fantastic and is great for supporting saddles and sorting out any gaps or voids that are present on the horse. The felt material is very durable, and you can tell that it’s designed to last, with the stitching also being pretty tough and hard to pull apart.
It’s definitely one of the more heavier picks on the list, although this may not be a bad thing due to the stability that it can offer some saddles being placed on top of it. It may, however, be a little too heavy for some horses, and they may react to it negatively. Another downside to the Classic Equine is the price, yes, it is very expensive!
Verdict: Excellent fit and durability
- Excellent fit to it
- Durable material and stitching
- Breathable and wicks away sweat easily
- A little heavy
My second pick from Southwestern Equine is their Montana 100% Extra Fine Wool saddle pad. Manufactured in the USA, this is designed 100% with wool to provide maximum comfort and reduce shocks, as well as having a leather finish to it. There are 5 different sizes to choose from, with 2 different thicknesses that you can get - 1” or ¾” thickness, and 3 colors to choose from.
It’s a great looking comfortable choice that has plenty of size options available to fit nearly any high wither horse size. It contours to the spine of the horse perfectly and is designed to be breathable for the horse, making it perfect for warmer temperatures thanks to its temperature management qualities. Considering it’s more of a premium pick, it comes in at a very reasonable price.
Although the wool quality is fantastic and durable, the leather and its stitching leave a lot to be desired. The leather isn’t the best quality, and the stitching isn’t much better either, meaning that typically the leather won’t last as long as it should.
Verdict: Good looking pad at a fair price
- Looks great
- Good price for premium pad
- Lots of sizes available
- Can handle warmer weather easily
- Light, flimsy plastic
- Some battery + charger issues
Things To Consider When Buying a High Withers Saddle Pad
Material and Durability
Because saddle pads can be quite pricey, especially for bigger brand models, you’ll want peace of mind that the pad you’re investing in isn’t going to start wearing away or ripping after a few rides on your horse. Some models you’ll find are put together with low-quality stitching and come away very easily after sitting on it a few times. I tried to stick to pads in this review that have great quality material and are designed to last. But bear in mind, that each circumstance is different, and each model reacts differently depending on the size of horse, rider, temperature, and how long you use it for.
Comfort for Horse and Rider
The real reason most riders use a saddle pad for high withered horses is to provide the horse with more comfort on their back when a rider is on top. You want to create more stability for the saddle when placed on top of the pad, as well as bridging any large gaps or voids that are present on the horse. The pad must be comfortable being placed against the horse and prevent any sores or pain from occurring. At the same time, it has to benefit the rider and also provide them with a comfortable, non-slip riding experience. You also have the added option of using a cinch on the horse to hold the pad in place better and stop it moving about when riding it.
Options and Styles Available
Because not all high withered horses and riders are the same size, you want to have different sizes and thickness options available so you have the best chance of getting the right fit. Most manufacturers you find on the market offer a range of different sizes to choose from, as well as different colors and styling for some aesthetic pleasure.
That’s my 5 top saddle pad picks for high withered horses reviewed and complete. As you can probably see, some of the models may be a little more pricey than you may have liked, but I have tried to go for pads that sport quality material and are designed to last and provide ultimate comfort for you and your horse. There are cheaper options out there for you, but be aware, as they’re typically not going to last you as long. As always though, I encourage you to do some extra research to ensure that you get the best fit for your horse’s needs.