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Gel pad or just saddle cloth - what to use while horseback riding?

Published: 2020-07-27 10:35:13 Categories: Guides Rss feed , Products Rss feed


In equestrian stores, you will find many accessories that might prove useful during training sessions. When should you use a gel pad under a saddle and what is it supposed to do?

Horses' destiny and the thing that has had people enchanted with these animals is their expressive movement. However, for the steed to be able to present the full scope of his abilities under a rider, he should move without tension or pain, which sometimes may be caused by wrongly fitted equipment. Thankfully, we can prevent that.

The very basis is to carefully watch your horse and react to his needs. The horse's back can change with time, diet, more physical exercises, and many other factors. Sometimes, temporary solutions, are useful as they are quick and effective. For many issues, a gel pad for under a saddle may be the perfect example.

Gel pad - when is it worth using?

A gel pad looks like a profiled saddle cloth made of synthetic material (e.g. soft gel). It is placed directly on the horse's back to which it fits with its whole surface due to the elastic material and anatomical shape. As a result, the pad has several functions:


Acavallo Anatomic gel pad

  • prevents the saddle from shifting by stabilizing it. It prevents chafing especially around the withers.
  • evenly distributes the rider's weight on the horse's back, which makes the training sessions more comfortable for the horse.
  • cushions impacts, which makes the ride more comfortable both for the horse (protecting his spine) and the rider.
  • can correct a wrongly fitted saddle, evenly rising the back or front (chosen models).


1. Horze front riser gel pad 2. Horze back riser gel pad

Gel pads are easy to maintain (after a ride you only have to rinse them under running water) and they drain moisture due to perforations on the whole surface, so they do not chafe the horse. At the same time, the pad is easy to use and non-invasive, so it is good to have at least one in the harness room so that you can use it if you need it.

Worth knowing! The Equishop Team knows very well how important it is to properly fit a saddle. If you wonder which gel pad could be useful for you, contact our saddle fitters by calling +48 606 914 300.

When would a saddle cloth be enough?

It is good to remember that if you have a healthy horse and a well-fitted saddle, you do not need too much equipment. Currently, more and more people say that using all available solutions may pose certain risks.


Unfortunately, beginning riders sometimes tend to buy their horses unnecessary pieces of equipment. Remember that too many things may cause harm and if you have a well-fitted saddle, a simple saddle cloth would be enough, while using additional pads can cause the saddle to no longer fit the horse's back. What is more, using a pad does not give you a pass for using an ill-fitted saddle.


Conclusions? Use pads when you really need them - when your saddle shifts on the horse's back, when some temporary fitting issues occur, or when you need to unweight the horse's back with better amortization (e.g. during intense preparations for a competition). However, do not use them instead of a well-fitted saddle. Usually, a saddle cloth would do just fine. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to ask somebody more experienced for help or just contact our Equishop Team. We are here to advise!

Check our full offer of saddle pads: Here or saddle cloths Here

Any questions? Call us or leave a message.

Equestrian shop: +48 784 039 784

Saddle department: +48 606 914 300


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