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5 Best Barrel Racing Saddle Pads

There are some great options out there for barrel racers in search of the best in saddle pads. So many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming to choose. Brands such as Weaver Leather, 5 Star Equine, and Classic Equine offer some of the best, as you will see here. 

As horse lovers, we all want to make them as comfortable and happy as possible while they do their job. Recently, riders have begun to seriously consider just how much a horse’s comfort (or discomfort) can affect performance.

Choosing the best saddle pad can be a daunting task, So we’ve written a guide on how to choose the right barrel racing saddle pads and which ones are the best. 

How to Choose a Barrel Racing Saddle Pad

Length

Generally, barrel racers prefer a 28” length. Some horses with a long back might need a slightly longer pad. A pad that is too long, however, can extend over the horse’s hip area and interfere with its stride. 

Material

Compressed wool pads are the most popular with top barrel racers. Wool is known for its absorbent and wicking properties that pull moisture away from the horse’s back and keep them more comfortable. 

Fleece is another option, since some horses may be sensitive and like the feel better. The disadvantage is that fleece pads tend to roll up, so a fleece-lined wool pad might be the way to go. 

Thickness 

A barrel racing pad needs to be thick enough to be comfortable during a run, but not so thick it adds bulk that can slow a horse down. A 3/4 inch pad is a popular choice, protecting your horse’s back sufficiently.

Too much thickness can cause the saddle to roll. Horses with high withers, however, might need a little more thickness to protect them. 

Even with all the new advances that aren’t necessarily visible to the eye, saddle pads seem to all look alike, making it difficult to determine what will most benefit the horse.

Here is our list of the best barrel racing saddle pads:

Best Barrel Racing Saddle Pads

Classic Equine BioFit Correction Saddle Pad

Classic Equine BioFit Correction Saddle Pad

This pad is a great choice for many reasons. The Classic Equine brand offers a great value for the price.

I have used this saddle pad for years on many very different horses with extremely different builds, including a stout-built solid quarter horse gelding, a tall, lanky thoroughbred mare, and a dainty little appendix quarter horse mare. It fit well on them all.

Why we like it:

  • Strategic placement of build-up to fill in the void areas in a horse’s back below the withers, offering extra support for the saddle
  • A design that’s contoured to mold and conform to the horse’s back,  providing added comfort and better saddle fit
  • Premium felt bottom with shock-absorbing wool felt center

Weaver Performance Saddle Pad

Weaver Leather Synergy Contoured Barrel Performance Saddle Pad

If you are looking for a variety of color and pattern choices in a quality barrel racing saddle pad, look no further. This pad is available in a choice of wool blend felt liner or Merino wool fleece liner and 16 different color/pattern options.

Why we like it: 

  • Conforms and fits to contour horse’s back
  • Saddle roll is reduced by the contoured shape, providing a more natural fit
  • EVA Sport foam is designed to absorb impact and shape to the horse’s back, while ventilated for breathability
  • The EVA Sport foam insert will return to its original shape following each use.

Impact Gel Contour Felt Saddle Pad

Impact Gel Contour Felt Saddle Pad

This saddle pad comes with an innovative bottom layer of gel that provides superb comfort to horse and rider.

The gel layer minimizes inconsistencies in the fit of the saddle pad, thus resulting in better contact between saddle and horse. Hand-sewn and made in the USA, this felt pad is one of the best money can buy.

Why we like it: 

  • A unique wool blend that allows air between the pad and horse, improving circulation
  • Handcrafted and sewn in the USA
  • Flexibility and even pressure point distribution
  • Fits round or square backed saddles
  • Measures 32” wide, 32” long, and 3/4” thick

Southwestern Equine OrthoRide All Purpose Saddle Pad

Southwestern Equine OrthoRide All Purpose Fleece Bottom Saddle Pad

One of the best all-around western saddle pads, it’s perfect for Treeless Saddles due to the “kidney” shape inserts that provide great spinal comfort for your horse. The built-in Poron XRD helps stabilize the saddle in sharp turns, perfect for barrel racing.

Why we like it: 

  • Solves many saddle fit problems
  • Fits well on young horses with underdeveloped shoulder muscles
  • Lightweight and flexible

Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad

Diamond Wool Contour Felt Ranch Pad

Diamond Wool is worth mentioning as well. It offers comparable value and quality and the conforming properties help the wool stay snug on the horse’s back.

Why we like it:

  • All-wool, all-natural saddle pad
  • The contoured spine has a wither relief notch
  • Temperature management from the breathable wool naturally assists in body temperature regulation, helping the horse stay cool no matter the discipline

No matter which of these amazing barrel racing saddle pads you choose, they are all sure to provide the best for your horse.

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