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8 Best Treeless Saddle Pads for English and Western Riding

8 Best Treeless Saddle Pads for English and Western Riding

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Treeless saddles have been growing in popularity in the equestrian world as an alternative to traditional saddles with trees. Treeless saddles are lightweight and allow you to sit closer to your horse’s back, allowing for a better feel of your horse.

If you ride with a treeless saddle, you will want to have a quality saddle pad to go with. The best treeless saddle pads offer cushioning, support, and a proper fit to ensure your horse will be comfortable. Ideally, they should have shock-absorbing foam, silicone, or felt inserts to improve performance.

Choosing a saddle pad for a treeless saddle often requires more consideration than choosing one for a regular saddle. It should provide stability, breathability, and full protection of the horse’s spine as well as loin area.

Riding With a Treeless Saddle

Within the equestrian world, there is some debate about whether or not you should ride with a treeless saddle. While some people find them more comfortable others believe they do not provide enough support for a horse’s spine.

Unlike traditional saddles with trees, which are generally made of wood or fiberglass, treeless saddles have no tree. The purpose of a tree in the saddle is to evenly distribute the weight of the rider and provide proper support while reducing pressure on the spine.

Treeless saddles are lighter while also flexing more with the horse, providing closer contact. Many people prefer them for horses that are difficult to saddle fit. They are available in endurance, western, and English styles.

Treeless saddles can give riders a more “natural” feel, providing a comfortable ride as the rider moves with the horse’s motion. They can be beneficial for owners with multiple horses, as they adjust to fit different conformations. Treeless saddles are generally intended more for pleasure riding, as they are often not suitable for hard work.

Best Treeless Saddle Pads

1. Shires Airflow Anti-Slip Saddle Pad

Shires Airflow Anti-Slip Saddle Pad

With a synthetic fleece lining, this superior saddle pad provides top-notch comfort and support. The all-purpose design is fitting for all your English riding needs.

The innovative design is breathable while keeping moisture levels down while air circulates between the fibers. With the anti-slip silicone surface, there is an extra layer of support while also keeping your saddle in place.

Why We Recommend This Product:

  • Synthetic fleece lining provides comfort.
  • Anti-slip surface provides support and stability.
  • Keeps moisture levels down while air circulates between the fibers.

2. ECP Correction All Purpose Saddle Pad

ECP Correction All Purpose treeless Saddle Pad

This versatile all-purpose saddle pad is great for pairing with your treeless saddle. It offers excellent support and comfort for your horse.

There are four memory foam pads that contour your horse to provide a correct fit. The memory pads also offer shock absorption, allowing for a smoother ride. There are four pockets that each have three memory shims that you can remove to customize the fit to your horse’s needs.

The diamond-quilted design is available in different colors to meet your style. The unique design of this saddle pad will give a precise fit to your horse’s conformation.

Why We Recommend This Product:

  • Features memory foam pads for additional support.
  • Memory foams can be removed to meet your horse’s conformation.
  • Made from comfortable and breathable cotton.

3. SaddleRight Western All Around Saddle Pad

SaddleRight Western All Around Saddle Pad

This specialized saddle pad is constructed using a unique core material with proven orthopedic value. The core material does not compress, deform or degrade, guaranteeing a proper fit with every ride.

For maximum performance, the saddle pad moves and recoils with the movement of your horse. It will not increase pressure on a horse’s pressure points and each pad is 100% handmade.

The saddle pad uses only the finest suede leather that not only looks good, but is also durable. It contains 100% pressed wool felt for superior moisture-wicking and temperature control. It even comes in five sophisticated colors.

Why We Recommend This Product:

  • The unique core material has an orthopedic value that does not compress, deform or degrade.
  • Moves and recoils with your horse.
  • Features 100% pressed wool felt for moisture-wicking and temperature control.

4. Southwestern Equine OrthoRide All Purpose Saddle Pad

Southwestern Equine OrthoRide All Purpose Saddle Pad

Lightweight and flexible, this durable saddle pad moves with your horse. It will stabilize your saddle, keeping it in place while you ride.

The unique “kidney” shape inserts work to provide ultimate spine relief, which is specifically important for treeless saddles. This also helps to relieve underdeveloped top lines on horses, prevent back soreness, and also address several saddle fit issues.

The innovative design also helps prevent slipping of the saddle. It comes in two different colors and is particularly ideal for trail riding, barrel racing, and pleasure riding.

Why We Recommend This Product:

  • Lightweight, flexible and durable.
  • Anti-slip design and moves with your horse.
  • Features kidney-shaped inserts that provide ultimate spine relief.

5. ThinLine Ultra Sheepskin Comfort Half Pad

ThinLine Ultra Sheepskin Comfort Half Pad

This half pad will keep your horse’s back happy and healthier, resulting in better performance. The Merino sheepskin and quilted cotton provide a comfortable and breathable fit.

The shim design works to distribute shock and weight while also alleviating saddle pressure points. It provides extra spinal clearance with a raised wither profile that features a hardwearing cotton quilt. It accommodates the toplines of most horses.

This half pad provides excellent support, breathability, and relief. It is versatile while fitting horses of most sizes and conformations.

Why We Recommend This Product:

  • Features quality Merino sheepskin and quilted cotton for a comfortable and breathable fit.
  • Works to distribute shock, weight and alleviate saddle pressure points.
  • Accommodates most toplines.

6. Impact Gel Contour Felt Saddle Pad

Impact Gel Contour Felt treeless Saddle Pad

This felt contour pad is crafted for maximum fit for every horse. The innovative gel technology offers top-notch protection as it moves shock, weight, and heat laterally through the gel.

The wool blend design allows air between the pad and horse, which improves circulation. It offers flexibility along with even pressure point distribution. It fits both round and square-backed saddles.

Every saddle pad is handcrafted with only the finest materials. It is durable while providing comfort, support, and stability, keeping your saddle from slipping.

Why We Recommend This Product:

  • Features innovate gel technology for protection and shock absorption.
  • The wool blend design allows for air circulation.
  • Offers flexibility and even pressure point distribution.

7. Skito Endurance DryBack

Skito Endurance DryBack

Specifically made with treeless saddles in mind, this endurance pad offers all the support you need. Each pad is custom-made to meet the individual needs of the horse and rider.

The unique laminated foam/felt insert offers the support horses need to be at their best. This provides better comfort and gives you closer contact with your horse. The Dryback padding on the top releases heat and moisture to improve airflow.

The gullet on the pad creates an air channel down the spine, making a more comfortable fit. Two pommel ties allow you to securely attach the pad to your saddle.

Why We Recommend This Product:

  • Specifically ideal for treeless endurance saddles.
  • A laminated foam/felt insert offers the support and comfort horses need while providing closer contact.
  • Dryback padding on the top releases heat and moisture to increase air flow.

8. Toklat T3 Matrix Performance w/WoolBack Saddle Pad

Toklat T3 Matrix Performance Saddle Pad

For maximum performance, this saddle pad is lightweight, breathable, and supportive. The advanced ergonomic ortho impact inserts are even removable and are washer safe.

Not only do the full-length inserts provide cushion and support, but they also absorb up to 90% of the energy that is transferred between horse and rider. A correctly placed cut-out allows for close-contact leg position while the high profile allows for maximum wither clearance. The ortho design even slows progression and can help prevent osteoarthritis, muscle loss, and kissing spine.

The non-slip ETC fabric will keep your saddle in place without using friction. For better airflow and comfort, the WoolBack lining is made of 100% natural wool.

Why We Recommend This Product:

  • The advanced ergonomic ortho impact inserts provide cushion, support and shock absorption.
  • High profile allows for maximum wither clearance.
  • Breathable, durable, lightweight and will keep your saddle in place.

FAQs

Do You Need a Special Saddle Pad For a Treeless Saddle?

Though you don’t necessarily need a special pad for a treeless saddle, you need to make sure it provides the proper support. They do make specific treeless saddle pads that can be a great option.

When choosing your saddle pad, look for one that has inserts or additional cushioning. They should provide stability, cushioning, and full protection of the spine. Shock-absorbing foam, memory foam, gel pads or felt inserts are all good features to look for.

How Do You Wash a Saddle Pad?

To wash a saddle pad, hand wash it with cold or warm water with fragrance-free detergent. Only use a small amount of detergent, as some horses may be sensitive to soap.

Hang your saddle pad up so it can air dry. Some saddle pads are washer and dryer safe, so be sure to read the instructions on the tag before washing.