5 Best Saddle Pads for Sore Backs, Presented by Draper Therapies

A sore back can really zap your horse’s performance potential. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of padding options that can help you reduce the stress on your horse’s back. We’ve teamed up with the crew at Draper Therapies to list off five of our favorite saddle pads that prevent and repair back issues while you ride!

Draper Equine Therapy Saddle Pad

I am a BIG fan of Draper Therapy products and refuse to use any other wraps than their Celliant® infused No Bow Wraps on my horses. For those of you not familiar with Celliant®, it is a fiber that is filled with thermo-reactive minerals that takes your horses own body heat and transforms it into infrared energy to improve blood flow and relieve sore, tired muscles and joints. And if their No Bow Wraps can really work wonders on my horse’s legs after a tough workout, imagine what a pad infused with Celliant® could do for your horse’s back?

This pad comes in all-purpose, dressage and jumping options and helps to regulate temperatures and wick away moisture from your horse’s back while in work. The pillowy soft material is perfect for horses with sensitive skin and gives you some peace of mind knowing that your horse can remain comfortable throughout your entire ride.

Photo provided by Draper Therapies

Ecogold’s Coolfit Pad

Keeping your horse cool in the heat of the summer feels like a never-ending challenge. Ecogold strives to change that with their Coolfit pad. Offered in dressage, jumper, cross country and hunter options, this pad uses Ecogold’s smart textiles that react to the heat in your horses back and works to reduce the overall temperature, resulting in a more comfortable ride for your horse.

Paired with their shock absorption material and air-flow vent system, this pad is a must try for long, hot summer days. This pad also includes Ecogold’s Frictionless and Secure systems to keep your saddle in the right place throughout your ride.

Screenshot from Ecogold’s website

Fleeceworks Perfect Balance Halfpad

Oftentimes a sore back can be traced back to incorrect saddle fit, but we don’t always have the budget to buy a custom saddle for each horse. This was the scenario I found myself in last month and I turned to the Fleeceworks Perfect Balance Halfpad to help me out. Not only does the full fleece lining help keep pressure off of my horse’s back, but the removable inserts help to correct the fit of many saddles; providing your horse with a customized feel for a fraction of the cost of a new saddle.

Fleeceworks has a variety of options you can select from and choose the Perfect Balance Halfpad that is right for you. I opted for the full fleece with rolled edges in white with memory foam inserts, but wool inserts are available as well.

Screenshot from Fleeceworks’ website

Acavallo Withers Free Gel & Memory Foam Half Pad

Wither rubs are no joke and, in most cases, the more pads you cram under your saddle in an attempt to prevent those rubs, the worse they become. Enter Acavallo’s withers free pad with their signature gel and memory foam composition. This cutback pad reduces friction on your horse’s sensitive withers while still providing the comfort and cushion of a half pad.

Acavallo’s therapeutic soft gel not only helps to keep your saddle in place, but also helps alleviate the stress of impact on your horse’s back. Paired with memory foam, this pad helps to evenly distribute pressure throughout your horse’s back during your ride. And with literally dozens of options to choose from, you can get the pad that fits your horse’s needs the best.

Screenshot from Acavallo’s website

Thinline Hunter Sheepskin Edge Saddle Pad

Finding a saddle pad that not only suits the hunter ring but also provides your horse with the comfort they need is always a challenge, but Thinline has you covered! This pad not only looks the part, but sports many features that make it the perfect option for a sore backed horse. This shimmable pad makes adjusting saddle fit a breeze and with its shaped wither profile and spine free channel, your horse’s back will be free to move as it needs.

As if that wasn’t enough to peak your interest, this pad sports Ultra Thinline panels which provide 95% shock absorption and a non-slip saddle fit. With the sheepskin edge, you get the look of a full sheepskin pad but without the bulk, maintenance and high price tag.

Screenshot from Thinline’s website

So go out there, do your research and invest in a pad that works for you and your horse! With all of these advances in saddle pad design and technology, sore backs will be a thing of the past.

Go Jumping!