Which saddlecloth a rider chooses to use under their saddle can help or hinder the fit of the saddle and affect their horse’s movement and comfort. With more and more clever materials and designs being incorporated into saddlecloths, knowing which one will fit and perform the best — as well as offering value for money — can be tricky.

Your Horse’s testers have put a selection of saddlecloths to the test over a period of three months. They’ve been used on a daily basis on a number of different horses for hacking, schooling and jumping. Each saddlecloth has been assessed for fit, performance and value for money. Read on to see their reviews and find out which ones were rated the best.

Each saddle pad is given a mark out of five for fit, performance and value for money. This gives an overall score out of 15.

1. Le Mieux Ultra Mesh Close Contact Square

RRP £69.95

Colours: Grey, navy, black

Sizes: Large in dressage or close-contact styles


Fit: This saddle pad fits very well – I’ve used it under my jumping and GP saddles and it works with both. The cut and shape are good; it sits up into the gullet of the saddle well and doesn’t move during exercise. The short wither straps are a good length and fasten neatly to the saddle D-rings. The position of the girth strap is good, but I found the additional loops through which to thread your girth quite tight. 4.5 stars

Performance: A smart lightweight pad with an extra layer of foam under the saddle panels for cushioning, but without adding bulk. The pad wicks away moisture well. The added girl guard is well placed, and protects the pad from damage where your girth sits. This pad washes well and dries quickly. 5 stars

Value for money: It’s great value for money – I would buy another one and recommend it. 4.5 stars

Total score: 14

2. HY Sport Active Saddle Pad

RRP £34.99

Colours: Aegean green, terracotta orange, rosette red, midnight navy, spearmint green, emerald green, amethyst purple, pencil point grey, white, black

Sizes: Pony/ cob, full in dressage, GP, and close-contact style


Fit: I have been testing the GP version of this pad and it fits perfectly under both my GP and jumping saddle. It sits neatly up into the gullet and doesn’t move. All fastenings are well-placed and easy to use. 5 stars

Performance: A smart-looking cotton saddle pad that does a very good job. It hasn’t rubbed although it feels a little coarse to touch. The moisture-wicking lining appears to do a good job – I’ve found no sweat marks after riding. Another good feature is the anti-rub girth cover protection, which does prevent excessive wear. This saddlecloth has washed well and is still in very good condition. 4.5 stars

Value for money: Great value for money. 4.5 stars

Total score: 14

3. Mattes Eurofit Saddlepad

RRP from £50.50

Colours: 30 different colours available

Sizes: S-XL in GP, jump and dressage styles


Fit: This saddle pad fits well with good clearance through the gullet, and the lambskin offers additional comfort on the horse’s back. It’s well shaped, if a little rigid, but sits up well into the gullet of the saddle. The straps are positioned well; the higher girth loops were a good length but a little fiddly to thread round the girth straps and do up/ undo. 4.5 stars

Performance: A quality all-round saddle pad — there are all manner of different options; essentially, you can have a bespoke saddle pad. Mine has lambskin as a trim and under the saddle panels. It has the option to add shims – it’s a little fiddly, but great for the horse who has been using it. He’s changing shape, and under the guidance of my saddle fitter, using shims when needed has kept him comfortable. 4.5 stars

Value for money: Really good value for a pad that offers a lot. 4.5 stars

Total score: 13.5

4. Equitex Classic Dressage Velvet

RRP £229

Colours: Diamond, silver, onyx, chocolate, Champagne, sapphire, ruby, emerald, azur, mint, flamingo

Sizes: Pony, full


Fit: This saddle pad is a great fit – I’ve tried it on two horses who are different builds, and it suits both. It sits neatly under the saddle and is a good length. Unusually there are no fastenings, but they aren’t needed as once in place this pad doesn’t move. It pulls up nicely into the gullet of the saddle and stays there, with good clearance over the wither. 5 stars

Performance: Soft and lightweight, this saddle pad is proving to be very durable. My horses often get a bit of rubbing at the back of the saddle as their coats change, but not with this pad. The foam padding seems to adjust as my horse changes shape, and they both seem comfortable wearing it. It washes well and they don’t seem to get as hot wearing it compared with other pads. 5 stars

Value for money: It is expensive, but the more I use it the more I feel the cost is justified. 3.5 stars

Total score: 13.5

5. Equipe Jumping Saddlecloth 

RRP £75

Colours: Navy, white, grey, brown, black, green

Sizes: L


Fit: A classic cotton jumping saddlecloth that fits neatly around the saddle. The cut and shape at the front meant it sat up into the gullet initially but slipped down during exercise. There are only girth fastenings on this saddlecloth, but they are well position and help to hold it in place. 4 stars

Performance: The soft quilted material isn’t bulky and didn’t rub – it also didn’t slip back during jumping. It does appear to be fairly breathable too. It looks smart and has washed well, although there are some signs of wear around the binding near the girth area. 4.5 stars

Value for money: A nice saddlecloth, but on the pricey side – there are others that do the same job at a lower price. 4 stars

Total score: 12.5

6. Felix Bühler Memory Foam Saddle Pad Cushion

RRP £84.90

Colours: Black

Sizes: Dressage, GP


Fit: This is a good fit – not as deep as other dressage pads I’ve used but it’s nicely shaped along the top to follow the shape of your horse. It did slip down during work and sit on the withers though. The fastenings have hook-and-loop tape which makes them quick and easy to use. The girth fastenings at the bottom of the pad could be longer. 4 stars

Performance: This pad did move a little, but it didn’t appear to affect my horse – he continued to work well. How well this pad distributes pressure I can’t say, but the material is soft to touch and the memory foam inside is squidgy and springs back to its original shape after use. I didn’t find it particularly breathable; on warmer days my horse appeared to sweat up more under this pad compared to others made from a cotton material. 4 stars

Value for money: Quite expensive, but it’s well made and wearing well. 4 stars

Total score: 12

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