How to Choose the Best Balance Pad for Your Horse

How to Choose the Best Balance Pad for Your Horse

Scared of falling off your horse? A balance pad can help keep you and your horse steady and safe as you ride. When choosing the best balance pad, however, there are several factors to consider, like your horse’s level of training and the length of time you’ll be using the pad each day. Here are five steps to finding the right balance pad for your horse.

What are Balance Pads?

A balance pad provides a saddle-like platform that allows riders and their horses to work on lateral movements without putting pressure on a horse’s spine. With increased awareness of equine welfare and soundness, combined with rising interest in dressage, trainers are recognizing that poor saddle fit may be harmful to their animals’ long-term health. You can read more about why balance pads have become popular with horse trainers here.

Safety Tips

Look for a balance pad that’s waterproof, easy to clean and made of durable materials. Not all horses want or need shoes on all four feet, but even if your horse does wear shoes, you can still use a balance pad on three of his four feet. Make sure you choose one that’s compatible with your horse’s footwear.

Choosing a Material

There are many different materials that balance pads can be made from, and they each have their own unique properties. Synthetic mats, like Astro Turf, are extremely easy to clean and are very durable—but may slide on slick surfaces or in inclement weather. Rubber is cheaper but less effective than synthetic mats; still, it is often a good choice for young horses. Natural rubber mats have a grippy texture that keeps them from sliding around as much as their synthetic counterparts.

Buying Guide – Factors to Consider Before Buying a Balance Pad

Think of a balance pad as an extension of your horse’s body—in some cases, it literally is. It’s important that you consider your horse’s size, weight and breed before purchasing a balance pad. For example, if you have a stocky Paso Fino with an arched neck (and thus short length of rein), then you might want to purchase a shorter pad than if you had long-backed Arab or Thoroughbred.

FAQs About Horse Saddle Pads

Pads are one of those items that you can spend a lot of money on or opt for a cheaper version. Some horse owners don’t know how to find which balance pad will best suit their needs, but these answers should help.


Considering all of your horse’s needs and wants, plus your own, is essential to finding a great balance pad. We hope that our guide has helped you along in narrowing down your search!

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